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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: $1,000 worth of stamps lands some luck for ‘Hobo Jim’

A soda fountain proprietor’s massive war stamp buy netted two prizes – though the payoff was not enough to balance his accounts. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A soda fountain proprietor’s massive war stamp buy netted two prizes – though the payoff was not enough to balance his accounts. (Spokesman-Review archives)

“Hobo Jim” – aka Henry James Paul, a soda fountain proprietor – was exceptionally lucky in a war savings stamp drawing at the Interstate Fair.

He won not just one prize, but two.

Perhaps that wasn’t so surprising, since he bought a lot of stamps.

“I bought $1,000 worth of them stamps,” he told the Spokane Daily Chronicle. “A whole bloomin’ thousand dollars’ worth. Maybe I’ve got some more prizes in that bunch of tickets. I only looked far enough to get them two big ones.”

A friend asked if he specifically asked for the winning numbers.

“Naw,” Hobo Jim said. “I just shoved the bloomin’ money across, and he handed me the tickets. My word! I can’t help thinking about myself.”

Hobo Jim was born in Dorsetshire, England – which explains the “bloomin’ ” – and had lived in Spokane for about eight or nine years.

The Chronicle said Hobo Jim was probably not yet aware of one particular rule, which is that no person can receive two prizes. One of the prizes was for $500, and the other was for $250.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1997: A public funeral was held for Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in London, six days after her death in a car crash in Paris.

2006: President George W. Bush acknowledged for the first time that the CIA was running secret prisons overseas and said tough interrogation had forced terrorist leaders to reveal plots to attack the United States and its allies.

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