Jogo Do Bicho, Rio’s Numbers Game

Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO - In 1884, Mr. Drummond, a local merchant, bought the Fazenda dos Macacos (the Monkey Farm). He installed a zoo, which prospered until government subsidies ceased. Rather than close it down and sell off the animals, he listened to a Mexican adventurer and happily adopted an adaptation to the “Juego de las Flores”, subsequently raking in godzillions of simoleons.

What the Baron did was take 25 animals from his zoo, make picture cards of each, and then adorn the entry tickets with pictures of all of them. Every morning, he put the picture of . . .

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The Curmudgeon moved to Rio over forty years ago, and remained there until late 2018. He's been writing political commentary for The Rio Times for nine years. He once referred to himself as a WASP (look it up) but doesn't any more because it embarrasses him.