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Gentleman Spectator Thursday April 16, 1676

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An article found in the daily edition of the Spectator this day:


As the season progresses and there is talk of the foreign princesses returning home soon, there has been a marked increase in the speculation about which of these might become the next Queen of England. As with any speculation, it soon becomes sport. Word around London is that there is a swell of wagering on this very topic. Maybe it is the absence of any horse races or other suitable sport at the moment to satisfy that need. Wagers are being placed in back alleys, ale houses, laundries, and posh gentlemen's clubs. In search of a place to make your wager? It seems that His Majesty has deigned to grant a patent to the well-regarded Earl of Basildon to sponsor a royal lottery on the topic.


The new Treasurer of the Royal Household, we are told, is finalizing the terms of the lottery, which will be announced soon. As best as we can glean, a gentleman or lady may purchase any number of lottery tickets for any, or all, princess that has visited London. Once a betrothal is signed and announced, those holding tickets for that princess will be placed in a drawing. The winner will gain a large sum of gold, public acclaim, and there is a whisper of a special award of a royal office. We have been assured that some of the proceeds will be donated to a memorial statue to honor the late Queen Catherine. We expect complete details to be released any day now.


As readers are likely aware, the King awards patents for lotteries from time to time to worthy lords, and for worthy causes. His Majesty is to be applauded for his well-known sense of sport. It permits the gentry to avoid unscrupulous "bookmakers" and to show their support for one or more candidates for Queen. It promises to surpass a wager on horses, cards, or dice.

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