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This Day in Georgia History

October 22, 1832

Cherokee Land Lottery Began

In Milledgeville, then state capital of Georgia, the Cherokee land lottery began. In the first part, approximately 85,000 Georgians were competing for 18,309 160-acre land lots, while in part two of the lottery, 133,000 participants were in the drawing for 35,000 40-acre gold lots. Lottery participants had filled out registration tickets at their county seat, and these had been forwarded to Milledgeville. For the lottery, the registration tickets were placed in one large wooden drum. In a second drum were land lot tickets plus a sufficient number of blank tickets to equal the number of names in the lottery. Simultaneously, tickets were drawn from each barrel. Just under than one in four lottery participants became a “fortunate drawer” - that is, one who was fortunate enough to have his name drawn for a land lot. The ratio would be about the same in the lottery for gold lots.