The Colonial Public Lottery

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Lotteries were nothing new to Britain’s North American colonies in the mid-1700s, but the Sandy Hook lighthouse fundraiserwas significant for two reasons. The enormity of it—three drawings over roughly three years—required newspapers, colonial managers and royal administrators to work more closely together than ever before. Also, it’s success was one of the main catalysts for Britain to later rescind permission for colonies to hold their own lotteries. Eventually, Revolutionaries cited this directive as an example of British suppression of the colonies’ economic independence, adding fuel to the fire that became the War of Independence.