I did. When the Mega Millions jackpot climbed over one billion dollars, I pulled two one-dollar bills out of my wallet, fed them into the machine, and tucked that ticket into my…let’s just say a safe place. (I won’t divulge the details. I may stash another ticket there in the future.)
Did I win? Of course not. You’ve seen the odds. I didn’t even match ONE number. I was not hit by lightning either. You might consider that a win. (Although staying indoors during thunderstorms skews that statistic in my favor.)
Watching the Numbers
Even though I don’t buy lottery tickets every week, I do glance at the electronic signboard. As the numbers grow to three digits, my latent lottery virus activates. When the prize exceeds two hundred million, I itch to get in on the action. When the pay-off reaches the record levels of October 23, 2018, (I’m not kidding-check out the press release) I break into a cold sweat and forget the odds are stacked against me.
What would I do with all that cash?
That is the question that spikes my fever. Common sense and frugal thoughts flee into Willy Wonka’s land of pure imagination.
- I could buy a private jet and hire a pilot. (I’d visit my family or go on vacation whenever I wanted-no waiting in security lines, no airport layovers.)
- I could hire a personal staff. (I’d have a stylist, a hairdresser, a personal trainer, a chef, an editorial staff, as well as media consultants and tech experts.)
- I could become a philanthropist and support worthy causes. (Everyone says this, but I mean it. I really, really do. However, I reserve the right to determine which causes are worthy.)
- I would never worry about money again. (Wishful thinking?)
Media coverage flames my fantasies
Daily news footage features long lines of people waiting to buy tickets. Advice is given about how to safeguard newfound riches. Interviews showcase ordinary folks with extraordinary dreams.
Some media stories during the recent lottery craziness included:
- From CNBC: What to do if you win the lottery
- From Business Insider: Powerball Mega Millions winners should do this right away
- From The Seattle Times: If you win tonight’s huge Mega Millions jackpot
I don’t have a strong enough immune system to withstand all that hype and inevitably I catch the viral delusion.
The winner could be ME.
The next thing I know, I’m in front of the lottery machine with dollar bills clutched in my hand. (Actually, I didn’t clutch them. I smoothed them so the machine wouldn’t spit them back out.)
Aren’t big dreams worth a few dollars?
Others may recognize and respect the infinitesimal odds and spend their two dollars with more wisdom. I guess I could’ve added mine to a piggy bank or bought a candy bar. However, when I splurge on my jackpot-winning dream, I transform into Scrooge McDuck and spend a few days swimming in my imaginary vault of gold coins. That’s worth a couple bucks to me.
Is my lottery fantasy any different from my publishing dream? Those odds can’t be that great either. (Hey, I’ve been watching my blog stats, at this rate I’ll likely win the lottery before I hit the bestseller list.) I’ve heard it said that the top ten percent of the authors pull in ninety percent of book sales. I don’t let that grim statistic stop me from writing.
The inevitable dream-crushing day arrives
On October 23, someone in South Carolina ended up with a lot of money. (I wanted to write MY money, but I guess I didn’t pick the winning numbers.)
In total, there were 15,750,013 winning tickets Tuesday night in addition to the jackpot winner. In this 26-draw jackpot run, beginning with the July 27 drawing there were more than 50.2 million winning tickets at all prize levels, including 85 worth $1 million or more and the jackpot winner.http://www.megamillions.com/news-releases/record-mega-millions-jackpot-won-in-south-carolina
As I said I didn’t claim any of those prizes, so my lottery fever has gone into remission. Even though I still wish I’d won, (don’t you?) this article in The Seattle Times consoled me (a little).
I don’t buy lottery tickets weekly or even monthly. My infection only seems to flare up when prize amounts soar. As lottery fever goes, I must have caught a fairly mild case. (I might play more often if-even occasionally-I won back my two dollars.) So until the next huge jackpot, I will likely remain symptom and ticket free. But when it does, you can bet I’ll be back in line.
What would you do if you won the lottery? Share in the comments!