Where My Lottery Numbers Came From

Like a lot of you, I got my lottery tickets for the Powerball drawing that is over $850 million and the Mega Millions jackpot that is now over $1.1 billion.  As people discuss these gigantic amounts, I’m often asked, “Can you imagine?”  Can I?  I do every single time I play!

When I was a little kid, my grandparents ran a bakery that sort of doubled as a general store in a little town of 900 people.  People would come into their little shop and comment on things they’d won.  They won a color TV in a raffle.  A quilt in a drawing at the church and lots more prizes like that regularly.  As each person would make a comment about their luck, my grandparents would ask, “Did you have a ticket for that?”   You have to play if you want to win.

When my grandmother passed away, my mom was going through some of her things and found something unusual.  A lottery ticket fell out of my grandmother’s prayer book.  My mom looked over the numbers thinking they’d be family member birthdays and other similar numbers with meaning but found nothing.  When my mom was telling me this story, I asked her to give me the obsolete losing ticket and I’ve been playing those numbers along with 2 sets of my own numbers ever since.

As we’ve all seen, lottery jackpots go to people with peculiar stories.  How many guys have won by playing their wedding anniversary and getting the dates wrong?  I’ve heard of clerks entering the incorrect numbers that turned out to be a winner of a monster jackpot.  Lots of mistakes and fun tales have turned into winners.  I look forward to telling the story of my grandmother’s numbers coming through on a big jackpot like this.

One other thing I do when playing the lottery is that I am a sucker for playing at little Mom & Pop shops just because of my childhood memories.  My new favorite place is an out-of-the-way store called Todd’s Tavern & Market.  Todd’s Tavern even has some history behind it just to add to the story.  I just downloaded the Virginia Lottery app on my phone that comes with a bar-code reader that comes in handy when I drop in to buy the next set of numbered tickets.  For some reason, columnists like to turn out their nose and tell you how unlikely it is to ever win.  To which I just comment, “Then don’t play”.  When they tell me there is a better chanced of being struck by lighting, I tell them to stand in a thunderstorm and hand them a 7 iron from my golf bag.  For me, playing the lottery is a fun little movie ticket to watch a fantasy reel play in my head of all the things I plan to do when I win.  Yes, it’s unlikely.  So is all of the other countless good-fortune that finds its way into my life every single day.

US Currency: Wads of US bills fastened with rubber bands, close-up

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