Cash Pot
A Jamaican Pastime

The lottery game Cash Pot is a source of daily entertainment for thousands of ordinary Jamaicans who otherwise have little money to spend on recreation. It also provides fodder for numerous sermons in church decrying the practice of spending scarce resources on games of chance!

Well, I don't think anyone can dispute that gambling can be a problem. But the way I see it, Cash Pot is more than just a game of chance.

It's an outlet and a release for many people who might not have any access to more sophisticated forms of entertainment. Most players spend very small sums of money each day, and my investigations lead me to believe that over time, regular players make back about what they spend.

Winning numbers from 1 to 36 are drawn daily and broadcast at 1pm, 5pm and 7:30pm. I'm sure the cell phone companies experience an upsurge in calls at 1:01, 5:01 and 7:31! Friends calling each other to find out if anyone "ketch di number", or to discuss the craftiness of "di man" who chooses the numbers. Very few Cash Pot buyers believe the numbers are chosen randomly.

The list of numbers and meanings given below was kindly supplied to me by my housekeeper, who knows everything about the game. I routinely tell her my dreams so she can use them in her efforts to outsmart di man. I pass on to her anything out of the way that I see, as these are probably signs that I, in my simplicity, don't know how to interpret. She is very, very skilled at sighting the rake (interpreting the signs).

Some numbers may have additional meanings, but I didn't want to pressure my source, who I think did a fantastic job reeling off the meaning of the 36 numbers quicker than I could write them down!

Cash Pot numbers and their meanings

  • #1 - duppy
  • #2 - small fire, batty
  • #3 - dead
  • #4 - egg, sex
  • #5 - thief
  • #6 - strong man, stone
  • #7 - married woman, hog
  • #8 - belly, hole
  • #9 - old man, old dead
  • #10 - small house, crib, coop
  • #11 - boy, two legs
  • #12 - head
  • #13 - police, black woman
  • #14 - mouth
  • #15 - running, swimming
  • #16 - young girl
  • #17 - old dead, chiney man
  • #18 - doctor, doctor bird, doctor fish
  • #19 - silver money
  • #20 - sick
  • #21 - bad girl
  • #22 - white woman
  • #23 - black man
  • #24 - fresh water
  • #25 - john crow
  • #26 - white man
  • #27 - big fire
  • #28 - fowl
  • #29 - parson
  • #30 - fish
  • #31 - lizard, long stick, penis
  • #32 - gold
  • #33 - big house
  • #34 - baby
  • #35 - goat, vagina
  • #36 - old woman


  • If you sight a rake that doesn't match any of these words, you need to consider what you have seen from all angles. You have to be crafty to outwit di man. He may choose the same number twice in a row just to spite and confuse you. You need to consider the numbers he played today, because it might give you clues as to what is on his mind for tomorrow's numbers.

    There's no denying the fact that Cash Pot has become part of
    Jamaican culture.

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