Lottery Scandal

Dublin Core


Lottery Scandal


In 1965, a group of men setup the American Sweepstakes Corporation and leased 6 acres of Palmyra. They intended to use the atolls international status (misunderstanding its sovereignty) to hold a lottery against the Kentucky Derby, which would normally be illegal on US soil.

Their plans were foiled in February (the derby was scheduled for May 1) and all members would later plead guilty to the charges. Their lease on Palmyra was canceled and all activities of the corporation ceased.

Perhaps the most interesting part of their plan was to submit a charter to the United Nations for Palmyra to be an independent state. Had they not been arrested early on, the plans for this might have moved forward, though its doubtful the charter would have been ratified.



Collection Items

2 Lottery Promoters Plead Guilt
This brief article gives an overview of the outcome to the 1965 court case wherein a small corporation attempted to use Palmyra as their base of operations for an illegal gambling operation. Specifically, holding a lottery against the outcome of the…

Official Denies Lottery Seeks the 'Quick Buck'
Detailed account of the foiled plans for an illegal lottery to be based on Palmyra. Gives some excellent details, including how the lottery would be structured and the poorly laid plans to create a non-profit front, based on the American Cancer…

Jury Hears Of Pacific Lottery Plan
Brief account of the failed American Sweepstakes Corporation and their efforts to use Palmyra as a base of operations to hold a lottery on the winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Pacific Based Lottery Raises Legality Issue
The first article published on the legal dispute of Palmyra's use as a base of operations for an international lottery. Details are given on the defendants and their grounds, as well as how the lottery tickets were to be sold and distributed.
View all 4 items