Friday, January 15, 2016

Thank God SOMEBODY Won the Powerball...

Ramblings Post #309
I laugh at suggestions like Mark Cuban's who suggested that money can't buy happiness. Statements like that in my opinion mean the the man hasn't seen a bill he hasn't been able to pay for a while. Broke isn't what he thinks it is. The general idea might be that money might not buy happiness, but it will allow you to purchase a spot right next door to it and become good friends. At the bare minimum, moneys makes being miserable a whole lot more comfortable. 

As it has become clearly evident due to reporting in news and confirmed by my bank account, I did NOT win the Powerball. And most likely you didn't either. 


Not that we shouldn't believe in long shots or beating the odds, it's what makes American great, but like many of you, for the past few days my mind would wander to what I do if I won. It was a lot of money, you just kinda had to get in on taking a shot. I thought of who I would share the money with, what gifts I would hand out as college loan and mortgage payoffs, friends I would hook up and the like. And yes, I imagined either building a small town just outside Atlanta or buying one of the two or three super expensive mansions that I researched in the real estate listings. The coolness of it all consumed us as we dove into our fantasies. And now it's all over and we can go back to our regularly scheduled lives. Which may have accounted for all that surprising morning traffic the day after. Were folks all late this morning checking tickets? 

The lottery had become THE topic of conversation. Around the office there were the usual jokes and shared dreams. We talked about strategies for handling the money while we worked. I got into conversations with my father about it during phone calls. Bringing up the lottery became an icebreaker when talking to people I hadn't seen in a moment, with wishes of luck and promises to let them super-size the dinner I would buy them if I won. I think we all got a little too caught up. 

By my calculations the 44 states that participate in the education lottery should see a 30-plus million dollar bump in their allotments per participant for this little period, which is great. The idea that providing much needed funding for education gets lost in the shuffle when we talk about the lottery. On the occasions I participate, I ask the clerk if I can make my "donation" to the education fund. Since this is going for a good cause, we might need to get this hyped up about it twice a year. 

But I picked up a couple of tickets, sure, although I am well aware that statistically the second ticket had no real affect on my odds of winning anymore than say, the good luck dance I did in living room that night. And also I played with a group from work, this on the simple theory of "if you win, you're not leaving me here." I actually have that concept as a story idea, the person getting left behind after a group wins, as a screenplay treatment. But I in reality I made no huge investment of any kind, and I doubt I'll play again until it gets back up there and I happen to be in the store, with money, and don't want potato chips or something.  

Most of us had no business dreaming that hard on something that far outside the realm of the possible. We have skills and talents we let linger when we could be making those work, instead we focus on the 292 million to one shot. I thought about it way more than I should have, even after I admitted to a co-worker that I wouldn't even check to see if I won. The deluge of needy well wishers and sudden relatives would have turned my life upside down, but I think the total amount would have been hard to burn through. And keeping it under wraps would have been difficult. Although if it wasn't going to stay a secret, I'd have to shoot my own reality show so I could control the message. See, it thought of everything. 

But it's over now. And life returns to normal. The seemingly endless cycle of getting up, working and scrambling for something better. Oh, how I missed you. 

Barkeep. Let's start over at the beginning. Beer. No, not the good beer. Mass market American beer. Yes, I said it.

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