We have a weekly lottery pool at my job. The majority of the staff contribute to the pot and we have been doing it for about six months. It is always the same, someone goes around and collects two dollars from all participating members to play Mega Millions and regular lottery. Now, I know some of you are thinking that it is a waste of my money because we have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever winning. You might be right and I am quite aware of what the odds are of winning the lottery. But, the truth is that I can’t help playing. No, I don’t have a gambling problem or a scratch-off ticket addiction so don’t worry.

The fact of the matter is that I cannot fathom the possibility that my job pool actually wins the lotto and that I am the only idiot who did not contribute two dollars because I was cheap and, therefore, got left out in the cold. Could you even imagine how horrific that would be? All of my fellow staff members smiling on television as they collect their winnings while I report to work like an idiot because I missed the boat. I think I would hate my life every single day after that. Oh, the stigma of being the loser that wouldn’t cough up two measly dollars and ended up losing millions due being a stingy miser.

Yes, I understand that these thoughts are probably fruitless because it will never happen that we actually hit the winning numbers. What if, though? Stranger things have happened. I was just watching a show on television the other day about lottery winners that introduced the story of a woman who won a million dollars from a scratch-off ticket and then won another million three months later on another ticket. What are the odds of that happening? Are some people just luckier than others or is it just luck of the draw? Apparently, this woman purchases these scratch-off tickets every week and has been doing so for years. Maybe that is the secret winning ingredient, persistence.

What would I even do with all that money? Would I quit my job? I have actually had this conversation with some of my co-workers as we all fantasize about hitting the jackpot. Most of them say that they would immediately quit working upon hearing that they had won. Others state that they would like to continue working so as to stay busy and productive. Personally, I think that is bologna. There is no way that I would keep working if I suddenly became a millionaire. I would love nothing more than to call into my job one morning and say, “Hi, I’m not coming in today. As a matter of fact, I am never coming back. So long, Suckers!”

Being a teacher is wonderful and rewarding but extremely difficult and stressful in an inner city public school. Believe me, it is no bed of roses. However, it is not the students that are the problem, actually, they are wonderful. It is the bureaucracy and the egos of other adults that screw things up. Plus, why the hell would anyone want to work like a dog for the rest of their days when they could use their lottery winnings to be financially secure for the rest of their lives?

Anyway, getting back to my original question, what would I do with all that loot? I would drive by bus stops and give everyone waiting for the bus enough money take cabs home. It is sad, and I always feel bad, when there is bad weather and I look at people standing at the bus stop waiting to go home. Sometimes I feel guilty that I have been blessed with my car while they brave the elements. Next, I would create a scholarship fund for underprivileged students. I cannot even begin to tell you how many talented young people forego attending college due to insufficient funds. It is a travesty that some people are denied from furthering their education because they don’t have enough money to pay for it.

Now, of course, I would also do all the regular stuff that lotto winners do like paying off my house and my debt and splurging in some luxuries. You can’t win the lotto without doing some of that and without giving to your favorite charities. At the end of the day, the true reward for me would be having enough money to spend as much time as I want with my children. I think this is an important point that most people overlook when they consider how winning money would change their lives, having a lot of money frees up your schedule. Suddenly, all of your time belongs to you to do with as you please. Now, isn’t that the true jackpot?

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