“Uhhhh, lemme get 5,11,17,20,29,37 Combo”
“Uhhh, gimme seven Double Doubler and six Money Storm scratch-offs”
Every morning, when I go into WaWa to get my coffee, there are these two little elderly women there who get the same lotto numbers and the same scratch-off tickets. Without fail, there they are–déja vu every morning. And don’t let one of their scratch-off games be sold out, they will get funky and loud.
“And WHEN is the new shipment coming in? Tuesday? Well them tickets better be here when I get here, cuz you know that’s my game”
Since we see each other most every morning, we’ve gotten the chance to have a number of conversations. This morning, I finally had to ask about their lotto luck.
Me: “Good Morning Ms. Ethel and Ms. Dorothy. If you don’t mind my asking, do you ever change up your lotto numbers or pick different scratch offs?”
Ms. Ethel: “Don’t be silly baby. I been pickin’ these here numbers since I played the numbers in the streets (whispers: ‘those be illegal numbers–you don’t know bout dat’) And I been playing these here scratch-offs since they came out”
Ms. Dorothy: “Chile, I been on these numbers cuz dey my kids’ and grandbabies’ birfdays”
Me: “Have you ever won?”
Ms. Dorothy: “I won ’bout $1000 back in 1997 and I win the $1 and $5 prizes on the scratch tickets all the time”
Ms. Ethel: “I won a few times, once I won some big money. Nothin like the millions, but enough to do some things in the house and take a big ol’ family vacation. It’s nice to get the money, but it’s more for the suspense. I don’t like to gamble big in Vegas and The Atlantic City so this is my habit. Some people smoke, I play lotto. I’m not sufferin and I’m not killin nobody.”
I’ve truly never heard a better explanation for that for why people spend so much money on lotto and the like. I can’t act like I’ve never gotten caught up on a winning spree of scratch-offs, but I’m not spending every last one of my hard-earned dollars on lotto paraphernalia. I see a lot of people spending their money on that stuff, when it would be better used for paying important things…I dunno, like rent, food, and all that good stuff, all because there’s a chance they could hit big. Of course though, not every lotto player is in dire straits like that. **But that could make for a great movie. Person spends the last $1 in their name, wins millions, saves humanity…I love it. (rolls eyes at the sarcasm)**
After hearing Ms. Ethel’s explanation though, I guess I look at the little lotto ladies differently. I guess all of us have bad habits, and that’s their vice. Works for me. I’ll see them tomorrow morning, and maybe just for the hell of it I’ll buy a $1 scratch-off. *fingers crossed!*