the lottery ticket summary



Chekhov’s story, “The Lottery Ticket“, begins with a middle-class man, whom is married, doing his daily activity of reading the newspaper on the couch of his home. His wife, Masha, requests that he check the numbers for the winning lottery ticket, as she had bought a ticket earlier that week. When Ivan, one of our mains character and husband, reads off the winning numbers, he does not bother to read off the second number that must match their ticket. They begin to fantasize what they would do with the money. Ivan suggests to buy a new estate in St. Martin, paying off any debts that they had, and to put the rest in savings. Masha talks about traveling abroad by herself. Ivan realizes in that moment that he, too, should think about himself. He begins to think that his wife is boring, plain, and not good enough for him. Hatred grows within him at the thought of his wife being stingy with the money, especially since she had bought the ticket and begins to grow a hatred for her in general. He finally looks down to see that the winning second number is “46” instead of “26”, their second number. They are both disappointed and Ivan begins to hate his entire surroundings, threatening suicide in the last line (Chekhov).

(Picture of St. Martin Island from


Our group believes that Chekhov expresses a life lesson of greed and that money changes things. As soon as both Ivan and Masha begin to think selfishly about the money, they get greedy and everything falls apart, ending with Ivan threatening to commit suicide. Before the ticket, things seemed to be going smoothly and they were in love. As they both think about the money, Ivan especially, thinks about how his wife isn’t good enough for him anymore with the idea of him having money to his name.

The Lottery Ticket” is in short story form. Chekhov effectively uses dialogue throughout it, showing us the emotion that Ivan and Masha have. When they are excitedly talking about all the fun things that they plan to do with all the money, Chekhov uses appropriate punctuation by using exclamation points. He also uses punctuation to show the hesitation behind Ivan’s voice with an ellipsis, such as when he leaves the room to think about his wife going abroad without him and he says: “Wait, wait! …” (Chekhov). Chekhov contrasts long paragraphs with short dialogue between the characters. Such as, when he talks about why Ivan doesn’t partake in the lottery. Following this long paragraph is five lines of short dialogue exchanged between Ivan and Masha (Chekhov).

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The plot of the story climaxes when the hatred for one another comes to surface. Greed is demonstrated throughout the short story. Ivan announces the ticket does not match the winning number in a way to annoy his wife, Masha. In the end, Ivan realizes what harm their thoughts have caused, and he contemplates suicide.


The setting of the short story takes place in the home owned by, what we learn, is a middle class couple. Chekhov writes: “…was very well satisfied with his lot, sat down on the sofa after supper and began reading the newspaper…” (Chekhov). Which makes the reader believe he is fine with where his life is financially.


Chekhov’s short story is a second person perspective, with Ivan and Masha Dmitritch as the main characters. We learn that they are a middle-class couple that live in a modest home. Masha seems to be the stereotypical woman of the time period it was written, the late 1880’s, because she stays home and cleans and cooks. Ivan seems to be the bread-winner that partakes in set routine daily, and does not venture far from it. We foreshadow this from the line “sat down on the sofa after dinner and began to read the newspaper” and “Ivan Dmitritch had no faith in the lottery” which leads us to believe that he is obviously not gambler, like his wife (Chekhov).


Although there is not much figurative language throughout “The Lottery Ticket”, we do see a couple examples. At one point Chekhov says that Ivan smiles “like a baby when a bright object is shown it.” Chekhov also uses personification when he says that Masha eye’s seem to say “It’s very nice making daydreams at other people’s expense!” We also came to believe that the last line is a hyperbole, when Ivan says “I shall go and hang myself on the first aspen-tree!”


The lottery ticket is a symbol of Greed. Ivan and Masha are living a happy life. Ivan is not a fan of the lottery, but his wife is. When he realizes they could possibly be winners, he begins dreaming of all the things he would do with the money. Greed takes over and he becomes angry with his wife when she mentions she would like to travel alone. In the end, they realize they do not have a winning ticket, and the excitement turns to an extreme depression as Ivan contemplates suicide.

(Picture from


After analyzing the plot, theme, figurative language, setting, and characters, we come to believe that Chekhov’s theme is still greed and money changes things. The evidence is evident, especially when the hatred between the two grows as they think more and more about the money. When they realize that they haven’t won, Chekhov tells us that Ivan’s hatred and disappointment towards his wife diminishes immediately and it turns in a depression about his currently lifestyle, showing us that even though the money was not physically in their hand, it still changed their emotions and thought process (Chekhov).

SUMMARY Chekhov's story, "The Lottery Ticket", begins with a middle-class man, whom is married, doing his daily activity of reading the newspaper on the couch of his home. His wife, Masha, requests that he check the numbers for the winning lottery ticket, as she had bought a ticket earlier that week. When Ivan, one of… ]]>