Playing With / Lottery of Doom

Basic Trope: A lottery where the winner has something horrible done to them, typically involving their death.
  • Straight: The little village of Saverton holds a special lottery every year; the winner is tossed down Saverton's only well as a Human Sacrifice.
  • Exaggerated: The Empire regularly holds a lottery in all of its towns and villages; the winners are rounded up and brought to the capital for a special audience with Emperor Evulz... Nobody ever returns.
  • Downplayed: The winner has to strip naked, paint themselves puce, and run around insulting themself.
  • Justified:
    • The citizens of Saverton believe that the well is protected by a guardian spirit who is strengthened by the sacrifices; they fear that if they don't honor it, the well will dry up. The lottery is a "fair" way to select the new sacrifice.
    • The lottery is used as a means of population control.
  • Inverted: A lottery selects one person of a village. Everyone who is NOT picked lives a life of luxury, and nothing at all happens to the winner.
  • Subverted:
    • Saverton has a lottery every year and Andrea wins it and ends up in the middle of town tied to an altar. The heroes move in to disrupt the ritual and it turns out the lottery is chosen to determine who gets their their potential awakened, determined randomly to help prevent conflict over who gets it.
    • The local culture treats this as a great honor. Everyone hopes that they win and they are immortalized in history.
  • Double Subverted: It turns out to have some side effects.
  • Parodied: The Lottery is a sort of televised event, complete with a hammy Game Show Host, and people get very excited knowing that they'll get a horrific death.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: It's just an ordinary win-the-lottery-get-a-financial-windfall lottery.
  • Enforced: "Let's have a lottery of doom. It'll be interesting."
  • Lampshaded: "You're just in time for our yearly lottery!" "We're going to die, aren't we?"
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: The mayor of Saverton refuses to have such a thing.
  • Discussed: "Listen, Mr. Spadeheart, this is no monetary lottery. This is a be-fed-to-the-Rain-God-to-avert-drought lottery."
  • Conversed: "All those poor girls think Emperor Evulz will, if not be faithful, at least keep the "winner" in luxury and comfort. From the screams behind that door a few scenes ago, however, it sounds like he makes Ted Bundy or Uday Hussein look decent by comparison."
  • Deconstructed: Naturally, not everyone who's eligible for the lottery wants to participate. More and more people refuse, leading to riots and an eventual upheaval of the whole system.
  • Reconstructed: To avoid riots, the lottery is secretly rigged so that those "chosen" are mainly malcontents and loners on the fringes of their society. Citizens are also taught that the system is fair, balanced and will benefit their society as a whole. This helps to keep any resistance movements from gaining traction.
  • Played For Laughs: The winner of the lottery has to put up with a month of hazing by everyone else. To his dismay, the local Butt-Monkey seems to win an awful lot...
  • Played For Drama: Our hero, Maya, is an ordinary citizen of The Empire just trying to keep her head down. Unfortunately, she wins the lottery and is sent to meet Emperor Evulz, having no idea just what happens to the winners summoned before him... only aware that it can't be anything good.

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