I lived in Pontiac, Michigan for a year, sixth grade, surrounded by relatives and neighbors who worked at the automobile plants. It was the year I realized that many babies are born out of wedlock, that snow does not guarantee a day off from school, and that people play the lottery; except they didn’t call it the lottery—it was the numbers.
“His number came up!” I’ve heard envious players of the game say, wishing that luck would come his or her way, too.
Who plays the lottery? Is it mostly people who hate their jobs? I’ve had a job that I hated; waking up each morning with the thought that I have to be somewhere I don’t want to be for eight or more hours, rushing my life away in a constant state of “waiting for 5 o’clock on Friday” and then revving back up on Sunday for the dreaded Monday morning. That was eons ago, but the thought of it makes me sad because lots of people know exactly how I felt—they feel that way now. Fortunately for me, I was skilled in a high demand field at the time and was able to move on when I decided it wasn’t worth it. Most people can’t do that. Trapped—it’s a horrible feeling.How many of them purchase a weekly lottery ticket… or two… or three? How many stand in a long line for the Mega Millions ticket wishing, praying, believing, dreaming, and waiting to possess that little rectangle of paper that, hopefully, is going to transform their lives to pure bliss; to mornings of waking up with smiles on their faces… or will they?
On the other hand, I hear of people who enjoy their jobs, however, they just…don’t…make…enough…money. I suspect they make up a good percentage of the lottery line, too.And then there are the people who play just for fun; probably not expecting to win, but enjoy the hype that spreads like a virus and hope to be the “one in a few millions” chance winner.
I see that the Arizona Powerball winner has come forth, though as of today, he remains anonymous to the public and media. While Google searching his story, I clicked on CNN.com and found an article and comments discussing him (dated 12/7/12). Curious, I scanned a few of the comments and people are talking about the risk of kidnapping, making racist comments, politics, privacy, wealthy people like Warren Buffet—you name it; even escalating to the Mexican Cartel—all due to this average man winning the big one. Perhaps they are a little jealous?During the stressed out period of the hated job and a few other not-so-happy times, I bought a lottery ticket. (By the way, my lifetime lottery expenditure is about $20.) Never one to enjoy gambling, I didn’t think I’d win, but desperation will make you say, “Why not?” I believed if it was meant to be, I’d hit with my one ticket.
That was years ago, back in the eighties and early nineties. Since then, I haven’t been in the lottery line; missing the talk of what will be done with the winnings and seeing the adrenalin-filled looks on the faces of people as they pass their money to the cashier.Will I purchase a ticket again?
Once in a blue moon, like now, I think about what I think I’d do with a lot of money. Would it change my life for the better? Would I be wise and generous? Would I be a “lottery curse” victim?
A few months ago, I wrote a post titled, “How Much Is Enough?” where I declared my humble position of maintaining so-called security: heading towards a debt-free life, satisfying reasonable needs and wants, and being able to save and give.BUT… let’s say I do participate in the next big jackpot and, uh, win a little sumptin sumptin? What would the ol’ girl do? Hmmm…
What are your feelings about the Lottery? Do you play? What would you do with the loot?