Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Maybe it's the unseasonably warm and wonderful Iowa spring weather that turns our minds to the mega million things we'd rather be doing other than working. Or, for some of us, maybe it's the thought of not having to work what seems to be a mega million hours between two, sometimes three, jobs just to make ends meet.
Whatever our individual jackpot dreams, we were all a twitter today as we put our dollars and quarters in the envelope that will soon make its way to the nearest lottery ticket machine.
Granted, I've already had my chance at winning big lottery bucks back in 1987. OK, so it was actually my husband, John, who got to spin the Iowa lottery wheel on TV. I was merely the frantic, screaming woman in the studio audience, hoping against hope the little bouncing ball would stop at the $2.3 million slot...though we told ourselves we would be thrilled with the "lesser" amounts of $25,000, $10,000 or (yawn) $5,000.
At any rate, John had practiced spinning the tires on an upsidedown bicycle for a week prior to the spin just to get his arm in shape. I had been busy making lists of all the different things we would do with each amount of money.
We invited our closest friends and family members to join us in the Des Moines TV studio where we and the other contestants met that Thursday night in July, I think it was...and I forget how many other wheel spinners there were.
All I really remember is how frenzied we had become over the possibility of walking out of there with a couple of million dollars.
And how we all watched breathlessly as John gave the giant lottery wheel a hardy tug and the ball bounced round and round, in and out of first the $25,000 slot, then the $10,000 slot, grazed the $2.3 million slot and then BAM, settled at last into the $5,000 slot.
Yes, as greedy and shallow as it sounds, our hearts actually sank for a minute because we won "only" $5,000. I mean, seriously? How could we feel even the least bit disappointed about leaving Des Moines $5,000 richer than when we arrived? Well, make that like $3,800 richer after taxes or whatever. The point is, it was a nice little windfall. As I recall, we treated our friends and family members to dinner and drinks, bought some furniture, paid a few bills and got our cat dipped for fleas.
Not quite the spectacular jackpot dreams we had envisioned, though a good time was had by all.
Well, by all except the cat, of course.