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Chris Raymond

A Grave Gamble

By August 28, 2013

Lottery Ticket

While Powerball, Mega Millions and other state lotteries draw huge numbers of people every week, each forking over a few bucks for the chance to win multi-million-dollar jackpots, officials in Manassas, Virginia, aren't sure how many folks will participate in the city's special resident-only lottery, which begins September 4. This is probably due to the fact that the winners won't receive cash but instead will get the chance to spend more of their own hard-earned coin on something a little more difficult to come by: a plot in the city cemetery.

Founded in 1866, the Manassas Cemetery ran out of room in the 1940s, forcing city residents to seek eternal slumber elsewhere. But in 1993, the city acquired a 20,000-square-foot parcel of real estate and, the wheels of government such as they are, hit upon the idea of using that land for burial plots a mere two decades later. Anticipating significant interest by people wishing to purchase a gravesite before they need it, city officials decided that a lottery provided the only fair way to offer these new plots to the public.

The lottery is open to Manassas residents or property owners who were age 18 or older as of January 1, 2013. Cemetery plots cost $4,500 each, and winners may purchase up to two gravesites from the 124 available during this "once in a lifetime" opportunity.

How would you feel if you couldn't be buried in your hometown cemetery? Please post your thoughts in the comments section below.


"Manassas lottery to allow residents to buy cemetery plots at city cemetery" by Jeremy Borden, August 14, 2013. The Washington Post. Retrieved August 27, 2013. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-08-14/local/41393630_1_cemetery-plots-lottery-city-s-cemetery

"City of Manassas to Hold Cemetery Plot Lottery," August 26, 2013. www.nbcwashington.com. Retrieved August 27, 2013. http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/City-of-Manassas-to-Hold-Cemetery-Plot-Lottery-220697641.html

Photo David Gould/Getty Images

August 29, 2013 at 8:24 am
(1) Tony says:

My thoughts are not where I might be buried per se but more that I am conveniently located so those that are close to me might want to stop by and have a chat with me.

As for doing a lottery for a burial plot, why the heck not! Is there nothing we won’t do for the all mighty buck (well, within the limits of the law).

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