Madison v. Vaughan

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First page of the opinion Madison v. Vaughan, in Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, by Daniel Call. Richmond: R. I. Smith, 1833.

Madison v. Vaughan, 9 Va. (5 Call) 562 (1805),[1] was about a mistake in a lottery drawing put on by the College of William & Mary.


On January 9, 1804, the legislature allowed commissioners to raise money through a lottery to benefit William and Mary college. The lottery was advertised so that each ticket holder would receive the prize on his ticket and the person to draw the last ticket was entitled to a $10,000 prize. At the end of the drawing it found that one ticket with a $10,000 prize was claimed to be worth only $500. In addition, instead of placing 8000 tickets in the number wheel only 7999 were included. Lastly, it was also discovered that an additional blank ticket was put in the prize wheel than what ought to have been. Vaughan was the owner of a prize winning ticket. After realizing the faults with the lottery, Vaughn sued Madison, the president of William and Mary college, as well as the commissioners to recover the sum owed to him.

The Court's Decision

Chancellor Wythe decreed that the college and commissioners pay Vaughn. The defendants appealed. After reviewing the case, the Court of Appeals stated that the lottery should be redrawn and reversed Wythe’s decision.

See also


  1. Daniel Call, Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Court of Appeals in Virginia, (Richmond: R. I. Smith, 1833), 5:562.