Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/31

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carrier, to carry the holder according to its terms. The defendant issued the obligation, received the consideration, and became liable for performance at the date of issue. As transferee, the plaintiff claimed performance. This is the contract which is the basis of the cause of action.” The Supreme Court of Arkansas, by Cockrill, C.J., lately said, “The carrier selling the ticket was the agent of the appellant for that purpose, and the coupon attached for the appellant’s road was a contract by appellant as binding as if issued by its agent here.”[1] The Court of Virginia made an ingenious compromise with the old theory:[2] “A passenger’s ticket is both a receipt and a contract. It is the acknowledgment of the receipt of the passenger’s fare, and the obligation to carry him for the purposes and upon the terms specified.”

It seems to be settled, therefore, that railroad tickets, like other kinds of ticket, are now recognized as contracts. This is the most obvious way in which to distinguish a ticket from a mere receipt. As the distinction is an important one it may be well to treat it more at large, and in connection with various sorts of ticket.

A lottery ticket, properly so called, is a contract, conferring on the bearer the right to a chance in the drawing when that occurs. Consequently, after the drawing occurs, if the number of the ticket draws a blank the bearer has no further rights; and if it draws a prize the ticket becomes evidence of the bearer’s right to get the money. In the latter case, however, the right to receive the money does not result from the purchase of the ticket, but from the drawing. After the prize is drawn the amount of it is held in trust, as a specific fund, for the holder of the lucky ticket, who can enforce his right by a common money count. The right conferred by the ticket is only to have a chance in the drawing; and after the drawing the ticket is no longer a ticket, properly so called, but a mere receipt.

Another example of what in form was a lottery ticket, but in fact a mere receipt, is found in two English cases.[3] The English statute forbidding lotteries had put an end to legal lotteries, and, of course, to all the customs of the lottery business. But certain persons devised a means of evading the statute. A number of men met and deposited each a certain sum of money; and cards (mis-


  1. Ry. Co. v. Dean, 43 Ark. 529; and see 47 Ind. 79; 7 East. Rep. 838.
  2. Lacy, J., in R. R. Co. v. Ashby, 79 Va. 130, 133.
  3. Jones v. Carter, 8 Q.B. 134; Allport v. Nutt, 1 C. B. 974.