The significance of the statement "lottery in June" is that it summarizes the beliefs of the characters in the short story "The Lottery." The characters believe holding a lottery in June results in a good harvest later in the year. The full saying is "lottery in June, corn be heavy soon." "The Lottery" was written by Shirley Jackson in 1948 and initially appeared in the New Yorker.
The story begins with residents of an unnamed rural town preparing for the annual lottery. As the time for the ritual nears, children gather stones and the adults gather around the town center. Two men, Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves, prepare a slip of paper for every resident and place the papers in a box. Only one slip of paper has a black mark.
The lottery begins with all men over the age of 16 taking one slip of paper. Next, women and children select a piece of paper. A woman named Tessie chooses the slip of paper with the black mark. Consequently, the townspeople stone her to death. They believe this is a sacrifice necessary to ensure a good harvest.
The story initially received harsh criticism due to the violent nature of the story. Many people wrote the New Yorker and threatened to cancel their subscriptions. However, over time the story has appeared in a number of publications.