Lottery fever gripped the nation, and I kept hearing, “You can’t win, if you don’t play.” That’s true. However, even if you do play, the chances of winning are amazingly microscopic.
One ticket sold in South Carolina won $1.5 billion. Their odds were 1 in 302.6 million. For that winner, that tiny possibility doesn’t seem so impossible. We may never know who that person is. That state is one of only a handful that allows winners to claim their prize anonymously.
I’d probably take the option to receive my prize in secret, given the horror stories I’ve read. Ridiculous lawsuits plague most winners. One woman was sued by the convenience store worker who claimed they paid for the ticket because she wanted to play but didn’t have the money. The deal they made was they would split the winnings. Ridiculous lawsuits also included family, friends, and co-workers. That doesn’t compare to the ones who have been murdered for their millions in gambling gains.
I have a better chance of getting run over by an elephant on Main Street McMinnville than I do winning the lottery. There are less than 500 elephants in zoos, sanctuaries and circuses in the United States. I think I’m relatively safe in making that statement.
Here’s a few more:
• I have a better chance of being killed by a falling coconut at Riverfront Park.
• I have a better chance of being killed by a hippopotamus in the Gilley Pool.
• I have a better chance of being elected Warren County Executive. Little known fact, I’m a Van Buren County resident.
• I have a better chance of being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. I not a country music fan. Sorry, just not.
• I have a better chance of being accepted at Harvard. I haven’t applied, but if I did …
• I have a better chance of being attacked by a shark while kayaking the Barren Fork River.
• I have a better chance of being killed by a vending machine falling from the third floor of City Hall.
• I have a better chance of being struck by lightning walking the greenway on a bright sunny day without a cloud in the sky.
• I have a better chance of Mayor Ben Newman proclaiming me queen for a day and giving me a key to the city.
While all of this sounds so negative about the lottery, I did play. I wasted a grand total of $30. My boyfriend and I spent about three glorious hours fantasizing about what we would do if we won. Oh, the places we’d go and the things we would see. It was kind of fun.
About halfway into the discussion, he looks at me and says, “Be honest. If you won this tonight, you’d still go into work tomorrow. Wouldn’t you?”
“Yes,” I said. “I absolutely would.”
Well, I’m not a millionaire or billionaire, but I do have a job that I love. When it comes to that, I’m very lucky.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.