I was shocked.
I read all the odds. I knew that I had a greater chance of getting struck by lightning, twice. I knew that I had a greater chance of hitting a hole-in-one twice in a row on a golf course (not miniature). I knew that virtually every person in the participating states had purchased a ticket.
But still. I thought that my lone ticket was THE one.
I didn’t buy hundreds of tickets. Just the one. That was my token nod to God. My “Check-out-this-burst-of-absolute-faith!” ploy. It didn’t work.
I also spent a great deal of time imagining how I would spend the money. Of course, I would be humble about it. Keep it secret for a bit. Maintain my innate sense of nobility. I wouldn’t quit my job – at least not right away. But I would hire a driver to take me there. And get a better car.
I’d treat my family to a vacation and try out first class.
Maybe buy a house on a ranch. With a staff. And a boat.
Again, nothing totally crazy.
Oh and the charity! Forget the investments. I would be Mother Freakin’ Theresa with the good I would bestow upon the Earth!
But with all that, all my good intentions, I didn’t win.
So much for faith.
But not winning the Powerball (which is becoming an unfortunate habit) got me thinking about how everyone spends their virtual millions. I can’t be alone in this. Surely everyone plans and dreams and hopes, even though it might not happen. Odds are that it won’t ever.
(Cue the preachy “Appreciate-What-You-Have” overture.)
Maybe my time would have been better spent to plan what to do when I don’t win. When the dream is dashed and the numbers don’t match, I go back to my plain old life, my day-in and day-out mediocrity. I fly coach and commute to work. Go grocery shopping and eat fast food. My post-windfall life seems so much easier and so much sweeter to imagine than waking up the next morning at 6 AM and starting another work week. It is reality, and while it’s a nice diversion to delve into the fantasy of the what-ifs hiding behind the Powerball jackpot, in truth, it just reminds me to focus on the what-nows instead.
Because after the numbers are called, and I go back to work, it should be with a shrug and a smile, not a grimace and fist waved at God.It should be a with the recognition that the life I have now – healthy kids, solid friends, opportunities all around – is also somewhat odds-defying. Losing Powerball just reminds me to keep looking for that everyday.
That doesn’t mean I won’t be buying another ticket when the jackpot gets big.
Just one, of course.
Because God knows I could really change the world with that kind of money, you know?