You Give Me Fever
The “Mega-Millions” jackpot is about to cross a mathematical minefield. As of a few days ago the top prize will be more than half a billion dollars. Of course, that is before taxes. After all of the various governmental zombies have taken their cut the net will be about $19.95.
“But wait! There’s more!”
The Grand Prize Winner also gets more new relatives than the Saudi Royal Family has Princes. There will also be 10,000 new pieces of junk mail begging for donations to help save the “Myopic, left- handed, plumber’s snake.”
The new winner’s phone will not stop ringing until the TV Morning News shows get an embarrassing interview – unless your phone stops ringing by being hit by the 11:30 train to Bakersfield. I’d opt for the railroad solution to that particular problem.
To win the Big Prize one must be eligible. Since the game is offered in 44 States, Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands you aren’t too far from a mini-mart that sells the tickets. Oh, one last qualification hurdle – you must be alive. Death is an immediate disqualification on so many levels.
The whole shooting match is supervised by the Georgia State Lottery. No chance of any problems there (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
We rarely buy any lottery tickets. According to my wife, the lovely and defier of mathematical chance, Dawn, there is no sense in playing the lottery until the jackpot gets beyond 100 million dollars. Who am I to argue? Whether the payoff is $10 or $500,000,000 the odds of winning are not all that different, so why not save your dollar until the amount gets to a number that makes your sphincters clench up?
The local gas station/mini-mart/lottery outlet is just down the block. It is currently a Mobil Station. Before that it was a BP Station. Prior to that it was run by some other oil company that sold more beer and Dr. Pepper than gasoline.
They come, they go. Only the snack foods, the beverage coolers and the lottery stay the same.
I am in there at least once a day. It is where I go to get Dawn a fresh and icy 753 oz. cup of Dr. Pepper. And then I get in line.
At the cash register is where they have a huge display of all of the scratch-off tickets you can purchase and there are always people plopping down their cash for those. They are in line with other folks who have been filling out their paper lottery forms with their “Lucky Numbers.” The way I look at that method of picking numbers is that, if their numbers were truly “Lucky” they would have already won the dang fool Lottery. Yet here they stand – in line with me and my 55 gallon drum of Dr. Pepper.
After spending years analyzing the whole lottery thing I have had one small truth bob to the surface of my brain: Not buying a ticket at all does not really hurt my chances of winning all that much.
But we can dream, can’t we?