Monday, May 20, 2013

To be a Winnah you gotta be a Playah

Generally speaking, I think the lottery is pretty much a tax on fools and hopeless optimists. Sure, it's fun, but I could take that dollar or two and buy a snow cone, and that's fun, too. The lottery has fewer calories, so there's that.

Of course, there are times when we all succumb (admit it, you at least think about it) to the lure of easy money. With the $190 Mega Millions drawing set for last Friday night, and the record setting $600+ million Powerball last Saturday, the office pool here in Fayetteville was hopping. Given that I sit RIGHT NEXT to the person who runs the office pool, it was kind of hard not to get caught up in the hoopla and excitement. So, against my better judgement, I put $1 in for a ticket for Mega Millions, and $2 in for a ticket for Powerball, and chalked it up to "well, it would suck if they actually did win and I was the only one left in the office."

Fast forward to this morning - I walk in the office, and it's business as usual. Everyone is at their desks, typical Monday morning talking about fun stuff they did all weekend; how much fun they had at this; how exhausting it was to go to that. The cubes next to me were all occupied, so I smugly figured, no winner here, and so much for my $3.

My Monday schedule was same old, same old - several meetings, a little bit of time for work, and getting my head on straight for the week ahead. I got a meeting invite from the Lottery Pool Guru, but seeing as how she's also the administrator for my entire business, I didn't think much about it. So off I head for the 11AM, and walk into a conference room to find this on the screen:

Um, wait a minute... somehow I don't think this has anything to do with Charmin or Bounty or Puffs...

Turns out this was our lucky day - everyone who played the Mega Millions pool might be a fool, but for this moment, we were all the KING OF FOOLS!!!! That's us, the first line on the screen!!

Somehow, the computer spit out a big, fat winning ticket:

Now, granted, after taxes and splitting it 70 - that's right, I said seventy - ways, it comes out like this:

You know what, though? That's almost a new pair of running shoes. And for a $1 investment, I'll take it any day.

I kind of wish she had stopped her congratulatory explanation right there, but she shared one more little tidbit. You can see that our  numbers were 12, 15, 35, 43, 49, and the Powerball was 41. The only non-winning number was 12. 

The only number we didn't get?

One digit off. ONE DIGIT. One digit away from $190 million. Which even with the other two winning tickets, taxes, and split 70 ways, would be roughly $450,000 per person.

Guess you can't win 'em all!!

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