Here’s a look at three early lottery tickets, including two that were earmarked to generate funds to build the Washington Canal… a project that never quite lived up to expectations. After just a few decades of moderate use, the whole canal was paved over bit by bit.

Rhode Island State Lottery (1826)

Rhode-Island State Lottery, Third Class

THIS TICKET will entitle the bearer to ONE QUARTER of such PRIZE as may be drawn to its letter and number, in the third Class of Rhode-Island State Lottery, for the benefit of Buck Hill road, if demanded within twelve months after the drawing. Subject to fifteen percent deduction. Payable forty days after the drawing. Providence, R I. 1826.

THIRD CLASS B :4874:

Maryland & Rhode Island State Lottery (1826)

Washington Canal & Rhode Island state lottery. Class No. ONE, for 1826

THIS TICKET will entitle the holder to one QUARTER of such prize as may be drawn by its numbers, if demanded within twelve months after the drawing, Subject to a deduction of fifteen per cent. Payable forty days after the drawing. — Washington City, 1826.

Register #32335; Combination 31:14:15:

Maryland: Washington Canal Lottery (1820)

By authority of Congress, and of the state of Maryland. Washington canal lottery.

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THIS TICKET will entitle the Bearer to such prize as may be drawn to its number, if demanded within twelve months after the drawing is finished; subject to a deduction of fifteen per cent. PAYABLE sixty days after the completion of the drawing. Washington City, June, 1820.


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