The basic currency unit in use in Brazil throughout the pe-
riod on which this book focuses was the milreis, which Bra-
zil adopted in 1846. One milreis, written as 1$000, was the
equivalent of one thousand reis (the plural of real), an older
monetary unit that had diminished radically in value by the
mid-nineteenth century. One thousand milreis equals one
conto. In 1942, the cruzeiro replaced the milreis and the conto.
Dollar equivalents cited in this book are based on an annual
average of the month-end closing quotations. Sources of his-
torical exchange rate and cost of living data are cited in the
The Brazilian Portuguese language had not yet been ortho-
graphically standardized in the late nineteenth century and
early twentieth. For all proper names of persons I used the
spelling that most frequently appeared in the contempora-
neous documentation. I spelled all proper names of places
according to present-day conventions. All other words are
spelled according to today’s standard. Documents from the
late nineteenth century and early twentieth variously call
the animal lottery that is the subject of this book the jogo
dos bichos, the jogo do bicho, and the jogo de bicho. I use
today’s standard name, jogo do bicho, except in some direct
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