University Archives


Three Early Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Pennsylvania Lottery Tickets

A group of four 18th century lottery tickets, which were sold to raise funds for various local needs. Such lotteries were commonplace to raise money for building projects but had to be sanctioned by the state. Each ticket was hand-numbered and printed in a series of “classes”, one through six. All tickets possess light to moderate toning throughout, with uneven edges. Includes:

Furnace-Unity Bridge Lottery. 1p, measuring 3.25" x 1.5", Colony of Rhode Island, dated March 1763. A Third Class ticket, numbered "497." Signed by Stephen Whipple. Entitling the bearer to the prize, "if demanded within Six Months." Intricate black-bordered decoration.

Massachusetts State Lottery. 1p, measuring 4.5" x 3", Massachusetts, dated March 2, 1790. A Second Class ticket numbered "2005". Signed by Samuel Cooper. Entitles the Bearer to receive the prize drawn against its number. Intricate black-bordered decoration.

Pennsylvania Bridge Lottery. 1p, measuring 5.5" x 2.5", State of Pennsylvania, dated May 4, 1796. Numbered "1969", signed by John Spisker. Authorized by Law of the State of PENNSYLVANIA, for building a Stone Bridge over the River Schuylkill, at the Borough of Reading. Intricate black-bordered decoration.

Lexington Lottery No. One. 1p, measuring 6.75" x 2.25", Lexington, Virginia, dated February 23, 1803. Numbered "4218". Signed by William Caruthers. Intricate black-bordered decoration. Each lottery ticket has varying degrees of toning, soiling, and foxing. Some wear and chipping at the edges.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000