Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/32

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called tickets) were prepared, each bearing the name of a horse entered for the Derby. A card was then drawn for each man, and the whole deposit went to the men who drew the cards bearing the names of the winners of the Derby. As a matter of fact the Derby had not taken place when the cards were drawn; but that did not alter the legal nature of the transaction. The card was not like a lottery ticket, for the drawing had taken place; it was a mere voucher to show who was entitled to the money. The one who drew the card would have been entitled to receive his prize just as much if the cards had been destroyed as soon as the drawing was completed. It was rightly held, therefore, that one of these cards could not be transferred so as to bring the transferee into privity with the company.

A theatre ticket is a contract securing the right of admission to a place of amusement. But the coupon, which is detached and retained by the bearer of the ticket, is a mere voucher, showing a right that has already accrued to the holder. At the moment the bearer presents his ticket for admission his right to the seat designated by the coupon accrues; and the coupon is, therefore, a voucher to prove a present right, rather than a contract to secure a future one.

The most important distinctions, however, are those connected with railroad tickets. A railroad ticket, properly so called, is a contract obliging the railroad company to receive the bearer as a passenger. But when once the bearer is so received the obligation is satisfied, and all further rights of the passenger are secured by the custom of carriers, not by the ticket. The conductor should, therefore, cancel the ticket as soon as it is presented to him; and from that moment the ticket becomes (like the coupon on a theatre ticket) a mere voucher, held by the passenger for the convenience, chiefly, of the conductor, to show that the passenger is rightfully on the cars. It is precisely similar in effect to a conductor’s check, or the receipt given to a passenger who pays his money in the cars. Such an instrument, as one will easily see, is not a contract, but a mere receipt.[1] That a ticket once cancelled ceases to be a ticket, and becomes a mere receipt, is recognized by the courts. In Auerbach v. R.R. Co.,[2] Earl, J., said, “When the plaintiff entered the train at Rochester on the afternoon of the 26th of September and presented his ticket and it was accepted and punched,

  1. Breen v. R. R. Co., 50 Tex. 43.
  2. 89 N. Y. 281.