Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week: http://www.goerie.com/news/20190102/4-million-mega-millions-ticket-sold-in-erie-county
That’s right. Someone among us won $4 million on a Mega Millions ticket from the Peach Street GetGo. That’s a “retire immediately” amount of money, if you want to. It’s a life changer.
A couple quick things I feel obligated to point out about the lottery for any idiots out there. First, playing it is a terrible retirement plan. You know how every commercial for the Pennsylvania lottery tells you it “benefits older Pennsylvanians?” Well, it couldn’t if there weren’t any money leftover, which means much more money is lost than is won. If you played the lottery, any lottery game at all, an infinite number of times you’d end up poorer than you started.
That is true whether you’ve won before, or never won, and regardless of the numbers you choose to play. All numbers are equally lucky, meaning none of them are at all lucky.
That said, here’s the second thing: it is absolutely fine to play the lottery and can be a lot of fun. So what if you don’t win. You probably didn’t expect to win anyway and as we already covered, your loss is some senior citizen’s gain. Donating to senior citizens is okay by me.
With that out of the way, now back to our mystery winner. Someone probably went back to work today in a post-holiday haze, thinking today was going to be a long slog. Wrong! Today was the day they walked triumphantly out of that place after a full day of dreaming about what to buy. It’s fun to do. I’m actually doing some daydreaming right now….
I start out at the McDonald’s drive thru for a whole pile of Big Macs. I take two out of the bag and throw the rest of that bag back in there. It splatters all over the floor and I drive away. Some poor McDonald’s worker draws the short straw to clean all that up and, surprise! There’s a big wad of cash in there! I drew the short straw when I worked at McDonald’s.
Then I take the other two. I eat one and I throw the other one right in the john. Why? Just to see which one ends up there first.
Then I call my dad. I tell him, “Hey dad. No more using the same Kleenex for weeks,” or, “Time to throw that old t-shirt in the trash.” He laughs. I laugh. He’s wearing the shirt. We both know that thing isn’t going anywhere. I give him a million dollars.
Then I go to the soup kitchen. I ask someone how it’s going and they say, “Pretty good right now but you know things get pretty thin in a month or two, after the holiday giving wears off.” I feel like a jerk about the McDonald’s thing, so I give them a million dollars.
Then I go home with the other $2 million and turn on QVC for the first time, just to see what it’s like. It sucks. What’s that, you say? I wouldn’t have the whole $4 million because much of it is taxed away? Whatever man, this is my fantasy. Stop ruining it.
Would I actually do any of this if I won the lottery? Almost certainly not. I just really get into it when I daydream. I honestly don’t know if I’d retire on the spot and buy a steak and a convertible on the way home, or just sock it all away and keep showing up to work. I’ll never know what I’d do.
But someone around here does.