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How Not To Win the Lottery
An Unaware Potential Millionaire
"Beth!" my mom called from the living room. "Why haven't you turned in this lottery ticket?"
"What lottery ticket?" I covered the spaghetti sauce pan and went to see what she was talking about.
"Oh, you mean my bookmark." I wished she hadn't lost my place in the book.
"You scratched it off and won $10."
"Ten dollars? Really? I remember looking at all the 7s and wondering what they meant."
My mother stared at me. Normally I loved her light brown eyes, but not when they had this confused expression. "It means that each 7 is worth $2 and you have five of them."
"What do you know?"
"You'd better cash it in."
"I don't know if I can. When does it expire? I've had that lottery ticket since last June."
"What?" My mother sat down on the couch.
"Yeah, Chuck got it for me a year ago last June. I remember because he went out for a six-pack of beer to go with the steaks he was going to barbeque for dinner and he came back with that lottery ticket for me. I remember because I was watching an episode of Northern Exposure, you know, where Holling learned that Jesse the bear was dead and it was the closing scene and the Enya song, Caribbean Blue was on and he handed me the lottery ticket and told me he was giving me a Sunny Money Lottery Ticket because we live in sunny Austin."
"You remember all that but you can't read the directions to see if you won?" My mother frowned, and ran her hand over her short dark brown hair, which was lightly speckled with grey.
"Oh, and he got one with all the numbers already on it. Like dad's been getting for his retirement." So far it hadn't been working well as a financial plan, since he was still working.
"Did you win anything with that one?"
"Probably not? Did you check?"
"There's a year limit to collect your winnings! Give me the ticket and I'll check online."
I went over to the fireplace, picked up a wicker basket and handed it to my mother. "We've got a few lottery tickets you can look up."
She took it from me and gasped. "A few! You haven't checked any of these? You could be a millionaire and not know it."
I doubted it. I was pretty sure I'd feel differently if I were a millionaire. Maybe I'd even get my hair cut. Buy a new pair of jeans.Then I noticed the spaghetti sauce boiling over on the stove and knew what I'd do first thing if I were a millionaire.
I'd hired a chef. And a maid. In that order.