If I had a million dollarsPosted by Lori Welbourne
My husband came home last week and asked if I’d bought a lottery ticket. My initial reaction was to tell him no because I never remember to buy lottery tickets.
“Why do you ask?” I inquired.
“A million dollar ticket was sold here,” he said. Ah, isn’t that nice, I thought, I hope the winner was a nice, poor person.
About five minutes later I remembered the cashier at the gas station asking me if I wanted to buy a lottery ticket. For the life of me I couldn’t remember when that had happened, or if I’d even said yes. I imagined I must have because I rarely say no and I reached for my purse.
Inside my wallet was the lottery ticket I had in fact bought. I bet I’m the winner, I said to myself, immediately imagining what I would do with the money.
In those brief ‘I wonder if’ moments I really understood the appeal of gambling. The idea that a large unexpected chunk of money could alleviate some financial burdens and make life so much easier in the blink of an eye was a fun fantasy to participate in.
By the time I reached the store to check the ticket, I had pictured myself hiring a housekeeper, a dog walker, a bookkeeper, a nanny and a couple of assistants to help me with my business. I’d also helped some friends and family, paid off my mortgage and debts, and was sitting on the beach in Hawaii drinking a Mai Tai, watching my kids frolic joyfully in the surf.
“Not a winner,” the clerk said gruffly, slapping the ticket on the counter and crushing my dreams.
I wanted to ask him if he was sure and to try it again, but I knew the outcome would be the same and he wouldn’t be pleased with my request.
“Can we buy one of those?” my nine-year-old daughter Daisy asked, pointing at the scratch tickets under the glass.
“Sure,” I said dejectedly, buying two and handing them over to her to play. Using a penny to uncover the X’s and O’s, she won nothing on one and $2 on the other.
With her $2 winnings I bought another two for her and the same thing happened again.
“We have to go,” I explained to her after buying two more tickets. “Bring these with you and you can check them in the car.”
Excitedly she scratched them as we were pulling out of the parking lot. “Nothing?” she exclaimed as she finished scratching the second ticket. “How could I get nothing on both of them? That’s so unfair!”
“That’s gambling for you,” I explained. “Winning is possible, but it’s much more likely you won’t win than you will.”
“Can we stop at the corner store for some more?” she pleaded. “Please Mom? Please?”
I looked back at her and could see the potentially dangerous gambler’s glint in her young eyes and remembered hearing once that one of the healthiest ways to gamble was with a spade and a package of garden seeds.
“Why don’t we pick up some daisy seeds and plant those instead?” I suggested.
“Okay!” she said with excitement. “But I’ll water them, okay? You’ll forget.”
I’d be willing to wager she’s right about that.
CLICK HERE to read about the real winner of this million dollar ticket!
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