I Love the Lottery

April 11, 2009
Pick the winner and serve it with dinner

Pick the winner and serve it with dinner

Everyone knows the odds of winning a mega-millions lottery jackpot – virtually non-existent. If you take a 56,000 acre cornfield, one stalk gets the prize. I took the time to research that and figure it out.

People buy the tickets anyway. The most common rationale is, “someone has to win.”

The most common reason is hope.

The lottery is fueled primarily by the people who are least able to afford the gamble. They are the same people most in need of lotteries primary service – giving hope.

Hope doesn’t have a unit of measure. I can’t say I have three pounds of hope today. So one lottery ticket gives me all the hope I need; two tickets aren’t really necessary.

There was a time in the life of my family when hope was even more important than normal. Troubles abounded, living in a cardboard box kinds of troubles, and there seemed to be no way out. During this time, I would buy one lottery ticket every week. It didn’t matter if the jackpot was $1 million or $100 million, it gave me some hope.

I could already be ...

I could already be ...

I wouldn’t check the number after the drawing. I am an analytical man, and I knew I hadn’t won. But as long as I didn’t check, the possibility existed, and hope survived. I could wake each morning and think the Publisher’s Clearing House motto, “you may already be a millionaire,” sustaining that hope until I learned from the news that a winner had come forward. By that time I had another ticket or two in my wallet, and could wake each morning with that same thought.

The actual odds didn’t matter. Winning didn’t even matter. It mattered that I got up each day and worked hard and persisted, eventually succeeding by the old-fashioned way – by earning it.

What mattered was my family, and it was my responsibility to see to their well-being. And the thing that got me vertical on many mornings, that got me to work and helped me to persevere, was the thought, “you might already be a millionaire.”

I love the lottery.



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