Hoyle's Games, Improved And Enlarged - online book

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58                  FRENCH LOTTERY.
justly merit the severest prohibitory measures on the part of the French government. But this is not the case, nor is it one that comes within the range of probability, seeing that there are four different lotteries in France, viz. Paris Lille, Strasbourg, and Bourdeaux, each of which are drawn three times in a month. Accordingly, it may so happen that considerable sums are staked upon the terne, while comparatively little or no­thing has been staked upon the other chances. In the event of the first coming up, the sum the bank would have to pay would be immense; thus, al­though the chances in favour of the bank, it must be admitted, are very great, it nevertheless runs a considerable risk, and it is in compensation of this risk that it appears equitable to accord it some advantage. To determine the just measure of this compensation is, however, impossible ; for although, mathematically speaking, it is the same thing to play one million against one hundred thousand francs, as one thousand francs against one hundred, yet it is not the same in a moral sense, because loss in the first instance would en­tail absolute ruin upon the player; while, in the second, it would be but comparatively trifling to a person of handsome fortune. It is under this point of view that we must consider the relative position of the public and the lottery, the former of whom plays but a limited stake, while that of the latter may be said to be unlimited. And al­though great as are the chances shewn by our analysis in favour of the bank, still it is on record that a lottery of this kind was once broken in Italy; while in France, the father of the present king, the celebrated Phillip Egalite, actually won a quine. It must, however, be remarked, that this extraordinary piece of good fortune, it is
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