THE LOTTERY 23 YEARS AGO

I remember February 24, 1993 – with fondness.  What began like any other Wednesday ended unlike any day I had experienced.  

The day was over cast, rainy.  I was working as a caregiver and decided to purchase one lotto ticket, just as I had done every week since the lotto began in Texas a year before.

I asked my boss if I could run an errand?  She agreed and I drove to the convenience store on San Felipe inside the 610 Loop in Houston.  Back then – quick pick was not an option.  I grabbed the blank lotto form and scratched six numbers   I was soon on my way back to work.  

That night as I watched the 10 PM news and heard the numbers I said to myself how familiar those numbers sounded.  I checked and learned I had correctly chosen the first, missed the second by a few numbers, got the third, fourth, fifth and sixth!!  In other words I had correctly chosen five out of six.  I was thrilled.  I called a friend and shared the good news.  I called the convenience store who was also happy and asked I let him know how much I won as he wanted to share!!!!  

That night I hardly sleep and as soon as I could I called the Houston lotto office which was located off 610/Ella.  I rushed over – as if waiting might make them change their minds.  I brought proper identification.  The employees asked if I owed any back taxes or student loans?  I replied no.  A quick check proved I was telling the truth and within a short time I was presented with a check for $2,140.  I was one of seventy who chose five out of six.

 Nobody won the three million lotto.  The lovely, large and colorful check felt like a million dollars in my hands.  A photo was taken of me – holding the lotto ticket in one hand and the check in another.  I know I was beaming.  It was nice to feel there was a financial cushion – however large or small.

I made a copy of the check and allowed the convenience store to advertise they had sold a winning ticket.  I shared with my church, my parents and friends.  I felt blessed.

 One day while shopping at the convenience store an employee mentioned I was the winner whose check was displayed.  A customer remarked too bad I had not won the three million.  Until then I had not considered that possibility.  Only then did I.  And in the years following I certainly have.

How very different my life would have been had I won the three million.  Money does not buy happiness but it can sure help you live in better places and avoid misery which often results from lack of money.  I can think of two things which would occur in my life within a few years – less than ten – which have left emotional scars.  Had I won the three million those two events would never have happened.  I would have resigned from my job and moved from the neglected apartment.  Those two things were mine fields which I did not foresee.  

For better or for worse, I did not win the three million but I most certainly enjoyed the $2,140 as did my parents, my friends, my church.  I am grateful for what I did win.  I thank God and try not to question why?

 

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