Lotteries and Life Lessons


I don’t consider myself to be a lucky person. That’s not to say I’m unlucky, because there are far worse ways to live than I do now. But, when it comes to the amorphous blessing of serendipity that allows the same person find a hundred dollar bill in the gutter, win a motorcycle raffle and then hit the lottery three times in a row, I can honestly say I have no idea what it feels like. It seems I’m destined to make my own way in the world, without fortune’s favor. And I’m very much okay with that.

I read this morning someone from Louisiana won fifteen million in the Powerball jackpot. And I wasn’t even a little jealous. Really. I’m happy for the person who won, and I wish all those who purchase these tickets with hope in their hearts eventually get a taste of the same victory. It’s simply that luck has diverged it’s path from my own, and I’ve come to the conclusion (or the rationalizing delusion) it’s because I’m meant to find my own way in this world. For me, winning a few million would be too easy, too final. Because what do you do when you finally have everything?

I’m a big fan of The Sims. It’s a twistedly fun game where you make your creepy little avatars do your bidding, forcing them to study and get jobs so they can earn enough money for you to get them bigger houses and better furniture. It’s a frustrating process, because (as in real life) bills have to be paid and you can never afford all the items you want. For some, this is where the cheat code comes in. With a few random letters and numbers, you can suddenly give your Sims all the money in the world. Sure, it’s fun for a day or two, giving them massive mansions, putting in giant pools, buying all the most expensive electronics to entertain them. After that, though, when your Sims have danced themselves silly on the disco floor embedded in their living room, and after they’ve walked their expansive gardens and messed around with their very own Tesla Coils, there’s nothing left. No goals. No higher achievements to strive for. They’re just a pack of microcosmic mini-me lottery winners sitting in their massive houses, each mired in stasis–and a lot of stuff.

I don’t want to win the lottery. Ever. While a truckload of money would be nice initially, I can see the path it would lead me down, and it would be the same my tiny virtual friends have suffered. Why bother writing and striving for personal achievement when I have an eighty-inch plasma in front of me? Why work to be the best, when I can be the richest? Why care when those two separate ideals blend in my soul and suddenly richest equals best.

No, thanks. I’m happy to let others have my share of tickets. Even if it means a life of semi-poverty, or even a burger-flipping day job. I want my fortune to be my own, from my own hands. I want it to be a product of the devotion I have to my chosen profession, and not a result of a random number drawing.

As for those of you who disagree, may fortune turn her shining face your way.

About Avery

I am a roller derbying, dark fantasy author. This blog chronicles my adventures in life, writing and skating. View all posts by Avery

9 responses to “Lotteries and Life Lessons

  • avery

    Jay — You’re my sister from another mother.Kate — See, you have the drive to keep doing. Me, I’m pretty darn lazy. I’d just watch TV all day.Stewart — So, you don’t want a grill, then? I think it would be a rather dashing addition to your persona.

  • Stewart Sternberg

    Well…this depresses me. Unlike you, I want the lottery. I would kill for it. I hate reading about winners who do foolish thing like giving half their money to a church. I especially cringe when some twenty one year old wins and then says something stupid like: “I’m gonna go out and buy a grill. Peace out to Fitty Cent.”Okay, I’d say something stupid too and I’d spend it on ridiculous things like oversized sea shells and life sized plastic dolls with real grass skirts. But at least it would be ME spending it on that. ME.

  • Kate S

    Hmm… I’ve given away just about everything I owned before and it was liberating; but on the other hand, I would love to win the lottery to finance my dreams.This past month during which I haven’t been employed, but have spent all my time painting, writing, and chilling with my kid, has been the most peaceful, relaxing and happiest time of my life to date. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to get a day job soon though, because I can’t afford to stay this way. Winning the lottery would make this chick very happy indeed.🙂

  • Jay

    I wouldn’t mind having a pile of cash, but I don’t buy tickets because I don’t want to win. I only want the money if I can earn it – weirdly, I think I couldn’t enjoy it as much if it was just luck.

  • avery

    Spy — You’re a better person than I am. I just don’t think I’d have the drive to keep pushing myself if a boatload of money fell in my lap. I’m inherently lazy.Steve — I know it’s just stuff, but, I like my stuff. I’ve never been one to drop everything. Then again, I’ve thankfully never had a need to.Sqt — I saw a TV show about lottery winners. One old guy from West Virginia won millions, gave his granddaughter everything she wanted and she ended up hooked on drugs and dead. Sometimes what we want most is exactly what’s worst, huh?Charles — I know the feeling. Before we left D.C., it was one bad thing after another for the Architect and me. But, once we moved away, all the little things started to go right. It was like the universe was banging us on the head, trying to tell us we weren’t on the right path. Once we got here, there have been relatively few bouts of bad luck. And, I agree with you as far as money goes–but I would like to have fewer bills.

  • Charles Gramlich

    The first forty-five or so of my years were filled with minor bad lucks. Things just constantly went wrong, and although I didn’t have bad luck in big things, like getting a job and not getting sick, I wouldn’t call my luck there particularly good, just adequate. But something happened a couple of years back and I find, strangely to me, that little things are going my way these days. And that I’m having actual good luck in the big things as well. I tell you it is nice, so very very nice. I don’t care about money, as long as I have enough to eat and pay my bills and buy a few books, but having little things go smoothly is the best luck one could ever have.

  • SQT

    I’m jealous of the lottery winners.😉

  • Steve Malley

    I don’t bother with the lottery because it’s only money. I’ve had money. I’ve lost money. Sometimes I’ve spent it on stuff, but mostly the stuff was lost or abandoned here and there along the way. In the end, it was just luggage, and sometimes you have to be ready to ditch your luggage to save your hide.These days I run on the propostion that pretty pictures and exciting stories are my purpose. As long as I remain faithful to that purpose, enough money will come. And oddly, it always does.

  • spyscribbler

    Now see, I’m a lottery-dreamer. I’m also lucky. I get bad luck, but I also am saved by really good luck.Money would let me live comfortably while I wrote and played and did all sorts of stuff. It would buy me time!

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