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In every annual lottery each individual has two chances to escape being stoned to death--with one exception. First there is a drawing to select the household. Second there is a drawing to select the unlucky member of that household. In the case of Old Man Warner, however, he could get selected in the first drawing, assuming that he lives alone and that he is his household. No doubt a great many people in the assembled crowd would be delighted to see Old Man Warner draw the black spot spot on the first round. Not only would they all be saved for another year, but they would all have a chance to get rid of Old Man Warner for good.

How do you think Old Man Warner would have reacted to being chosen? Would he be like Tessie Hutchinson, who kept saying, "It isn't fair"? Or would he complain that he was being discriminated against because he was the only person in his household?

One can imagine Old Man Warner having a quick change of mind about the venerable tradition. He might start haranguing the crowd, telling them: "They say that people in other towns around here are giving up their lotteries. Sounds like a darned good idea. About time, I'd say. Why don't we call this whole thing off right here and now? It's been going on for so long that nobody can even remember what it was for."

The story might end with approximately the same words:

And then they were upon him.
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