|Date(s):||March 8, 1821|
|Location(s):||CHARLESTON, South Carolina|
|Tag(s):||Arts/Leisure, Economy, Education|
|Course:||“Rise And Fall of the Slave South,” University of Virginia|
Betting during the earlier decades of the nineteenth century was remarkably more popular among southern citizens than among citizens of the northern states. Although forms of gambling were less common up north, it was a prevalent facet of southern society in 1821. While New Orleans proved to be the major gambling center in the south, even rural South Carolinians were likely to bet on cards, dice, dominoes, billiards, cockfights, state lotteries, horse races, and other activities. In Charleston, advertisements concerning the potential winnings and dates of lottery drawings occupied half page spreads in the city paper.
One of the earliest established state lotteries in the country, revenue from the South Carolina State Lottery was designated for education funding throughout the state. In March of 1821 the South Carolina State Lottery drawing held the potential to collect some of the largest cash prizes offered at the time. Totaling 300,700.00, the potential winnings ranged from one drawing of 100,000.00 to twelve drawings of 50.00 each. The grand prize of 100,000.00 was considerably larger than most, if not all, of the surrounding region's grand prize drawings.