Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Lottery Tickets

Yesterday I stopped by a gas station to buy some lottery tickets. This is something that I have to do every week. I spend at least eight dollars. I'm guessing that I spend about five hundred or so a year.

My big mistake was picking my own numbers. I picked some numbers several years ago when we first got the lottery. I think that first year I won a hundred dollars. At the time I was really happy to have an extra hundred dollars. We were so excited that we had won something. We barely got to sleep that night. We just couldn't wait for it to be morning so we could go and cash in that ticket.

So the that was one set of numbers that were played twice a week. That came to one hundred and four dollars a year, plus maybe the occasional extra quick-picks if there was a really high jackpot. That's not so bad. I figured that if we had a state income tax it would cost us that much, and the lottery was way more fun.

Then I got a second set of numbers. So now that's two dollars twice a week so that's two hundred and eight dollars played on Lotto Texas. Plus we occasionally bought extra quick-picks if there was a really high jackpot, and if we went out of state for the week we bought our state lottery tickets before we left plus we bought tickets for the week in whatever state we were visiting.

And then Texas got Mega Millions. So I played that game too, with the same two sets of numbers that I played Lotto Texas. So now that's four dollars twice a week, and that adds up to four hundred and sixteen dollars. Plus those occasional extra quick-picks and other state lotteries and Powerball tickets if we go out of the state for the week.

I hardly win anything anymore. It seemed like I used to get three numbers once in a while and win between two and ten dollars. Nothing to get excited about, but once in a while it paid for the next week's tickets. And I think I've won a hundred dollars maybe five or six times. Which is nice when it happens, but a hundred dollars just doesn't seem like much now. I spend more than that a week when I'm "not spending any money." A tank of gas, some stuff at the grocery store, and maybe a bag of clay, and there goes a hundred dollars.

So it doesn't seem like much fun anymore, though I still think a state income tax might cost that much, and this is still more fun than a state income tax.

But I still have to spend this eight dollars a week on these two games with these two sets of numbers. Because I have these numbers. If I didn't have these numbers, if I just got quick-picks and I missed a week or so, everything would be just fine. But I have these numbers that I picked out, and if I ever stopped playing them, then those numbers would win, and I'd be just miserable.

So yesterday I went to the gas station to buy lotto tickets. And I have these numbers, and I already have a form filled out. One of the forms didn't seem to work, and I had to fill out another one to get it work right. Now there's a bit of dilemma for me when they actually print out the wrong ticket. If it has the right numbers but something else is wrong, like it's cash option instead of annual payments, then I go ahead a buy the ticket. Or if I wanted it for two weeks but it's only for one week, if I'm not going out of town I can just come back the next week. If it comes up for more than a week or two then I probably don't have that much cash on me and they have to print me another ticket.

But once in a while they print out a ticket with one of the numbers wrong, and then I wonder about that. What if these are the winning numbers, and I don't buy the ticket? But I usually don't buy the ticket, cause I don't have enough money to buy that ticket and the ticket that I meant to buy, so if I only have money for one it needs to be the one with my regular numbers.

So I'm buying my tickets, and I have to fill out an extra Mega Millions form because there was some problem with the one I had first. That ticket wasn't even printed out, but the lady told me that it couldn't read one of the numbers and was suggesting that the unreadable number might be 56. 56 isn't one of my regular numbers, so I filled out the form a second time. 56 wasn't one of the numbers called last night, but what if it's called on Friday?

So while that was going on, an older guy in the other line is also trying to buy tickets. Only he's just getting quick-picks, so he decided to just say how many he wanted instead of filling out the form. He wanted five of Lotto Texas and five of Mega Millions, both cash option. But the tickets never seemed to print out correctly. I think that there was a new guy trying to work the machine. I think first he got five of Lotto Texas and then five of Mega Millions, but the Mega Millions were the annual payment option. I would have just bought the tickets, but he said that he didn't want them, cause he was too old to wait for payments. So the guy tried again, but I think that he printed off another Lotto Texas ticket by mistake. So he asked for help from another employee, and the other employee didn't know that the guy wanted five quick-picks, so he just printed one. And then he printed another four, but again he forgot the cash option thing. So he had to print those four again.

So now the older guy has the five Texas Lotto he wanted and the five Mega Million that he wanted, and there's another fourteen dollars worth of tickets that were printed off by mistake that the guy didn't buy. And you don't want to spend twenty four dollars on lottery tickets when you only meant to spend ten dollars, but if you heard later that the winning ticket came from that store, but you didn't have it, wouldn't you always wonder if it was one of those tickets that you didn't buy? Wouldn't it have been better to just go ahead an buy the annual payment option ticket?


dmarks said...

I think I bought two or three scratch-off tickets last year. I didn't win a thing. The lack of luck does not encourage me to buy more.

Dame Honoria Glossop said...

I don't buy Lotto tickets, I couldn't stand the suspense!

The Absurdist said...

Okay, Slut, my head was swimming after I finished reading that...

Where in Texas are you? I am in Frisco, north of Dallas...

laughingattheslut said...

I'm in Grand Prairie.

For some reason I thought you were in Austin.