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Luck of the Draw

“I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

I’m off to buy my very first lotto ticket. Wouldn’t it be terribly clever if I won?


Knowing nothing about Lotto 649 or how it works, and hoping to avoid making an ass of myself at the kiosk, I do a quick internet search on the subject.

Wikipedia explains the basic premise as follows: As the name implies, six numbers are drawn from a set of 49. If a ticket matches all six numbers, the jackpot prize of at least $5,000,000 is won. A bonus number is also drawn, and if a player’s ticket matches five numbers and the bonus number, he or she wins the “second prize” which is usually between $100,000 and $500,000. Should more than one player win the top or second prize, it is split amongst them. Lesser prizes are also awarded if one matches at least three numbers, or two numbers plus the bonus number. If the top prize is not won, the jackpot prize increases for the next draw.

Then there is the Guaranteed Prize Draw, effective September 2013, wherein one player is guaranteed to win 1,000,000 after every draw. This all sounds very promising.

It seems the big questions are: 1) do I want to choose my own numbers or take the random “Quick Pick” and 2) should I want to play the Extra? Since I will be relying on random luck to win this thing (my odds of winning 6 of 6 are 1 in 13,983,816) it only seems right I should rely on random numbers with which to win. Quick Pick it is. And oh yes, give me the Extra; I clearly need every chance I can get.

As the lady at the kiosk hands me my ticket and wishes me good luck I feel a little surge of excitement. What if I DO win?  What would I do with the money? Images of me paying off my student loan and mortgage spring to mind. My decidedly utilitarian fantasies send me plummeting back to earth. Clearly I could use a lesson in fantasizing; I’m doing it all wrong.

DSC_1422I tuck my ticket away in my purse and carry on with my day. Later that night I realize that the draw has taken place and I might already be rich! Carefully examining my numbers against those displayed on the BCLC website I am disappointed. Not a single match. How is this possible? Surely I should have matched 2/6 for a free ticket at least? The odds of that after all are a promising 1 in 8.3. Not wanting to miss out on my impending fortune due to a clerical error I ask Emrys to double check. He confirms the verdict: I am not a winner.

I suppose buying a lottery ticket was an experience; one that reminded me why I don’t play. It did surprise me how nervous I was about buying the ticket and being seen in public doing something so… well, stupid really. I guess if you enjoy the experience of buying a ticket and imagining winning, then you’ve probably got your money’s worth in entertainment. However, I am clearly not their target audience as I don’t enjoy hoping for things I’m unlikely to recieve.

All in all, it probably wasn’t the worst entertainment I’ve had for $4; neither was it the best.

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