The Powerball jackpot was just at $600,000,000. That’s six hundred million dollars. That’s a lot of cheeseburgers. I was at work and casually mentioned that I bought a ticket and asked a coworker if he bought one too. Another coworker overheard and suggested that we start a pool. It seemed like a great idea, so we went around to all the different departments spreading the word. I started collecting cash and writing down names. We reached the initial target goal of $100 in less than an hour. Most people were eager to throw away ten bucks for the chance to win a few million. A select few refused to yield to stupidity. And bunch who were on the fence began to see how many other people were chipping in, and they decided that they didn’t want to be left out. After all, how shitty would they feel if we won and they missed their opportunity? Ten dollars per person adds up pretty quickly, and before you knew it we were up to $200, $300, and then $400 with no end in sight. I finally had to put a stop to it. I put a cap at 42 people in the pool so that we would buy a grand total of $420 dollars worth of lottery tickets. I thought that 420 would be a magical number to represent San Francisco. That would give us a total of 210 chances to win. Not great odds, but sufficiently more than my own mediocre $10 ticket. Being part of a lotto pool makes you feel like you have more of chance to win the jackpot (and you do). You still won’t hit the jackpot, but half the fun of playing the lottery is just wishful thinking. It’s fun to imagine that what if moment. The rest of the shift was spent dreaming and speculating and planning out how to spend our winnings. The joy was infectious. The possibility of 42 of us becoming instant millionaires simultaneously made the rest of the day fly by. And even if we don’t win this jackpot, there’s always another lottery and another day to win.
Critically Rated at 15/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young