Today's Henn Topic is...
Playing the Lottery!!
Here is what I think of people who play "the numbers"
Now let me clarify something. I have no problem with someone throwing a couple of bucks into an office pool for the Super Bowl, or March Madness, or even for a weekly drawing (back at the hospital, the dental employees used to toss a buck in an envelope every week for the Friday "Big Money" drawing, which I would sometimes participate in). That kind of stuff is fine. You know you probably aren't going to win, but it is fun. I have also been known to buy a dollar or two worth of tickets to one of the big jackpot games when they get to one of those insane amounts (low to mid 9 figures). Again, I have absolutely no expectation of winning, but it is not that different than throwing a few quarters into a wishing well. There is nothing wrong with that.
But too many people I know take the lottery WAY too seriously. Doo Wop came in this morning clucking about how her number came up last night. Specifically her 3 digit (her 4 digit almost came up, too). Depending on how much she put on the ticket, she won anywhere from about $75-$250 (when I worked at the liquor store lo those many years ago, a $.50 ticket paid out $80 and a $1 ticket paid $250 for winning "box" style, or where you have all the correct numbers, but not in the order that they came up in the actual drawing. There is every chance that the payouts have gone up in the last 12 or so years, but I haven't followed the system to know about it). Sure enough, the conversation quickly turned to everyone's favorite numbers, and how many times they had almost won recently, and how that one time they didn't get their tickets that number sure enough did come up. Now, it should be noted that everyone contributing to the conversation had many different sets of numbers that they play for both the midday and the evening drawings, some even having different sets of numbers for each drawing, some having a rotation of number sets they play, and some playing ALL of their numbers EVERY drawing. I would say that the average spent on Pick 3, Pick 4, and the big money multi-state drawings (I know the Big Game is played in MD, but I forget what the other one is) per each Henn that plays the numbers is about $10/day, and I am erring on the side of caution with that number.
That is just crazy. At that rate, you are putting $3500+ in the pot EVERY year (and if you don't think these fools AREN'T going to Vegas, A.C., and Dover at least once a month, you are fooling yourself more than they are). From the daily grumbling I am also confident that they don't recoup that amount, or anywhere near it, in any given year.
And that brings us to the scary logic that permeates not only this office, but way too much of the general population. The notion that a random occurrence is due, or that it is more apt to happen again, or that the Fates know to watch you to make sure you are following up with your daily gambling because when you don't they will make sure THAT is the time when "your numbers" come up...
You'll see them in the Bingo Halls, too. With all their troll dolls and ink blotters mapped out in a precise order and pattern to maximize their winning potential.
Do me a favor and cross your fingers that it won't rub off on me, wouldja?