Colonial Lottery: Massachusetts Ticket
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Colonial Lottery Ticket Index
A Ticket from the First Colonial Lottery: the 1744/45 Massachusetts Government Lottery
Description: Indented ticket, numbered 796, dated1744, "Massachusetts Government Lottery." Signed by Samuel Watts, who was one of the five lottery directors. The reverse is blank.
Dimensions: 30mm x 97mm. Standard measurements from these hand cut items without borders is not possible. Hopefully the following will be of some assistance for basic comparative dimensions. From the signature line of the previous ticket, which appears as an incomplete line on the top margin of this ticket, to the signature line on this ticket is 28mm. From the edge of the inner marginal design (near the M in Massachusetts) to the outer edge is 74mm. The length of the phrase "Massachusetts Government" is 52mm, while the length of the signature line is just slightly over 51mm.
Comments: The year on the ticket is 1744 because the new year did not officially begin in Britain until the Incarnation of Christ which was celebrated on March 25th. Most individuals, insititutions and even the newspapers had long recognized and used January 1st as the date on which the new year started, but legally it was not until 1752 that England officially adopted January 1st as the first day of the new year. In modern dating, the lottery act was actually passed on January 9, 1745. Tickets were printed soon thereafter and sold over the next months. The actual drawing of the lots took place at Faneuil Hall in Boston beginning on Friday, June 7, 1745 and lasting, at least, through the following Tuesday and probably until June 15th or 16th.
Provenance: Acquired from the EANA, December 2, 1995, Mail Bid Auction, Lot 550. Purchased through the Robert H. Gore, Jr., Numismatic Endowment.
Description: Indented ticket, numbered 1889, dated 1744, "Massachusetts Government Lottery." Signed by Samuel Watts, who was one of the five lottery directors. The reverse is blank.
Dimensions: 1.25" x 4"
Courtesy of Early American Numismatic Auctions, Inc. Images used with permission from their on-line auction catalog for the auction of April 20, 1996, lot 620.