Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Powerball Newbie

This evening, I was doing my power walk on the treadmill and watching the 5 o'clock news.

Technically, I was forced to watch ESPN for 41 minutes of my 60-minute workout, but once the sports dude left, I was able to snag his treadmill and change the channel to something (anything!) far more interesting.


The news informed me that the Ohio Powerball was up to $500 million.

Jeez Louise!

I texted Adam and my mom, instructing them both to buy tickets. Neither was as jazzed or excited as I had hoped them to be.

 "The Powerball is up to $500 million!" I told two coworkers in the locker room after my workout. "I'm going to stop and buy some tickets."
I was glad to see that they knew what I was talking about and were equally as enthused.

Much better.

So, a few minutes before my evening class, I stopped into a nearby Speedway.

"I'd like to buy Powerball tickets," I proclaimed to the cashier, an elderly man with worn skin, round glasses, and a glimmer in his eyes. "Um, how much are they?"

I mean, maybe they were $50! I didn't know! I had never done this before.

"Two dollars a piece."

"Whew," I sighed in relief. "I'll take five, please."

He printed out the five lines and held out his hand for my $10 payment.

I handed him my American Express card.

"What? Oh, no, no, no!" He shook his head. "You don't pay for lottery with credit card! Cash only!"

Panic set in. I had absolutely no cash! The lines were printed!

"There. You can use the ATM here," he said, pointing to a less-than-reliable looking machine next to the Mountain Dew.

So I took out cash. And paid a $2.50 service charge.

"What will you buy with your winnings?" The cashier asked me, as he gingerly handed me my lottery ticket. "You will quit your job?"

"Hmm...I don't know." How had I not given this any thought yet? I could be a millionaire in mere hours! "I like my job, though. I don't want to quit that."

He asked me what I did, and I told him. I said I loved to write.

"You are going to be a novelist one day," he said. "Publish big books."

I smiled, "I think so, too."

I may not wake up a $500 millionaire tomorrow morning, but I will always remember that cashier and the special sort of twinkle he had.

I am going to be a novelist someday. I am going to publish big books.


  1. What a lovely thing to say to a complete stranger! Those are the things that really warm my heart and restore my faith in humanity :)

  2. Nice story. I'm sure the prediction will come true anyway. I wonder, were you lucky to win anything out of 5 lines? I was abroad then and head to play Powerball online. Mine won nothing.