"The Lottery" is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. The story is set in a farming village of "about three hundred people" and takes place on a beautiful summer day. When all of the able-bodied citizens meet in town, a lottery, or drawing, is held; the "reward" for being the winner of the lottery is not disclosed until the end of the story, although a significant amount of foreshadowing suggest an unpleasant outcome. Jackson also uses a great deal of symbolism in her story and provides a unexpected and ironic ending that aids in conveying the idea of the story's theme to the reader.
A one-sentence summary of "The Lottery" might go as follows:
The "winner" of a small farming village's annual lottery is sacrificed for the good of the crops.
Superstition leads a small farming village to conduct a yearly lottery in order to make a human sacrifice.