High Hopes

powerballDid anyone else also succumb to the siren call of the Powerball Lottery?  1.5 billion for a mere $2?  Buy your tickets here and here or over there.

I bought my ticket, and having never played before, bought the Quick Pick so as not to hold up the line of dreamers behind me.  I paid my money, pocketed the ticket and headed out the door where an unexpected few hours of pure fantasy awaited me.

The ads for Powerball are not far off. I mentally spent the petty cash:  college and post graduate studies for the grandkids — check; pay off bills and kids’ homes — check. Maybe buy a home for me….or not. I rather like my gypsy life.

And then, having oh-so-many bazillion dollars remaining and arriving in predictable payments over the next 30 years, which will no doubt be long after I die, it’d be setting up a foundation to give back and perhaps try to do a bit of good.

In my mind’s eye, the kids and grandkids had to continue in careers that speak to their passions.  No free rides here; we all have gifts to give this world and sitting around waiting for a handout doesn’t help anyone reach their potential or make this world a better place.

Then, reality hit and the fantasy turned a bit more grim as to what might potentially be supported:  education, climate warming, homelessness, gun safety (reasonable changes that protect the entire Bill of Rights and not just the 2nd Amendment), women’s access to basic health care…

How about countering a few of the blame ‘n shame fear mongers running for office? How about taking on the governor of Michigan who first displaced democracy by replacing the Flint’s elected officials with his appointed emergency manager before cutting off clean water to over 100,000 citizens and, despite warnings, exposed everyone to months of toxic levels of lead poisoning and legionnaires disease?  Or maybe the governor of Kansas who, after decimating public education, decided women and children did not need access to low cost health care and proceeded to de-fund Planned Parenthood and eliminate funding for low-income children’s health coverage?

Maybe the Powerball winnings could even work towards restoring those social contracts that many current retirees grew up with: wages that allowed us to buy homes, take vacations, spend time with our children; benefit packages that kept families healthy; and pensions so we could retire. 

I’m old enough to have watched our nation morph from one that offered opportunity, if one had access to some education and worked hard enough, to one where only the very top corporate officers and hedge fund managers benefit at the expense of everyone else, 401K’s included.

Evidently, avarice and power are mighty strong motivators.

ah, but now we have the Powerball, perhaps the only viable path to wealth for a very few chosen ones, even though some call it the Stupidity Tax because it’s just another way for the government to collect taxes at the expense of those of us who purchased tickets and lack the means to hide a windfall in some obscure Caribbean island.

Besides, with odds of one in 292.2 million, my chance of winning the grand prize was probably slightly better than finding the right man with whom to spend the rest of my life. Sigh.

On the other hand, if I can avoid reality, spending two bucks for a few hours of pure fantasy is well worth the price of admission. I may even play again, some day down the road.

Besides, in Wednesday’s drawing, I won!!  Whoo Hoo!!!

Five whole dollars. All things considered, it was a pretty darn good return on my investment.

I’ll try hard not to spend it all in one place.


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