Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
The time is now 9:28 am
You last visited October 31, 2014, 9:21 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Cuban lottery system turns common words into numbers

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Cuban lottery system turns common words into numbers
52
Rating:

If you dream about a big fish, and then see a man on a bicycle when you walk outside to get the paper, be sure to play the lottery numbers 1-0-5-2.

That's La Charada, a system of associating everyday objects with numbers that has taken root in South Florida.

"It's a Cuban tradition," said 68-year-old Juan Campos as he bought a Play 4 ticket on Wednesday at Navarro Discount Pharmacy in Pembroke Pines.

Pescada grande, he explained, is 10. Bicicleta is 52.

The tradition goes back to the 1800s, when Chinese laborers arrived in Cuba following the abolition of slavery. The laborers brought with them "La Charada China," a drawing of a man whose body is covered with symbols, animals and their corresponding numbers.

The Cubans created their own version of the system, and both are used today in South Florida. The numbers run from 1 through 100. (The number 100 is often used for the number "00" — zero.)

The lottery counter at Navarro Discount Pharmacy in Pembroke Pines sees a steady flow of players, many of whom have heard of La Charada.

"For people who enjoy and can afford the lottery, it's something we offer," Navarro Pharmacy VP Cristy Leon-Rivero said. "It's people just having fun, and for some, that's following La Charada."

Leon-Rivero said her grandparents used La Charada in Cuba when they, like many people in the country, played the illegal lottery game known as "La Bolita" (litte ball).

"I mainly remember that if they saw a cockroach, they played the number 5," she said. "It was part superstition and part an attempt to give meaning to everyday life."

Cubans use "La Charada" to keep them connected to their heritage, said Daniel Diaz, co-owner of Government Discount, which was No. 4 in the state in lottery sales for 2011. He pasted the Chinese version of La Charada to one lottery window, and said most of his staff knows the drill quite well.

"But one day, we had a new girl in, and a customer came up and said, 'Give me a drunken prostitute,' " he said. "She was quite offended."

The regular woman at the window simply would have punched 4-9 for "borracho" and 1-2 for "ramera."

Meanwhile, Campos, who had dreamed of a big fish, came up empty Wednesday night. The numbers were 2-4-5-4. That'd be a pigeon ("paloma") and flowers ("flores").

Had he hit, he'd have celebrated. But hopefully not so much as to attract No. 50: la policia.

•  •  •  •  •    •  •

Lottery Post has a new Mystical Lottery Charts section, and the first chart included is a La Charada Chart.  Lottery players can look up numbers and the Spanish words, with English translations.

Sun Sentinel, Lottery Post Staff

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

19 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by sully16.
Page 1 of 2
RedStang's avatar - threefin zpsd48411ab.jpg
Dutchess NY
United States
Member #121966
January 21, 2012
2688 Posts
Offline
Posted: June 2, 2012, 1:36 am - IP Logged

I like this game. In America the numbers for a red mustang would be 5.0.

    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
    United States
    Member #73904
    April 28, 2009
    14903 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: June 2, 2012, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

    I dream of Jack Daniels all the time.

    In a 1.75 Liter bottle.

    Even when I'm awake.

    I find this to be very curious to say the least.


                                                 
                         
                                             

     

     

     

     

                                                                                                       

    "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                --Edmund Burke

     

     

      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
      Zeta Reticuli Star System
      United States
      Member #30470
      January 17, 2006
      9124 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: June 2, 2012, 1:30 pm - IP Logged

      This should get a lot of hits, thanks for posting it Todd & staff, & the new section.

      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

      Lep

      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

        eddessaknight's avatar - nw paladin.jpg
        LAS VEGAS
        United States
        Member #47729
        November 22, 2006
        2997 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: June 2, 2012, 3:22 pm - IP Logged

        This should get a lot of hits, thanks for posting it Todd & staff, & the new section.

        Perhaps Ancient Chinese game of keno ala Cuba ???

         

        EddessaKnight

          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30470
          January 17, 2006
          9124 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: June 2, 2012, 3:37 pm - IP Logged

          Edessaknight,

          The original game of Keno had 80 characters of the Chinese alphabet - there are tens of thousands - it's said most Chinese never learn their whole alphabet.

