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The Real Life "Get Out Of Jail Free" Card And Why England Sold Them

A man arrested in Dakota County, Minnesota last weekend made national headlines, not because of what he was arrested for, but for what he did when cops found him.

The suspect had been wanted for a controlled substance charge, and he must have known his days as a free man were numbered. Before cops tracked him down, he stashed something away - just in case. In a Facebook post, the local sheriff's department revealed he was carrying a "Get of Out Jail Free" card from the board game Monopoly on himself at all times.

We appreciate the humor! Deputy Vai arrested a gentleman this weekend on an outstanding warrant. He carried this Monopoly card just in case. "A" for effort!

Posted by Dakota County Sheriff's Office on Monday, June 26, 2017

While they "appreciate the humor," it seems the special card doesn't work in real life, and the crook was booked.

Surprisingly, this isn't the first time a wanted man tried to avoid jail time by presenting the card from the popular board game. In 1967, after an international manhunt to track down check forger James Ringrose - one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives - police found him carrying one of the cards.

And just last year, a protester sabotaging an oil pipeline in Ohio had a Get Out of Jail card in his pocket when police found him. While these criminals were all having a bit of fun, and the idea of a free pass to commit crimes seems like a dumb idea, there was a real Get Out of Jail Free card, and anyone could buy it.

Click the next page to learn about the card!

Way back in 1567, the queen of England, Elizabeth I, was trying to raise money to update and supply the Royal Navy - which didn't come cheap. As a way to earn cash fast, she introduced England's first nationwide lottery, with an enormous £5,000 prize - including some "good linen cloth." This wasn't the kind of lottery we know today, where anyone could buy a ticket with the chance of winning a huge prize.

You had to pay 10 shillings just to play, which was a huge sum back then.

To encourage England's wealthiest to cough up the money, every lottery ticket was also a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

Owning a ticket to the lottery protected anyone from being punished for all but the harshest crimes. Aside from murder, piracy (as in pirates on ships, not copying movies on the internet) and other felonies, ticket holders could do what they like without being punished.

There's no word on what the ticket holders got up to once they owned the cards, and the lottery was actually very unpopular, so very few tickets were sold.

It's undeniable that tickets like these would sell like hotcakes today, but it's probably for the best if a game of Monopoly is the only place you can buy a "Get Out Of Jail" card.

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