Many people would consider actual live babies to be the strangest "prizes" ever to be raffled. According to an article published in a 1912 issue of Popular Mechanics, a Paris hospital for orphaned children held a lottery of babies in 1911. The raffle was conducted with the approval of the Parisian authorities as a way to raise money for several charitable organizations and to find homes for the orphaned babies. However, successful raffle entrants had to pass an investigation and be deemed desirable as foster parents before they could take home the bundles of joy they had won.
More about lotteries:
- The Netherlands holds the record for the longest-running lottery, which began back in 1726.
- The construction of the Great Wall of China in 100 BC is thought to have been partly funded by the proceeds from an ancient lottery.
- Gambling was made legal in Nevada in 1931 as a way to help the state recover from the economic fallout of the Great Depression.