Ten Bucks on Maybe

In the entire history of the lottery in Georgia, I’ve spent about $15 on tickets. And I’m OK with that. The first $10, I spent just to annoy my dad. When the lottery was under discussion, he’d scoff and say, “The lottery is a voluntary tax on people who are REALLY bad at math!”

After getting the kids to school this morning, I drove past a lottery billboard and noticed that it was stuck at $999 million. I’m pretty good at math, but I’m also pretty good at….maybe.


Yes, the chances of getting struck by lightning are 243 times higher than winning the jackpot. But it’s just a couple of bucks for a few minutes of…maybe.

Yesterday morning, I spent $14 on artisanal bread because I wanted to taste a flaky buttery chocolate croissant and remember that I used to go on international adventures. The day before that, I spent $17 on lunch with a friend. Last week, a handful of Ray Lamontagne CDs. A Charles Lenox mystery on the Kindle.

So I pulled my car into a gas station and went inside. I asked the woman behind the glass, “Do y’all sell lottery tickets?” She nodded.

Um…she seemed to think the Powerball was in my court at that point. I laughed. “You’re going to have to tell me how to buy one.” There were slips and tiny pencils involved but I did the quick pick anyway. I made an A in Mrs. Barnes’ probability class.

I handed the woman a $10 bill and she handed me a little fistful of maybe.

The statements for all three of my retirement accounts arrived simultaneously today, along with the statements for the kids’ college funds. I’m good enough at math to understand the power of compound interest, the importance of early investing, and the ups and downs of the equities market. On the other hand, I spent $24 ordering Chinese food for dinner, and my fortune said, “You will inherit an unexpected sum of money within the year.”

Here’s to maybe.

6 thoughts on “Ten Bucks on Maybe

  1. Jill

    “A fistful of maybe.” How perfectly put. Potential is a weird juxtaposition of thrilling and comforting. (And if you win, lunch is on you.)

  2. G

    Wait. I gave you $50 to buy tickets… Where are the other $40, or even the $192 M we’d certainly had won had you bought extra 20 tickets.


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