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Draw a Blank: Origin and Meaning

To be unable to think of something, get information or achieve something.
Draw a blankThis idiom “draw a blank” originates from the first lottery in England that Queen Elizabeth I established in 1567. The lottery worked as follows: There were two pots – one pot contained slips of paper with the names of the participants on and the other pot contained the same number of slips with prizes written on but some of these were blank. A slip was drawn (pulled out) from both pots at the same time and the person would win the prize. However, it was very possible for someone to ‘draw a blank’ slip of paper, which meant they won nothing!
“She asked me for my phone number and I completely drew a blank. I couldn’t remember it!”

“I searched on the internet to find information about the company, but I drew a blank. I couldn’t find any information!”

“The police investigated the murder case but they drew a blank – they still don’t know who the murderer was.”

David: “Donna, the next question is for you. Who was the Prime Minister in 2001?”
Donna: “Oh no, I can’t remember! Wait, wait… let me think…”
David: “Time is running out. I need an answer…”
Donna: “Sorry, I don’t know. I’ve drawn a blank!”
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