Someone (and I don’t know who) once said that the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. I’ve always felt that this was true, and turned my nose up sneeringly at people who play the lottery, little old ladies throwing down their hard earned cash on the chance that they’ll be hit by lightning.
Nevertheless, I have been dreaming of winning the lottery quite frequently. I sit on the train and gaze quietly out the window and fantasize about a life that doesn’t so closely resemble Hell. People say that money doesn’t really change anything, a “no matter where you go, there you are” attitude that I ascribed to but now realize is the mantra of those who are actually going nowhere, a metaphysical teddy-bear we can hold to protect us against the plague of doubts that we are headed through the darkness down the wrong road.
Don’t think that you, collective friends of mine, won’t benefit from my winning the lottery. I pass the time concocting elaborate scenarios to dispense my winnnings to my friends and family; I am a magnanimous benefactor in my dreams, bestowing happiness upon those who surround me like a sultan from the pages of Arabian Nights.
I pass my days reading and writing, working on my farm, playing with my dog. I fund noble causes. I make smart investments, protect my loved ones, establish futures. I am a little God, flush with benevolence.
Then, the train pulls into the station and I realize I am an overweight, overworked, and overtired loser who likes to whine bitterly in his blog to an audience I never see. I throw my bag on, prepare to work another endless day, and pass by the bodega on the way to work and check out how much the NY State Lottery is up to.
“Fifty eight million dollars,” I think to myself. “I take the payout, then pay off taxes – that leaves me with about 14.5 million. First, I’ll pay off my parents’ mortgage…”