Almost a year ago, I wrote about how I expected to win the historic $300 million Powerball drawing.
I said that as soon as I finished writing the column I was going to go buy my winning ticket.
Of course, I didn’t buy one. I knew I wasn’t going to when I said I was. I take a little poetic license every now and then to make the story more interesting.
You wouldn’t read it if I didn’t.
Come on, if The Partridge Family had owned a Roto-Rooter franchise in Peoria would anyone have watched? Of course not.
But today is different. I really do have two Powerball tickets for tonight’s drawing. In a peculiarly uncharacteristic move, my mother-in-law gave them to me on Christmas.
I’m not sure which is more unusual: the fact that she bought lottery tickets in the first place or the fact that she gave them to me on Christmas day, which was on a Sunday no less. It may be time to have her seen about, but I cannot worry myself with that today.
All I am concerned with today is passing the time until 10:59 p.m., because that’s when the good folks at Powerball draw the numbers. I fully expect to win.
There is only one problem.
The jackpot is only $60 million.
When I saw that number on a lottery billboard yesterday, I was genuinely a little disappointed.
Sixty million paltry dollars.
I wanted to win $300 million, remember? That’s what the jackpot was a year ago.
This is a mere 20 percent of that.
I wonder if the big check they will present me at the press conference will be 80 percent smaller than the check they gave those nimrods last January who won $300 million?
Even if I do win it, there is no guarantee it will be all mine. I may have to share it with someone else whose mother-in-law also bought them tickets for Christmas.
I’m an only child to begin with, so sharing is not an activity I partake in with much gusto, but the thought of having to split a measly jackpot like $60 million two ways is unthinkable.
I’m not even sure third cousins would come out of the woodwork for a share of $30 million.
Plus, I believe I told my mother-in-law I would give her back her $2 if I won. I was joking, but if she holds my feet to the fire about it, there go two more bucks up in smoke.
I suppose I could survive on my take, but don’t get me wrong, I would much prefer the cushion — and the multiple Ferraris — that $300 million would provide.
(Wednesday, 10:59 p.m.)
Well, guess whose 2001 Dodge truck is still in the driveway where his Ferrari belongs?
When I said I fully expected to win, I guess I was exaggerating again. But, I must admit I did have some glimmer of hope that those bouncy-bouncy little ping pong balls would have my numbers on them.
The next time someone calls me a cynic, I am going to whip out this story.
To make myself feel better, I did some research and learned the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.
The odds of someone being struck by lightning twice in their lifetime are 1 in 9 million, which is 32 times more likely than winning Powerball.
Nobody won the jackpot last night, by the way. I didn’t hear about anyone getting struck by lightning either, so I guess it’s a wash.
I’m usually pretty realistic when it comes to things like this. So don’t look for me in line to buy a lottery ticket.
If someone gives me one, I will happily take it.
But if I win, you’ll never see me out in the middle of a field dancing around on the hood of my Ferrari if a dark cloud is approaching.