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The title of this story implies both winning and chance, and it seems that neither one of the expectations set up by the title is fulfilled. Certainly, one doesn't "win" this lottery; there is no joy in drawing the marked paper from the black box. However, what seems much more ambiguous is how random this drawing really is. It's clear that Tessie Hutchinson is, well, different. She is late to the drawing because she...

The title of this story implies both winning and chance, and it seems that neither one of the expectations set up by the title is fulfilled. Certainly, one doesn't "win" this lottery; there is no joy in drawing the marked paper from the black box. However, what seems much more ambiguous is how random this drawing really is. It's clear that Tessie Hutchinson is, well, different. She is late to the drawing because she "'clean forgot what day it was.'" She says that she thought her husband was just working in the back yard, and it's curious that he would have left for the lottery without fetching her to go with him. Isn't it?

Then, when Mr. Summers remarked on her lateness, she talks back to him a bit. The crowd chuckles in what seems like a good-natured way, but when Tessie ultimately pulls the marked slip of paper from the box, one might begin to wonder if they were chuckling because they like Tessie or because some, perhaps, understood that it would be Tessie who would "win" the lottery that day. There even seems to be a little teasing of Mr. Hutchinson when others tell him, "'Here comes your Missus, Hutchinson,'" or "'Bill, she made it after all.'" To say the latter seems to imply that there had been some discussion of Tessie before she arrived. Can it be coincidence that the most outspoken woman, a woman whose neglect of the lottery seems to be well-known, a woman with a smart retort for Mr. Summers, is the one who draws the marked paper? It seems unlikely.

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