To raise funds for the creation of Hampden-Sydney College, the original Board of Trustees held a lottery, not unlike recent efforts to raise money for the football team. However, most of the original lottery tickets were lost to time until Shaunna Hunter-McKinney, public services librarian at the College, found 13 of them in an envelope that was moved from the old Eggleston Library to Bortz Library.
The tickets are now sealed in protective cases designed to hold baseball cards, but they work very well for the similarly sized lottery tickets.
Cy Dillon, Director of the Library and College Computing, says the tickets were sold for five dollars apiece—a tremendous sum in 1777—with a majority of the ticket sales to be dispersed as prize money.
The newly found tickets feature the signatures of many notable trustees, including William Cabell and Col. James Morton, the eponym of Morton Hall.
To the delight of historians and librarians, the tickets have been properly cataloged, never to be lost again.