Grand Christmas Draw

It’s Christmas day, and I thought I’d share a wee thing of interest that came my way this week. I was a graduate student at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland from 1999 to 2002, and during that time I purchased a great deal of my clothes at thrift shops around the town — it definitely made the pounds/dollars stretch quite a bit more. In addition to clothes, these shops sold used books, and I sometimes couldn’t resist picking one or two up. One of those was Watership Down, a children’s book about rabbits at war (really!) that I had loved as a kid. I happened to pick it up from my bookshelf the other day. I leafed through it, curious to see how long I might have to wait until I can read it to my now two-and-a-half year old son. Inside, I found a bit of history in the form of the following raffle ticket for the Edinburgh Wanderers rugby union team, from 1978:

Edinburgh Wanderers 1978 Raffle Ticket

It turns out that the Edinburgh Wanderers is no more: they merged with Murrayfield RFC to become the Murrayfield Wanderers RFC in 1997. They play at Murrayfield Stadium, which I biked past from time to time on my way to rent cars to take out into the Scottish Highlands (one of the many great things about living and studying in Edinburgh).

I love the second and third prizes, and the “etc., etc.” reduplication. What is a “giant food hamper” anyway?! Exactly how big is “giant” in that context? And a gallon of whisky doesn’t sound like a bad third prize, depending on which distillery made it. It might not have been too shabby, given that 100 pounds in 1978 would be worth 450 to 750 pounds today. Some Caol Ila, perhaps?

I can only presume that this ticket was not a winner and was thus relegated to being a bookmark… I’ll be happy to keep using it as such for myself now.

With that, I simply say: a very Merry Christmas and a Grand Christmas Draw to all!

Author: jasonbaldridge

Co-founder of People Pattern and Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. My primary specialization is computational linguistics and my core research interests are formal and computational models of syntax, probabilistic models of both syntax and discourse structure, and machine learning for natural language tasks in general.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *