Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rant #418: Lotta Lottery

No, I am not here to announce that I won the second-largest Mega-Millions lottery jackpot ever, and that I am abandoning my current life to spend my millions.

I didn't win, although I did play in the lottery. I don't play often, but myself and my entire department at work decided that it was time to play again. We had played in the past, but never won much of anything, so we figured we would give it the old college try again.

It didn't work.

There are two winners of the $355 million Mega-Millions national lottery payout, and both are in the Pacific Northwest, one in Idaho and the other in Washington State.

I put in $3. I figured that that way, I would get three shares of the booty when we won.

But we didn't win, so I guess it was all for naught.

I know people--my father, for one--who play each and every week. They just don't put in a dollar, they put in lots of dollars.

I kind of understand it. It gives them reason to dream, reason to think that they can better their lives if they could actually win the jackpot.

But how many of us actually win these things? The odds are ridiculous, but we, as a nation, still play, even though it's almost akin to throwing away your hard earned cash into the dumpster.

The money supposedly goes for a good cause--I know the New York lottery money is said to go to education--but I have my doubts about where the money really goes. Have you read about New York City schools lately? I guess money can't solve incompetence by itself.

Anyway, here I am, $3 poorer and without a lottery win.

What could I have done with the $3?

I could have gotten a one-way fare on New York City's subways, with a little change left over--unless they raised the fare again, which they might have done while I wasn't watching.

I could buy some items off the dollar menu at any fast food joint, but I have noticed that some dollar menu items actually cost more than a dollar.

I could go to my local dollar store and buy three items, but I wouldn't have any money left over to cover the tax, so I guess I could buy only two items.

And, I could just have kept the $3 in my wallet. It would have made for a bulkier wallet, but at least I could then choose what to do with the $3 I didn't spend on the lottery that I knew I was going to lose anyway.

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