The StoryWorth question of the week is have I ever won anything? I recall drawing the You Won Second Prize in a Beauty Contest from the Community Chest card in a Monopoly game. I believe I won $15 of Monopoly money. I always wondered who won first.
Years ago at a golf tournament raffle I won a Playmate cooler. Pretty cool. Comes in handy.
Other than that, can’t remember winning anything else. One thing I’m glad I haven’t won: The Powerball Lottery. I don’t play often. I wait until the pot gets to mega-millions, then buy 4 or 5 tickets. I know the odds of winning are a gazillion to one, but I play anyway. Like all the other suckers, I fantasize about what I would do with the money. Maybe buy a mansion on a lake. Maybe take a trip around the world. Maybe buy a motorcycle. In a generous mood, I think about endowing a foundation, or my Grandson’s college fund. I can afford an occasional 8 or 10 bucks to fantasize.
Then dark thoughts creep in. What if I really did win multi-millions? My first thought is that my family would be a target for kidnapping. Before I cashed in and it became public that I had won, I would call my daughter and tell her the good news is that I won. The bad news is that for the protection of her son, husband, and self, they need to immediately leave their home and check into a motel and not tell anyone where they went. Then text me the location, but reverse the room number. So, for example, if they checked into room 348, she should text 843. We also need a code word to assure any contact is legitimate. I suggest Cherry Pie. Conversation goes like this: “Hi, Dad, room 843 at the Holiday Inn. Oh, yeah, and Cherry Pie.” The next thing they advise is to hire a trusted financial adviser. Problem is, I don’t trust any of them, and we don’t have a family lawyer—yet. Next thing is to hire bodyguards for my immediate and extended family. Expensive, but now I can afford it. And what about taxes? Don’t want IRS to come knocking, so better set some aside for Uncle Sam, the State, and whatever. This is getting complicated. Not to mention all the woodwork relatives that will be coming out of the closet looking for a handout. I’m starting to sweat.
Saturday night rolls around and they are about to announce the Powerball winner. I pull the tickets out of my wallet and start to shake. What if I really did win? I hold the tickets in my trembling hands, while they read off the numbers. I check and double check. Not even close. Not even the power ball. Whew! I later heard that the winning ticket had been sold at some gas station in California. Lucky them, I think. Now someone else will have to deal with the down side of winning.
It occurs to me if I really don’t want to win then I should not buy a ticket. My thought is with odds a gazillion to one it is all the same as not buying a ticket. If I didn’t burn 10 bucks then I wouldn’t have the fun of thinking about the down side of winning: motels, bodyguards and code words. And lawyers. And freaking financial advisors.
Coda: If you think about the odds of any one sperm fertilizing any one egg, being alive is pretty amazing. Probably a gazillion to one. So if you are alive and reading this, which I assume you are, congratulations you’ve already won the lottery.