I couldn't help but notice. On the way to daycare every morning that huge yellow billboard taunts me with it's ever climbing figure. It is no problem ignoring it when it flashes a paltry number such as $15, or $33, or even $75.
But beyond that I start to take notice. Anything over $100 and wistful thoughts begin to take seed in the back of my mind. But in the back they stay. After all I am a practical guy. A father now, and not easily given to throwing perfectly good money into an obvious black hole. Plus, who has the time with a demanding toddler to make that extra stop at a convenience store or a separate line at the customer service counter at the local supermarket?
Not to mention that I have a reputation as a horrible gambler. Lady Luck doesn't find me attractive. I'm not her type of guy I suppose. She is the type who knows she's smokin hot, and merely bats an eyelash at me ever so often. So when I have traveled to places such as Las Vegas, I wisely limit myself to a small amount of cash that I am ok with spending for the entertainment of watching it quickly disappear.
But the other day the number, as it occasionally does, reached a level that could not be ignored by even the busiest of new parents. $252 million, it seems, was the number would push me to action. But not until the last minute. I realized on the night of the drawing that it was 6:49 PM and I vaguely remembered the drawing time to be 7:00 PM. I couldn't let the opportunity pass. Mrs. LIAYF and I dream enough about what we would do with such a wad of cash that if we didn't actually buy a ticket now, then we should cease all such fantastical notions.
"How much cash do you have on you Sweets?" I called to the kitchen. "$2" "Me too. I am headed up to the 7-11 to buy Lotto tickets". To actually make it in time (not sure how long the line would be), I sprinted down our stairs and to jumped into the car, tires letting off a slight peeling noise as I took off down our street. Thankfully the store was only a couple of blocks away and I was able to get there in enough time to slap my $4 down on the counter and tell the clerk to "Make it a lucky draw, friend."
I arrived home a couple of minutes later, finished eating dinner, went through Lukas' bedtime routine, and arrived back downstairs at my computer in excited anticipation. Who knows, this could be it. The answer, baby. However, as Mrs. LIAYF read off the numbers, the excitement was immediately gone. The wistful air sucked out of the room. Perhaps my allotted luck for the week was spent collecting a pretty cool mixed tape from SciFi Dad.
Out of the $4 ticket we had exactly one number. One. Yes, major letdown. But, on the brighter side, it seemed that no one else was lucky either. The number rose again to $333 million. Suddenly, I was feeling better about my chances.
But, in the havoc of the day I failed to realize that the drawing was Friday and not Saturday...and didn't stop to pick up any tickets. Easy go. Two other lucky people will share the life altering prize. Not that I had a shot anyway, since Mrs. LIAYF read somewhere that a person has more chance of getting struck on the head and killed by a falling meteor than of winning such a lotto prize.
Maybe I'll stay indoors today.