The winning ticket
16th and 17th century Dutch Lottery

The winning ticket

From 16 February to 24 September 2023, the exhibition ‘The Winning Ticket, silver prizes in the historic Dutch Lottery’ can be seen in the Dutch Silver Museum in Schoonhoven. Lotteries were a form of crowdfunding in the 16th and 17th century.

From disaster to opportunity
Traditionally a disaster took place which prompted people to start a lottery and raise money for charity. Think of a major fire, a war, destruction by looters or arranging a shelter for orphans, the sick, the elderly or the poor. Rich and poor could participate. And who doesn’t like the change to win? Perhaps it fulfills the wish for a better life or the desire for something you could otherwise not buy. At the same time you help a good cause. Or does helping someone in need outweigh your personal benefit? In the 15th century lotteries came up in the Netherlands and Italy at about the same time, with silver as the main price.

Photo: Carla Leijen
Photo: Carla Leijen
Silver as a prize

Then and now

Not much has changed
Silversmiths were asked to supply prizes. These were often utensils, like salts which were very popular at the time or beautiful dishes for the table and a lot of spoons as consolation prize. A well-known painter made a print of the disaster and the prices, so that people from far and wide were tempted to participate. Ticket sellers travel all over Europe to sell lotery tickets. After the draw the presented the prizes at the winners house, just like famous TV stars are still doing today in the Netherlands!

All winners
in fact, not much has changed since then. We are still raising mmoney for charities and prizes should appeal to the imagination. In the exhibition, visitors discover the stories of the past, which are told from different angles and are accompanied by 16th and 17th century silver objects from the Netherlands.

Visit the Dutch Silver Museum

Experience the world of silver

Visiting the Dutch Silver Museum: a fun and interactive way to spend your day. As a visitor you see, feel, smell and hear silver. Discover even more about this versatile material in the world of silver. We often change exhibitions to make sure that every visit is unique. The Dutch Silver Museum offers all kinds of activities for both adults and children. Book a tour, make something yourself during a workshop, meet the smiths, learn more about silver during lectures or bring your silver to have a valuator estimate its value. We offer numerous activities for children. For example: they can work with silver in the Silver Workplace or solver puzzles and find hidden and untold stories with one of our exciting scavenger hunts. Earn your badge and become a Junior silversmith! During school holidays, we offer special workshops in the Silver Workshop. Please reserve your seat ahead. Or how about a birthdayparty in the museum? We offer group arrangements in which you not only discover the Dutch Silver museum, but also the Silver City Schoonhoven and the beautiful region surrounding Schoonhoven, de Krimpenerwaard. 18+).

Beeld: Loterijprent ten bate van Durgerdam na de grote brand van 1687, anoniem, naar Jan Luyken, 1687
Illustration: Luna van Opstal


Do you have questions about our activities?

  • Would you like to book an arrangement for your group? Or would you like to receive some more information?
  • Please get in touch with us by calling: 0 (31) 182 385 612.
  • Contact us by sending an email to We hope to see you soon!

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