I’m lucky except I didn’t win Powerball

By Jim Russell
Empire Press Correspondent

The Powerball jackpot snared $2 from me for my second lottery ticket ever. Reading about a billion-dollar payout was too enticing. It’s the only way I’ll be a billionaire.

The first time, I had fun choosing numbers from birth dates in my family. Those numbers had to have magic. I lost, but learned choosing birth date numbers lowered my odds of winning. I could do better.

And it was easy to buy a ticket on impulse. Nobody was in line at the gas station when I bought snacks Jan. 13, so on impulse I asked the clerk if she sold Powerball tickets. She said yes, and I asked her to pick one for me.

By the time I was in the car, dreams of winning flooded over me. I’d tell Karen I bought a ticket and she’d ignore it, until she’d learn the winning ticket was sold in Washington state, in East Wenatchee, at the nearby Shell station. She’d get suspicious and ask if I’d won. I’d say yes, she’d say you did not, and I wouldn’t argue.

No sense arguing with all the work I’d have to do calling my attorney, broker, accountant and experts. Already anticipating the increased responsibility by the time I got home, I wrote down the numbers on my desk pad and sealed the ticket in my home safe.

I looked forward to fantasizing until the drawing in a few days.

The next morning’s news announced there were three winners. The drawing was the night before, not the weekend. Worse, the winning tickets were not purchased in Washington state.

I crashed. It was over before I could fantasize for three more days. I’d made another mistake buying the day of the drawing instead of immediately after the last lottery to maximize dreaming days.

This lottery playing is difficult. My ticket says my odds of winning were 1 in 24.9 tickets. Powerball.com said there were 26,110,646 winners, so why not me? I didn’t match one number. Why am I so unlucky?

I don’t like the disappointment of losing. If I could just get rid of that feeling, I might play again.

The next Monday, I wondered why there were six numbers on my desk pad. I’d forgotten about it. And I know I’m very lucky.