In Shirley Jackson's celebrated short story "The Lottery," the nondescript town continues to follow the senseless, brutal tradition of the lottery. They violently stone an innocent citizen every June, following the timeless ritual. Since the lottery's inception, several minor changes have occurred to the annual tradition. The original paraphernalia for the lottery was lost. In spite of the loss of original trappings, the community continues to use an old, splintered, black box to conduct the ritual. Each year, Mr. Summers argues for a newer black box to be used to conduct the lottery. No one in the community feels comfortable upsetting any detail of the tradition. Despite Mr. Summer's failure to replace the black box, he substitutes slips of paper for woodchips to call the victim's name. Since the community has grown, it makes more sense to use thinner slips of paper instead of wood chips. Chips would not fit inside the black box because of the population increase.
There used to be a recital of some sort, a tuneless chant performed by the official announcing the start of the lottery. The ritual no longer takes place. The official of the lottery used to also give a ritual salute when he addressed each citizen to draw from the black box. The citizens believe that is only necessary for Mr. Summers to informally speak to each person as they approach the black box. The citizens also half-listen to Mr. Summers as he explains the rules of the lottery because they are familiar with the proceedings. Several minor elements of the lottery have changed over the years but the primary feature of the brutal ritual remains intact.