Friday, November 30, 2012

Life's Little Injustices (Take I): I Didn't Get My Powerball

Whilst going out and about Wednesday night, I suddenly realized that it was time to replenish our beverage supplies...this was around 10:30 p.m.

I was waiting in line to pay, when a gentleman rushed into the establishment, huffing and puffing, with only one pressing question on his mind: "Is it too late?"

The clerk flashed the interloper a quizzical stare.  "What do you mean?"

"You know, for the $550 million..."

"Oh, no," the clerk said, looking at the clock.  "You're too late.  You can't buy any tickets after 9:58 p.m."

The chap's expression collapsed. "That sonofabitch lied to me."  He shook his head.  "That sonofabitch lied to me."

I didn't stick around to hear the rest.

However, I could just imagine the thoughts running through his mind, as I drove off to go home: I coulda been a contender...I coulda told 'em all to kiss my ass tomorrow...I've gotta spend another decade at this shit job...the bills are always gonna pile up...why weren't those numbers mine?

This is what life comes down to, after three decades of flat wages, booming income inequality, and lack of political will to address any of these things...the average folk wait for a multi-billion-dollar payout, such as Wednesday's record $580 million drawing, and hope that the price of courting Ludy Luck outweighs the benefit of paying the "Stupidity Tax" (as commentators often refer to the lottery).

On the other hand...a million-dollar payout works just as well, as this news item suggests:

MADISON - The winning Powerball player in Wisconsin who tried her luck on a record $580 million jackpot is stepping forward.
Mary Retterath purchased her $1 million ticket at Speedway, 9130 W. Oklahoma Avenue in West Allis.
Retterath and her husband, Dennis, brought their ticket to the Wisconsin Lottery's Madison headquarters where it was validated as the winner.
After taxes, Retterath received $672,500.
The quick pick ticket Retterath purchased matched all five regular winning numbers, though not the Powerball, in Wednesday's historic drawing.
Wednesday night's winning numbers were 05, 16, 22, 23 and 29, with a Powerball of 06.

Retterath and her husband have agreed to talk about their good fortune at a news conference Monday, December 3 at 10:30 a.m. at West Allis City Hall.
Just how imagine how many people will try to find her phone number! --The Reckoner

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