"Well, now." Mr. Summers said soberly, "guess we better get started, get this over with, so's we can go back to work. Anybody ain't here?"
Exposition: "The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." The story begins light and happy, making it seem as though it is a normal village. The children are making a pile of rocks and all the people are gathering around Mr. Summers as he gets sworn in and the routine of the lottery begins.
"Clean forgot what day it was." Mrs. Hutchinson said as she arrived.
"All ready?" he called. "Now, I'll read the names--heads of families first--and the men come up and take a paper out of the box. Keep the paper folded in your hand without looking at it until everyone has had a turn. Everything clear?"
Mr.Summers begins the lottery by calling the heads of houses up to the box, where they draw a piece of paper. The air was filled with tension and all the townspeople seemed anxious to get it over with.
"Pack of crazy fools. Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them.... There's always been a lottery,"
"...Over in the north village they're talking of giving up the lottery."
Once everyone had gotten a slip of paper they unfolded them. The Hutchinson's had the paper with the black dot on it. Mrs. Hutchinson claimed that it wasn't fair and that he had rushed him. They ignored this telling her to be a good sport and continued the event.
"You didn't give him time enough to take the paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!"
"Be a good sport, Tessie."
They recollected the slips of paper and put five back into the black box. Each member of the Hutchinson family drew from the box, keeping it folded until they had all retrieved a slip of paper.
"I think we ought to start over. I tell you it wasn't fair. You didn't give him time enough to choose."
Then, one by one, each member of the family opened their slip of paper. Dave's was blank. Bill Jr. and Nancy's were blank. Lastly, Bill opened his and it was blank. Bill took Tessie's slip and opened it, revealing the black dot.
"I hope it's not Nancy."
"It isn't fair, it isn't right!"
"Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones." The villagers each got a stone and stoned Tessie to death. "Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her. ... A stone hit her on the side of the head."