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Lotto Failure- Plans Significantly Scaled Back

Well, I did not win the mega-millions lotto. But my office pool did hit a $2 combo and my share is 15 cents, though the whole thing is in dispute. Some people put in a dollar, others, like me, put in $2, and one person put in $5. I’m pretty sure my share should be more like 30 cents.

But these problems pale in comparison to the warfare that’s broken out in a Baltimore suburb where a woman who bought winning lotto tickets on behalf of her co-workers at a McDonald’s now says they don’t get any of it because she went out and bought the ticket separately on her own. But from the same Seven-Eleven. Good luck with that, lady. I believe your life has just gotten a little more complicated than it was 72 hours ago, back when you didn’t have to worry about hiring large, burly men to protect your life.

Now that I know I didn’t win the big one, I have had to shelve my plans to buy an island. The research I conducted along the way revealed that they range in price from $50 thousand to $40 million. The problem with the $50 thousand one is that it’s in Fiji, which, of course, is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a one acre plot with an ocean view (actually it can’t help but have an ocean view, it’s kind of surrounded). But visiting it, is pricey unless you can get work in Fiji itself. It’s about $6 thousand to fly there round-trip, so ten visits alone would cost more than the entire island.

I was also going to eat lobster every day but did find the local Harris Teeter sells a fine export from Chile- langostinos- kind of like miniature lobster tails. I figure if I really want to, I could have those once a week.

I was also going to figure out which continent to visit first between Asia and Europe. I have decided, for the time being, to remain in North America. Over in Pentagon Row, the restaurant section of Pentagon City, there’s a quaint village-like atmosphere which seems reminiscent of the Denmark exhibit at Epcot Center at Disney World. I am going to walk there and check it out.

Finally, after much consideration and a conversation with my accountant, I have decided I want my 30 cents distributed in 26 equal annual payments. This will ensure I will remain cautious and disciplined with the money and not spend the entire cash reward in an impulsive manner.

I have also decided to try and keep my job, if they’ll have me. Based on my checkered career, the odds on that are slightly better than winning the lottery. But I must say, the ‘ol workplace is looking much, much better than it did, say, last Friday- a few hours before the drawing.

Lotto Fever- Lobster Everyday and an Island (But I’ll Give Most to Charity)


Someone please explain to me why everybody plays the lottery when it reaches half a billion dollars- but no one really cares when it’s, say, at $70 million.

So you’re going about your life and if you’re a regular, normal, ‘ol person and you’ve got just enough for rent or a mortgage, groceries, cable TV, and maybe a vacation or two if you’re lucky- how much difference is there really between $600 million and “just” $70 million?

Are you kidding? I’d consider $10K to be a gift from heaven. Hell, most people would be thrilled to find a $5 bill on the street.

The psychology in connection to all this is rather interesting. Suddenly, co-workers who get along just great, but who are now pooling their money together to buy a couple dozen tickets, start thinking like lawyers and certified public accountants. “Well, if Jane Doe put in $5 but Mary Jane only put in $2, clearly, Jane’s share of the mega-million lottery would be 2 and half times as much- an extra $60 million for a mere $3 more in initial investment- Hey that’s not fair!”

My girlfriend, who actually borrowed $5 from me to buy a handful of tickets, insisted that if lightening strikes at our particular Seven-Eleven in Pentagon City, she should get a larger share because her family is bigger. I disagreed somewhat vehemently to this approach. Don’t make me hire a lawyer, honey.

Then there’s all the math that’s being thrown out there. You could buy $170 million worth of lottery tickets, for example, and in picking every possible number, you would be guaranteed to win nearly $300 million after taxes. Except it would take you 28 years to actually mark all 170 million game tickets. I saw this in two different newspaper articles…in the same paper! And it was not helpful.

And the time people spend thinking about things like:

“Well am I going to take it all in one lump sum or split it up into 26 annual payments?”
“Which continent will I visit first, Europe or Asia?”
“I wonder how much an island costs?”
“This means I could eat lobster every single day.”
“I would give almost all, half, some, a little bit to charity.”

There will, of course, be millions of very, very disappointed people this weekend. The TV news guy will be announcing that a collection of 20 workers at a plastics factory in Medford, Oregon managed to win it all and we’ll all be going- “Medford, friggin’, Oregon??? Figures. Stuff like this never happens here in River City, dammit.”

And then the next day all 20 employees from Medford, Oregon will be sitting there at the press conference with the gigantic cardboard check behind them, flashing those toothy grins we all want to wipe off their faces.

There will be the story of the one incredibly cheap, thrifty worker who decided not to join his colleagues in shelling out a few bucks and misses out on the whole thing. Most of them will leave their jobs at the plastics factory in a matter of hours, except for one really wholesome, goodie-two-shoes guy who doesn’t want to be changed by the whole experience and decides he’ll stay at the factory.

Five years later will come the newspaper articles that report all 20 workers from the plastics factory in Medford, Oregon managed to go broke.

So good luck to you all. If the winner happens to be a friend or a family member, I remind you now that a mere 1/600th of your winnings will be more than enough to take care of me and my progeny for the rest of our lives and we will be extremely appreciative and will certainly have a place for you in our hearts until the end of time, ‘ol buddy, ‘ol pal.