Why I Didn’t Buy a Lotto Ticket

March 30, 2012 at 4:50 am Leave a comment

I’m sure you’ve heard by now all the hoopla surrounding the Mega Millions record breaking jackpot of $500 million. Who knows, by the time you read this, someone could already be on their way to riches beyond anyone’s dreams. To me, an amount like that is almost as hard to comprehend as the universe or the concept of eternity.

I had friends asking me if I was going to buy a ticket and saying that I should give it a shot, even though I have higher chances of being bitten by a shark – and my town is landlocked. At first, I said ‘Definitely not! Waste of money!’. But then, I kept hearing about it. It’s pretty hard to ignore in today’s social media inundated world. Cue the daydreaming… You know, during another record jackpot, I was on the bus daydreaming so deeply about what I would do if I won, that I missed my stop and then had to walk 15 minutes back to where I was supposed to be. To make it even better, I was supposed to be meeting my boss at the hardware store to pick up stuff for work. He had been walking around looking for me (I don’t have a cell phone). At least this time, I didn’t miss any stops or leave anyone somewhere.

My lotto daydream hasn’t changed too much since I’ve been old enough to even think of playing. I have this list of things that never changes and then there are the options that come and go as I get older or discover new interests. There is no big mansion or luxury car in that daydream. No huge wardrobe full of Versace, Gucci or Prada. No private jet. I kind of live a simple life when it comes to material things. Recent options that were tacked onto my lotto list? A smart phone (so I can run credit cards when I’m selling things from my business and so my friends can stop worrying we’ll miss each other when I’m on public transit), cable t.v., and my totally frivolous thing – this one heart-shaped purse by Baby the Stars Shine Bright (a brand that is known for Japanese lolita fashion). By the way, I don’t have a car either. Existing without these three things usually shocks people to no end. No, my BIG daydream is that I would win and be able to take care of my parents’ bills, buy them a new car and send them on some all expenses paid trip to wherever they would like. I often sit there and fantasize about how I would tell dad over the phone that his ship finally came in. They’ve done so much for me and my brother and sister. I would dearly love to do something for them that they normally wouldn’t be able to do.

So that was what drove me today to try for a lotto ticket. There is one place on my way route when I walk that sold lotto tickets. Or at least used to. Apparently, they stopped selling them about 2 years ago. Shows you how much I play! I still had time to take the bus, but I opted to just walk the rest of the way home. I try to do that when I can. On a day when I walk to and from work, I log in 4 miles and it only takes me 10 minutes longer than the bus. Great exercise! And it’s 40 minutes when I can just think. Today, I was thinking, ‘500 million…what would I do with that much money? Why would I even NEED that much money?’ Even after I did all the things on my list (donate to World Vision, things for mom and dad, things for my friends, small house, small car, market my business and pay my credit card bills), that would only be a small dent in the sum. I know that you take a hit if you get it all at once and then there are taxes which take about half, but that’s still a ton of money. Somewhere in my walk I came to the conclusion that I’m pretty satisfied with my life as it is. There are times when I stress about bills or making ends meet, but in the end, God always provides just what I need. It’s a really cool feeling to feel happy with where you are in life. Peaceful. Calming. And very grateful.

There is the downside of sudden riches too. I can just imagine… Suddenly, people come out of the woodwork who claim to be family members you never knew you had. Friends who had dropped off along the way suddenly want to make up. It would be very hard to trust that people want to be with you for who you are and not what they can get out of you. I know that sounds kind of cynical, but sadly, I think that suspicion would always be lurking in my mind if I won. And I don’t want to live like that. I’ve heard that you often have to move. I would be worried that someone would break in thinking I had all this money or luxury items stashed in my place. In the end, I don’t know that I would be any happier than I am now. I’m sure by now, some of you are shaking your heads and thinking ‘What a nut job’.

I had told myself on the way to the store that that was my one shot at buying a ticket and if they didn’t have them, I really didn’t need one. So I’m sorry to those of you who I wanted to do things for if I had won. I’ll still try to do things for you, it may just take a little longer and be a bit scaled down. Instead of trying to find another store that sold the tickets, I took a nice walk home, enjoyed the sweet, fresh smell of the light rain, took pictures of this random field of clover flowers and felt pretty lucky to be where I am now.

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