Sadly, our chance to win half a billion dollars ended two nights ago in California along with our dreams of paying off the house and student loans, traveling to exotic locations, starting a charity, and buying a monkey. I was really looking forward to casually handing in my resignation notice with a “no real plans from here” kind of attitude. Instead, I return to work and ruminate on how things could have gone differently.
I find myself thinking about the man who parks outside of the office in a beat up, old white car with dents that are well distributed around ugly and jagged spots of rust. As he waits for someone to come out, he frantically scrapes away at multiple scratch-off Lotto tickets. He holds them just outside of the window to allow the silver bits and pieces to flutter to the ground as he works towards the potential prize, hidden just one layer down. What drives his urgency to finish the task? Is he feeling a rush of adrenaline or is he in a rush to finish before his expected passenger arrives?
After recently playing a few numbers in the Mega Millions, I understand the man better in my own burgeoning fascination with gambling. We play to win and in that ever-so-unlikely chance of winning, there is an excitement about a new life and potential change requiring no work, like losing weight without diet or exercise. It’s a fantasy for the lazy or over-worked.
On the night of the drawing, we carefully weighed our options. Play and win, play and lose, or don’t play and definitely don’t win. My hubby explained our odds of winning quite simply, “We are more likely to both get struck by lightning.”
So it wasn’t an impossible dream. I frequently see lightning and signs of past strikes in tall trees and power lines.
With a boosted confidence in our winning potential, hubby was commissioned to buy a few tickets, given the money and sent out on his mission to be completed with all due haste.
Fur coats, diamond dust lotion, fancy cars and trips were just the beginning; we were going to start a school, a homeless shelter and a bad cat rescue.
And then we lost.
Maybe we got carried about with the dream, and surprisingly, I wasn’t even that disappointed when I discovered that we didn’t hit it big. I expected to lose, but suspended that belief while scheming during the night of the drawing.
The fun was in the dream, it was in the possibility of winning and that we had a shot at a different life, the same as the thousands of other Dreamers who took a chance and bought a ticket(s) for mega millions of dollars, and in retrospect, it was worth every cent of the investment.