Monday, April 15, 2013

JACKPOT! (or not)

The BC Lotto 6/49 jackpot this past weekend was at a record $55 million dollars, the biggest in the lottery’s history. The record jackpot made the news for days leading up the Saturday drawing, and with time on my hands I got swept away by it all.

I’m not a big gambler. Sure the casino is fun for a turn once every few years with my thrill-seeking sisters, and I buy scratch ‘n win tickets as stocking stuffers at Christmas, but as for the rest of it, I don’t bother. I usually forget, don’t have the time or the money to spend on it all, and really, the few bucks that I might spend on a ticket could be put towards something else. Like a book. Or chocolate.

So I keep my purse strings drawn tight, my change in my pocket, and dreams of fortunes to come via other means (bestselling novels-turned-movies...) keep me awake at night.

But when every news broadcast talked about the $55 million, even though I know money doesn’t solve everything, I was tempted.
You see, three days before the jackpot amount made the news, I was reading a novel where the heroine was contemplating entering a writing contest. At first, her lack of self confidence and low self esteem prevented her from entering the contest. But after a bit of soul searching where she says to herself, “If I don’t try I won’t lose, but then I won’t win either.” (‘Faking 19’ by Alyson Noël – St. Martin’s Griffin, 2005), she enters and later wins.

But it was that phrase kept repeating in my head, over and over. I know it can be applied to so much in this crazy casino called life.

I read this quote a few days before the big lottery jackpot was announced. But when I heard about the lottery, and with those words still repeating like a broken record, I thought and thought and thought some more, and seeing as I had nothing to lose than a few bucks that could have been put toward my chocolate addiction that my ever-growing thighs don’t need anyways, I ran to the store. Well, as best as my chocolate-toting thighs could carry me, of course.

I purchased two tickets, meeting the Saturday night 6pm purchase deadline with minutes to spare; and with the ‘Extra,’ of course.
And seeing as I hadn’t purchased a lottery ticket in a long, long time, I had to ask the ticket sales person a zillion questions, while people in line behind me rolled their eyes at my naiveté. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything right – I didn’t want to miss out on anything. ‘What rock did she just crawl out from under?’ I was sure they wondered.

Anyways, after all was said and done I left the store feeling like an idiot, and with ticket in hand bearing two sets of (winning) numbers expertly picked by me, I made my way back home, checking inside my purse every few minutes to make sure the (winning) ticket was still there.

I was tempted to write about it here, pre-draw. I had great hopes of writing missives about the evils of gambling (contradictory), the determination and positivity needed for entering contests, particularly writing contests (uplifting), and the perils of checking your purse every five minutes for potentially lost lottery tickets while crossing the road (obsessive).

But my superstitious nature got the better of me. I knew if I wrote about it, especially in relating the try/lose/win submitting to writing contest parallels, I might jinx not only any potential winnings but also any future writing contests I might enter. I also knew if I told anyone, doing so might jinx any winnings, for sure. In the end I told my husband and mom but I don’t think they jinxed anything as they both said the same thing – If you don’t try, you can’t win.

So the night of the drawing came and went. I had put it all out of my mind. I didn’t want to seem too anxious and race to find out the numbers drawn and compare them to my ticket. I decided I would play it calm, cool and collected. My superstitious nature was at its peak, and I wasn’t about to do anything to jeopardize any possibility of winning.

And really, I told myself, I wasn’t playing for the $55 million. I would be happy with a $1,000 win, or even a $500 win - anything.
So the next morning I checked my numbers online, and out of my two sets of numbers picked, I matched one number, which basically got me nowhere.

Oh well, I shrugged as I put the ticket away in case there was a redrawing or something (can they do that? Like an election recount or something?). At least I tried.

And with everything in life, as we so patiently so tell our kids generation after generation ‘you won’t know until you try.’
So I keep writing, despite how tongue-tied I sometimes get, worrying I won’t have anything to say. I keep submitting to publishers and contests – they won’t know I am here writing, looking cute and all, if I don’t put myself out there and take a chance. I have to keep at it. If I don’t try I won’t lose, but then I won’t win either.

And heck, playing the lottery JUST THIS ONE TIME was kinda fun. But I’m over it now.

So for now I will sign-off and try to get other writing done.

But before I do, I have to run up to the store and have them check the numbers on my ticket, just in case.

Because you just never know...........

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