The Powerball – $2.00 per ticket to dream

powerball tickets

The Powerball is up to $1.3 billion. It’s the highest lottery prize ever, in the entire world.  Yesterday, it was at $900 million, but no one won.  Which is crazy, because I think I read somewhere they were selling $16,000 worth of tickets a minute on Saturday prior to the drawing.

I decided to buy lottery tickets, something I don’t normally do because honestly I think playing the lottery is like throwing money to the wind. I can’t really tell you why I did buy tickets other than it is exciting to dream of what one would do with that kind of money if one won.

I devised a strategy. I decided I should let the computer pick the numbers, and I wouldn’t buy all my tickets at one convenience store, I would go to multiple stores to buy a certain amount.

My first stop was the 7-Eleven. There was a huge line.  A man in front of me bought $150.00 worth of tickets, so that’s 75 tickets.  I bought $4 worth.

I then went across the street to the Kwik-Serve and asked for 2 Powerball tickets. The man laughed and said, “And I suppose one of them should have the winning numbers.”  I said that would be very nice if he could arrange it.

I went to several other places. One store had photos of people with winning scratch-off tickets bought at that particular store.  I was feeling very hopeful.  I asked the man what was the largest amount of tickets someone had purchased in his store, he tells me $900 worth.  I say I sure hope that was an office pool, where everyone had pooled their money for a certain amount of tickets.  He said he wasn’t sure, but for the man’s sake he hoped so as well.

At another store, the man behind the counter asked me if I won would I give him a million dollars. I said, doesn’t the store that sells the winning ticket get a cut.  He said “Yes, 1 percent of the prize amount.”  With some rapid fire calculations I figured that was $9 million.  I said, “Well, won’t you guys get a huge sum of money for selling the winning ticket?”  He said the owner would get the money, not him. He said he would still be as “broke as sh*t” either way, so if I could spare a million or two, he would appreciate it.

Another convenience store, right down the street from our house, was doing a brisk business in Powerball tickets. I have known the owners of this store for years.  The guy behind the counter says the largest amount of tickets he has sold was $300.  This was for an office pool, then the same guy buys $20 more for himself.  I asked him if he thought that was right, the guy buying $20 for himself.  What if the winning ticket was in the $300 worth, and he switched it and said it was a ticket he had purchased for himself? The guy behind the counter didn’t think it was right either.

I discovered I had $3 and 4 quarters left, so a total of $4 – enough for 2 more Powerball tickets. I get in my car and drive across the street to the liquor store.  While I am driving there, “Miracles” comes on Pandora (I am listening to the 70s Light Rock station).  I think to myself, this must be a sign.  Miracles can happen. Or it could be some creepy “Final Destination” thing, but I shake that thought out of my mind. I buy my final 2 tickets.  I have 17 Powerball tickets now.

I spent $34, which I know really I could have just flushed down the toilet for the same results. I didn’t win.  I think I got 2 numbers right and none of the Powerball numbers, which was 13.  To win you have to have 5 numbers and the Powerball number.  Oh, well.

I was thinking though, why do otherwise relatively sensible people buy Powerball tickets when the prize gets to a certain amount? I think it is the excitement of just being able to grab onto a dream for a little while.  With that kind of money, the winner is released from the day to day grind of going to work, worrying about where they are going to get money to feed their kids, pay their rent.  They are free to do whatever they want, no longer go to some job they don’t really enjoy day in and day out, live in a house or apartment they hate.  They can travel, live in a nice house, buy clothes, and be generous.

Of course, we have heard the horror stories of people winning lotteries and frittering their winnings away in several years, some have even ended up dead, either through suicide or murdered by greedy relatives or acquaintances. But to be able to dream, even for a day or two, is so worth the $2 ticket price even though the odds of winning are 1 in 292 million.

The other thing I noticed yesterday when buying my tickets from the various places was the sense of community. The odds are so astronomical that it levels the playing field for everyone.  The odds are the same for the rich, the poor and all those in between.  I saw Mercedes parked outside the convenience stores and beat up pick-ups, and everyone inside patiently waiting for those tickets to dream. We all love to dream, even if it is for just a little while.

And because no one won last night, the dream is out there still, waiting for someone. Will I buy more tickets? Absolutely!!!!!

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37 replies »

  1. We bought a euro million ticket once but that was that. It was a big amount too. Well maybe we’ll do so again one day.
    Good luck! If you win don’t forget me 🙂 I don’t want your money but just remember your blogging friends who know your author qualities 🙂

      • We are slowly getting better. Yesterday was horrible (fever sore throat) but today was a lot better, no more fever but she clung to me all day. I myself have a small cold which is nothing next to her, but that might be that o cannot allow myself to be sick… Thank you.

  2. We don’t really do lottery either, but my husband bought 4 tickets yesterday. He did the auto pick and the store gave us all the same Powerball number. I think we’ll probably get a couple for Wednesday too, but may pick the numbers ourselves. I wonder how often that occurs–the machine overlapping Powerball on a purchase or even in a series of purchases–as getting a Powerball right is the best chance at winning any money back.

    • Yes, I noticed I was getting the same Powerball number, that’s why I went to the different stores, to see if it changed…and it did. Because when I first started buying the tickets, the Powerball was 10 and 11, I had several 11s but then there was quite a large chunk of time between the first ticket and the last. By the time I purchased the last ticket, the Powerball number was at 15. So I wonder if that number is churned out randomly, or just increases as the sales of tickets increase. Good luck on the Wednesday drawing!!!!!
      PS: Hope you and your family are doing well. Say Hi to LM!!!!

      • Interesting!

        My husband saw a picture on Facebook of a guy who missed winning by being one off on each number. Ouch!

        We all are. Hope y’all are too 🙂

    • Good luck David. I am going to try one more time this Wednesday – they say the prize will be up to 1.3 Billion (that’s with a B….Billion dollars). That’s a crazy amount of money. I am keeping my fingers crossed for both of us!!!!!!

  3. I love this post. It’s so true … $2 per ticket to dream. Love it. Your observations are spot on. The sense of community is true, too. Love this type of post, observing the ways of human behavior on a neutral basis, as an onlooker, with fascination. Great job.

  4. I think it would change my life in more ways than I want. It is just too much money.
    I would love to get $500,000 after taxes because that would pay all my bills and allow me to not worry about any unexpected expenses, but it wouldn’t mean retirement and I am not ready for retirement yet.

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