I want to win the lottery. I have big plans for that ten plus million dollars I always hear about others winning. I’ll admit, this has been a longstanding desire. I have long thought that it would be a good idea for the fates to allow me to become a multi-millionaire just by virtue of buying a lottery ticket.
I have heard that many folks who win the lottery spend irresponsibly; make poor investment choices and end up broke in a handful of years. That would not be me – at least not now. That might have been me in my twenties and part of my thirties –but things have changed. I have grown. I have mellowed. I have become more prudent. I would not quit work if I won the lottery and I would not move away from my adopted home state (but I would take a few more vacations – not expensive ones like the Blues execs did, but family ones).
I don’t really want to win the lottery for the stuff I can have – I have enough stuff. I want to win the lottery for the stuff it will allow me to do. I would like a little more power in my quest to change the world and since it appears I will not becoming the greatest thing next to Oprah anytime soon I am left with the small things I can do (which notably matter) – but I yearn for more; hence, I want to win the lottery. I believe good intentions should encourage fate to stack the deck in my favor.
I realized a couple of years ago that there was a fundamental failing in my fervent prayer to win the lottery – I rarely bought lottery tickets. I am not a good gambler; and, frankly being the consummate loser when it comes to virtually any gambling effort I have invested in I have learned to be practical when it comes to investing in one-in-a-million ventures. I know it seems incongruent that one would hold on to both the notion that they should be the recipient of lottery multi-millions and the notion that investing good money in one-in-a-million odds is futile. Do not look in this direction for rationality.
When you add to my skepticism about actually winning the fact that buying tickets and monitoring whether you have won takes time and energy, my desire to actively participate in lottery fever dwindled to almost nothing. However, North Dakota’s lottery campaign changed all that.
North Dakota launched lottery commercials that asked the question that was already gnawing away at me, “If you don’t buy a ticket, how is Lady Luck going to find you?” Plus they did something that sealed the deal for me – online or by mail lottery subscriptions. Pick your games, numbers (or quick pick), and subscription length and send a check. How beautiful is that? No muss, no fuss gambling from the comfort of your home; the folks running North Dakota’s lottery are shrewd.
Even though I have been actively playing the Powerball for a year or two (via a lottery subscription), I have not become a multi-millionaire yet. I have won the lottery though – a number of times. I know this because a check comes in the mail from the lottery. It is quite exciting to see an envelope from the state lottery and be able to say, “I won the lottery!” There is a victory dance that goes with the check receipt, you’ll just have to try and imagine how silly that looks. Of course my checks are typically in the twenty to thirty dollar range (they don’t send a check for multi-millions in the mail), but it still is a little thrill and it makes me, the perennial loser, feel a little bit more like a “winner”. I really like that feeling. I could get used to being a “winner”.
But I digress; I got hung up in daydreaming about being a “winner”. Ah yes, if I won the lottery – especially one of those ridiculous amounts like 100 million – I could bring to life some of the ideas I have to make the world a more equitable place.
Can you even imagine having 100 million dollars? It is almost sacrilegious to have that much money and not use it for the good of society. Of course there are lots of very rich folks out there who have much more than that and are just fine with keeping the bulk of it for themselves and who are equally intent on amassing more. You look at some of the ways these folks spend money and you have to wonder where their perspective has gone. As much as I would like around-the-clock cabana boys as a sinfully rich woman, I would not be able to reconcile that expenditure in the face of folks living without sufficient food, housing or other necessary supplies.
There are some serious inequities in the world and you would think that those who are blessed with great wealth could do more (and by “blessed” I mean to include those who have worked for it as well as grown up in it – many work hard to earn a living, some are more fortunate than others in the turns of fate). This vast division between the HAVES and have-nots is a sad commentary for our world. I am neither a HAVE nor a have-not. I am more of a have-enough. I guess you can also say that I have had enough of the status quo of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
Can’t we do better than this in this day and age? Don’t we know how to help elevate folks out of poverty and how to sustain healthy economies? This doesn’t need to be an endless well system built on hand-outs, but instead a system that allows for some basic equity based on effort. Not everyone can enjoy the success of Bill Gates or Oprah, but everyone should have the opportunity to have the things they need to live a comfortable life. When food, clothing, shelter and utilities are a luxury it’s a problem.
Years ago when I still lived in California I read a story in the newspaper about a Hispanic family with five kids. Both parents worked two jobs to be able to sustain their family in a one bedroom apartment. The story focused on the couple’s income tax refund. Each year when the tax refund arrived the family would splurge a small amount of that money on an annual luxury. The luxury – a single meal for the family at McDonalds; however, they did not order drinks as that would add too much to the cost.
This story sticks with me. These folks were hardworking people who wanted all the same things for their kids that I wanted for mine. They worked twice as hard as me for less than a third of the money I was making at the time. I recognize that life sometimes is not fair, but shouldn’t we as human beings try to increase the equity in the world? Can’t we do a bit more? Isn’t there a better system?
If only the fates smiled on me and allowed me to win the lottery…my fingers are crossed and I wait with bated breath for Lady Luck to find me. I have big plans for that ten plus million dollars.
Day seventy-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da