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?