In 1693 Thomas Neale, groom porter to their majesties, organised a lottery that offered to its lucky winner a prize of £3,000. The scheme proved a great success, encouraging a variety of entrepreneurs to float similar projects. Indeed, by 1698 lotteries that offered tickets costing as little as one penny allowed all but the most destitute to indulge in dreams of wealth. Although these schemes may be seen as a mere manifestation of the contemporary love of gambling and games of chance, this article argues that they can also reveal much about the nature and progress of the financial revolution.
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