You’re looking at the face of a guy who didn’t win the Mega Millions lottery jackpot. Look in the mirror and you might see another, but I’m the one who had it spent.
I had bought two tickets for me and my wife. Although a lottery isn’t technically gambling, I don’t usually throw money away, so those two tickets were two more than I had bought in the past year. How can you say no to more than a half-billion dollars?
My expenditure left me with a dollar in my pocket. As I pulled into the street from the gasoline station, there was a firefighter holding a boot, collecting money for Jerry’s Kids. I couldn’t say no to a hero, so he got my last dollar. I decided that after I won, I would buy him a new fire truck, and another boot.
Later that day, while pushing our old mower around the yard, I spent the rest of the money. I didn’t have an attorney, but I knew a very nice one, so I would let him tell me how to dole out the cash sensibly.
The tax man would get a huge lump off the top, of course, but I’ve never minded paying taxes. Someone has to buy all those bullets and lobbyists.
My wife and I couldn’t tell anyone we had won the jackpot, of course, or our house would become the No. 1 target on Google Earth. We couldn’t even tell the kids until we drove them to our new house.
“What’s the biggest house they make – the biggest number of bedrooms?” I asked my wife when I plopped down on the floor to rest between yards.
“I don’t know,” she said. “A hundred? Why would you even ask?”
“Because when we win the lottery, I want to find a place big enough for all the kids and grandkids and us.”
“A colony of houses would be better, so everyone could live close by without getting on one another’s nerves,” she said, looking me in the eye.
I knew a very nice real estate agent, so that was settled.
“The first thing we should do is buy you a new car,” I said. “Would you rather have the BMW 5 Series or the 7 Series?”
“I like my car. It works just fine,” she said.
“But it’s 6 years old and it needs washing,” I said.
“We’re not going to win,” she said. “Finish the yard before it rains.”
As I mowed, I kept spending. The church, of course, would get a huge chunk, for services rendered. (You can’t put a price on prayer, but you can see the results).
I’d need to set up a permanent pizza account for my co-workers. There’s nothing a journalist loves better than free food. Anyway, they deserve it, and I knew several very nice people in the pizza business.
I had done a pretty good job for my first millions, I thought. It was with some shock, then, that I picked the paper up out of the driveway and saw that they had drawn the wrong numbers for my jackpot.
Penniless, I washed my wife’s car.