John Ward Wins the Lottery

(From The New Annual Register, or General Repository of History, Politics, and Literature, for the Year 1783 (London, 1784), "Principal Occurrences in December 1783", pp. 64-65.)

One of the 20,000l. prizes of the lottery was the property of Mr. Ward, of Gibraltar, and major Duff, an officer of the garrison — The circumstance which led to their good fortune is somewhat amusing. As Mr. Ward was taking his leave of his friends at Gibraltar, major Duff said, that he should quickly follow him, for (says he) we shall sail before the first of September. Not so soon as that (says Mr. Ward). I'll bet you a handsome entertainment for ourselves and friends (says the major) that we do. Done (says Mr. Ward), I'll lay you do not. The first of September came, but no relief for the major. He thereupon wrote to Mr. Ward, now in London, to say that he had lost his wager; but to enable him to pay for a handsome treat, he begged of him to buy a lottery ticket, and if you approve of the connection (says the major) buy two, and we will go halves in their fate. Mr. Ward approved of the major's proposal, and one of the two tickets came up a 20,000l.—The same day that this good fortune occurred, Mr. Ward received news of the major's safe arrival at Plymouth, to whom he dispatched an express with the news.

content last revised 26 Dec 2010