Today we are going to Muse about the lottery experience. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me. Click to check out my artwork
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I’ve Got Your Number
Last week there was news of some one person winning hundreds of millions of dollars in a new Florida lottery game. Such a prize is difficult to comprehend. That individual’s life will forever be changed.
I’ve played the lottery a few times over the years. I never had that luck.
The first time was in the late 70’s and the lottery had recently been introduced in Arizona. Pick six numbers and the top prize was $1,000,000. There were lesser payoffs for picking four and five correct numbers. Pretty modest by today’s standard.
So one week my wife and I had bought a ticket and were watching the drawing on the television. We had the first number. Then we had the second number! And then the third number! Oh my Gawd we were getting excited! Then they drew the fourth number and we had that too! We were getting jumping up and down excited! Unfortunately we did not have the fifth number or the sixth. So we had four out of six.
I was still excited. I figured that was still good for thousands of dollars.
The lottery office was in downtown Phoenix. Come Monday morning I hot footed it down there lickity split, ticket in hand, eager to collect the winnings. It came to $19.
After that I pretty much left lottery alone.
Later I moved to Florida. Florida has its own lottery. And today there are multiple games and huge prizes. But in the early 90’s the prize as I recall started at $7,000,000 and went as high as $52,000,000 and there was one drawing a week . That was not insignificant.
At the time I had a job managing offices in the southern part of the state. I went to Ft. Myers, Naples, Miami, Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, Stuart, Vero Beach and places in between. I did a lot of driving.
On one trip I passed a billboard advertising the Florida Lotto. I had driven past these billboards many times but some reason this one caught my attention. The prize was impressive. But I drove on letting it slip out of my thoughts. Later in the day on my return drive I saw another billboard advertising the Florida Lotto. And, again, for some reason it caught my attention. But I drove on.
The next day I was crossing the state out in the sugar cane fields on my way to Ft. Myers. It was a dark rainy day, dreary. Ahead of me in the gloom, I saw a billboard advertising the Florida Lotto. Just as I drew close the clouds parted and a beam of light came out of the sky and lit up the billboard. It glowed like a jewel in the dark.
“Wow! What am I seeing?”, I thought. But I drove on.
Two days later I flew down to Key West to meet with the staff. Lunchtime found us in a Chinese restaurant. The check was presented with the obligatory fortune cookie. What ever it said is lost to my memory. They are always inane. What caught my attention were the numbers. It had numbers on it! Never had I seen that before on any fortune cookie message.
I thought to myself, “How many hints do you have to have? You can’t win without a ticket.”
I put the slip of numbers in my pocket. When I got home I stood in line for about an hour waiting to buy my Lotto ticket. The drawing was to be later that night. I bought a $1 ticket with the fortune cookie numbers and, for good measure, nineteen more tickets with various combinations of numbers.
That night none of the fortune cookie numbers came up. I did win $3 with one ticket.
C’est la vie!
More to come
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