One regular Christmas gift from my mom is a handful of instant scratch-off lottery tickets. While I never expect to fund a retirement account from any winnings, there's that lottery dream moment that you automatically get because until you rub that coin across the shiny gray spot, the world COULD be yours ... and this is the promise that keeps state lottery systems booming year after year.
As I worked my way through the 10 tickets, my dream faded slowly, but with a hint of promise because I had a few free ticket winners, and a $2 winner. In my mind, to keep the lottery gods on my side, any winnings go back into the "pot" for the purchase of more lottery tickets, with the plan of having a never-ending supply of tickets (and big hopes!) coming my way. Now we both know that never quite works out... the luck always eventually runs out. This time was pretty much like any other. My five new tickets turned into four, and four turned into three.
There I was with my three little potential pots o' gold, saving them to savor after everyone had gone to bed... just me, a glass of Arnold Palmer iced tea, a day old donut, the TV remote, my tickets and a quarter (due to unexplainable superstitions, I refuse to scratch off my tickets with anything less than a quarter). And, since I am the one responsible for the vacuuming in the house (NO... vacuuming once a year does not entitle you to say you vacuum here), I was scratching them off over a magazine because those weird little shavings get everywhere! My butt hadn't even settled into the groove in the sofa when lo and behold.... the very first spot was kind of implying that I had won $100. I reached for my reading glasses. Still $100. I reached for my bifocals. Still $100. What? I wanted to scream, but then I figured the dogs would start barking so I thought better of it. I looked at the clock... it was midnight... everyone I knew was sleeping, so I couldn't even TELL anyone! I put it in a safe place, sent out some very braggy e-mails and Twitter posts, counted on some sweet dreams, then headed to bed.
The next day at 6 a.m., funnily enough, come to find out that no one seems that excited about a $100 windfall in my house. I still was!!! I couldn't stop thinking about what to do with the money. Do I buy $100 in instant tickets? Probably not. Seems kind of showy!! Also seems kind of dumb. Should I put it toward those Oakley sunglasses I wanted at Macy's? Should I take it to the casino and have 400 pulls on the quarter slot machine? Should I put it toward the $500 payment on my son's camera for school? Uh, no. How did that thought even sneak in there?? This is FUN money! And now, three weeks later, I still don't know! I still have that ticket tucked safely away and I check on it often .... is it weird that I peek at it three times (or more) a day? I figure when the right expenditure comes along, I'll know it.
It has got me thinking, can you imagine if I ever did hit the "big one"? I might actually do a real backflip, which would be the first backflip of my life. At least I'd have money for the chiropractor!! :)
Until the money tree grows in my back yard.... I wish you all a great day!