Villagers come together for a yearly lottery. The children just finished school. The setting is serene. A man, Mr. Summer, runs the lottery, and he arrives with a black box. Mr. Graves, the postmaster follows. By this time, the children, men, and women have gathered. Everything seems normal; the people have done this before many times. Finally, Tessie Hutchinson arrives; she actually forgot about the lottery.
At this point, Mr. Summer reminds the people of the rules. When everyone has drawn, rumor has it that Bill Hutchinson has got "it". Tessie cries out that it is not fair. No one listens. Mr. Graves dumps the paper on the ground.
The Hutchinson family draws, and Tessie has the paper with the black dot. By this time, Tessie is alone in a clearing, and the people begin to stone her. She is struck in the head.
The story ends with these words:
"It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her."