The Lottery is a short story by Shirley Jackson, first published in the June 26, 1948 issue of The New Yorker. Written the same month it was published, it is ranked today as "one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature". It has been described as "a chilling tale of conformity gone mad."
Response to the story was negative, surprising Jackson and The New Yorker. Readers canceled subscriptions and sent hate mail throughout the summer. The story was banned in the Union of South Africa. Since then, it has been accepted as a classic American short story, subject to critical interpretations and media adaptations, and it has been taught in middle schools and high schools for decades since its publication.