I haven’t won the lottery yet. I have a 1 in 100 million some odd chance of bringing home anything bigger than a $2 prize. But I like to dream about what I would do with a million, with a few hundred million — the only time the word â€œjackpotâ€ is as fun to say as it should be.
Most of the time the dream starts off practical, rational. Pay off that student loan debt, then the car. Then, finish off my parents’ mortgage. Well, you have to take at least 30 percent right off the top in taxes, so those essentials have to happen first.
Then, they get more whimsical. A house boat and a pond hockey rink. Teleportation realized. Travel to my ancestral homeland… first figure out where that might be.
But that’s starting to sound selfish. I find myself trying to make up for my imaginary longing for material superiority through possessions and assure myself that charities would be fully funded and cancer would be much closer to a cure. The plight of the sick and poor and the in between would be heard and answered.
Every week when the jackpot drawing comes around and I spend my one dollar to see if I have what it takes; if luck thinks I’m ready to win with this ticket, Iâ€™m not just buying a lottery ticket, it’s also a ticket of admission. Admission to a special screening of a potential outcome and admitting that the phrase â€œmore money than you know what do withâ€ would be fortunate.
There is a near spiritual ritual, rationalizing the good that would come to others in my victory and bargaining with the fates that I might be someone who deserves a few extra million.
Even if you lose, as I have countless times before, the dream is worth the dollar.
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