“Bolita is a type of lottery game that was played across Florida. The most common variant consisted of one hundred balls placed in a bag, each painted with a number. They would be mixed up, and a winning ball would be drawn. The odds were 100 to one.” – Scott Dietche

Games were often rigged by a variety of methods, from freezing the balls to make them sink to duplicate numbers being added to increase the odds of a certain number coming out.

This strip was inspired by an excerpt from true crime author Scott Dietche’s book, Cigar City Mafia: A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld

Bootleggers, gambling, ringleaders, arsonists, narcotics dealers and gang murders―a variety of characters flourished in the era known as Prohibition, and Tampa, Florida was where they battled for supremacy of the criminal underworld.