The story takes place in a small village where each year, a lottery is held. All the people of the village assemble in the town center and every family in the village gets to pick a piece of paper out of a box. One of the pieces has been marked, and the family who gets the marked piece has to enter the stage of the town center. Then they have a second lottery, in which every family member must pick a piece of paper. This time, the person who gets the marked piece is surrounded by the crowd, which starts to throw stones at the "winner" of the lottery, probably until the "winner" dies.
I liked the story, it was interesting and made you think. One of the things I liked was the surprise in the end. It is not until the very last page the reader finds out what the prize is, and I think this is a very smart move by the writer since the story begins as a cosy tale with people gossiping and children playing, only to take a sharp turn at the end to reveal the horrible nature of the lottery.
I think the writer did this on purpose.
I think the story is really about traditions and how they affect us, for good or bad. The idea of having an anual lottery to decide which villager who shall be killed seems to be a very old tradition. Why a villager must be killed every year is never really explained, but it seems like it is a sort of sacrifice, to make the farming better. Most villagers can't even imagine life without the lottery. Maybe this story is really about how we do things just because we are used to doing them, and how horrible...