          Most people played their names.

          Keno helped finance the Great Wall of China.

          I can't remember where I saw it, but I've seen the figure mentioned in the OP, maybe in an old dream book.

          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

          Lep

          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

            TigerAngel's avatar - tiger andfairy.jpg
            california
            United States
            Member #23475
            October 13, 2005
            659 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: June 2, 2012, 10:14 pm - IP Logged

            Way cool! Thanx for the addition to the site. I've had good luck looking up dreams to get numbers in LA SMORPHIA - The Italian Book of Dreams.

            Blue Angel  "if you can hold it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand"

              crazya305's avatar - Lottery-044.jpg
              florida
              United States
              Member #117796
              October 14, 2011
              1828 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: June 2, 2012, 11:21 pm - IP Logged

              This is so awesome. I remember my dad and mom use to play this everyday. My parents from Haiti and they enjoy playing their numbers. Enjoy

                maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

                United States
                Member #124621
                March 16, 2012
                1492 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: June 3, 2012, 12:44 am - IP Logged

                I dream of Jack Daniels all the time.

                In a 1.75 Liter bottle.

                Even when I'm awake.

                I find this to be very curious to say the least.

                Ya know... even with a bottle o' Jack if someone came up to me and asked me for a 'drunken prostitute' (with me being the clerk) I would have simply stood there and blinked... and then started giggling.

                  Avatar
                  Indiana
                  United States
                  Member #120723
                  December 26, 2011
                  47 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: June 3, 2012, 8:47 am - IP Logged

                  Why is Leon in there??? Lion is another number.


                    United States
                    Member #111446
                    May 25, 2011
                    6323 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: June 3, 2012, 8:59 am - IP Logged

                    Edessaknight,

                    The original game of Keno had 80 characters of the Chinese alphabet - there are tens of thousands - it's said most Chinese never learn their whole alphabet.

                    Most people played their names.

                    Keno helped finance the Great Wall of China.

                    I can't remember where I saw it, but I've seen the figure mentioned in the OP, maybe in an old dream book.

                    Interestingly, there are many Americans who have yet to learn their whole English alphabet.  Jack-in-the-Box

                      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                      Chief Bottle Washer
                      New Jersey
                      United States
                      Member #1
                      May 31, 2000
                      21590 Posts
                      Online
                      Posted: June 3, 2012, 9:06 am - IP Logged

                      Why is Leon in there??? Lion is another number.

                      "Leon" in number 8 was actually a translation error, and has been fixed to "Lion".  Some words are indeed listed more than once -- for example, money.

                       

                      Check the State Lottery Report Card
                      What grade did your lottery earn?

                       

                      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                        Zeta Reticuli Star System
                        United States
                        Member #30470
                        January 17, 2006
                        9124 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: June 3, 2012, 9:54 am - IP Logged

                        Interestingly, there are many Americans who have yet to learn their whole English alphabet.  Jack-in-the-Box

                        Good one mcginnin56!

                        I found this a little odd - for the number 12:

                        Ramera, Mujer Santa, Viaje, Toallas, Cometa, Dama, Perro GrandeProstitute, Holy Women, Travel, Towels, Comet, Lady, Big Dog

                        Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                        Lep

                        There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                          Artist77's avatar - batman14

                          United States
                          Member #121750
                          January 16, 2012
                          3288 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: June 3, 2012, 12:30 pm - IP Logged

                          Good one mcginnin56!

                          I found this a little odd - for the number 12:

                          Ramera, Mujer Santa, Viaje, Toallas, Cometa, Dama, Perro GrandeProstitute, Holy Women, Travel, Towels, Comet, Lady, Big Dog

                          This is pretty fun.  I like to garden so I am picking numbers related to bulbs, butterflies, etc.

                           

                          For # 12--Maybe it refers to Mary Magdelene (although there is some debate about her "profession.")

                            sully16's avatar - sharan
                            Listens to the wind
                            Michigan
                            United States
                            Member #81740
                            October 28, 2009
                            20075 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: June 3, 2012, 7:12 pm - IP Logged

                            Thats pretty cool, Thanks Todd.

                            There's only one US Flag