By: Amber Leventry
I didn’t win the Powerball. Not even a little bit. Not that I expected to win, because who really wants $1.5 BILLION, but I had wanted to at least recoup the $6 I had spent on tickets for the last two drawings. Nope. Not one numbered ball matched my Quick Pick numbers. But in the time between purchasing my Powerball tickets and the moment of holding my ticket while watching those balls bounce around in an airtight machine, I had hope. And you can’t put a price on hope.
Granted, the hope of winning the Powerball jackpot was the same kind of optimism I have when all three of my kids are finally asleep each night; I cross my fingers and imagine I won’t see or hear any of them until after sunrise. I don’t win that lottery either. But we still go through the bedtime routine each night. It’s unlikely that I will wake up without a child in my bed, but I still play the game. So I bought a Powerball ticket. Someone has to win eventually, and it could be me.
But it wasn’t. Now I can’t buy that Starbucks with my very own barista—is that a form of slavery? I can’t buy the election. Please don’t let it be Trump. Please, for the love of all things good, don’t let that lunatic become our president. I can’t travel the world on a whim. I can’t buy a personal babysitter to be at the ready anytime I want to escape my children—seriously, why do I think it’s okay to own humans?
But what would I really do with Powerball winnings? Besides the sexy things like pay off our mortgage, my student loans, and invest in low risk stocks with high dividends? I would buy new windows. Yes, windows. It’s not glamorous, but it’s cold here in the northeast and these 25 year old windows are crap. I walked by one the other day and swore it was open. I am cold and feel very guilty about energy inefficiency.
And do you see this cat? This tiny, plastic cat?
I would like to purchase the secret to making toys that seem completely benign, yet are the object of hoarding piles and the root of crying fits and arguments over ownership rights. This cat, which lives in a toy barn when not stuffed into cushions or bags by one of my three children for later possession, is priceless. The thing doesn’t even have eyes, yet my kids will play with it for hours. And I don’t mind their bickering over it so much. They’re learning soft skills and those lessons cannot be bought.
Some lucky winners will get to buy yachts and houses and windows, but it’s not me. Not today. It was fun to be involved in the thrill of what if. And you have to play to win, right? Since there were a few winners, I guess I will save my money for now. The odds of winning the lottery are not too good, and I rather take my chances when the possibility of a billion dollars is the same as an uninterrupted night of sleep.