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Fun to dream, while it lasted
lotto pic
Merced resident Maria Zlena Gonzalez picks up a ticket with some snacks for the road. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

If you are reading this column, then I did not win the lottery. I wrote this on Friday afternoon, when lotto fever was still high and we all had hopes of winning $640 million dollars.

I have to admit that I was not immune to that fever myself. I bought several tickets for myself, and I’m part of an office pool of 12 people. I prepared this letter in the unlikely, but unfortunate event that we did not win. I also wrote a column to use in case we did win the lottery. It was only a few words long. I’ll let you speculate on which words I chose.

I am not normally a gambler, but there is something about the lottery that I can’t resist. Apparently neither can the rest of Turlock, or the rest of the nation, based on the lines outside of local lotto retailers. I don’t have any hard statistics, but I’m willing to bet that plenty of non-gamblers purchased tickets to this Mega Millions. With a chance at that much money, who could blame us?

But it’s not just about the money, if that were the case I think a lot more people would be playing scratchers or casino games daily. I think the fun of playing is the real reason why we all throw our money out the window when the lotto stakes get high.  

My coworkers and I started pooling our money on Thursday morning, and from then on we talked of nothing but lotto. We started out talking about the small things we would change if we won the lottery. My personal life goal is to never do my own laundry ever again. I decided that if I were to win $640 million, I would hire someone to pick up my laundry and bring it back clean and folded. Heck, for that much money I’m sure I could have someone put it away for me too. 

My boyfriend suggested that we take it even farther, and open up a whole laundry service to pick up laundry all around town. That way we could make money off our laziness. So if we win the lotto some day you can all look forward to a full service fluff and fold in Turlock.

Our Laundromat was just the tip of the iceberg of ideas for our lotto winnings. On Friday, my co-workers soon came up with bigger and better ideas for our winnings. My friends and family are playing too, so I have heard nothing but lotto stories for two days. One Journal employee would gather all of her family together and build a compound where they could live together in peace and solitude. A relative of mine would start the world’s largest animal rescue, buy a zoo, and hire people to snuggle the animals all day. And my best friend would hire Lil’ Wayne to follow him around singing the chorus to “Make it Rain” while he threw money on his former boss’ desk.

Whatever our ridiculous ideas were for spending our lotto winnings, they all had one thing in common. Our dreams actually made us feel better. It is a great morale booster to talk about all of the wonderful things you would do without restrictions on your life. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can solve a lot of the problems that cause us grief. And I think that’s why so many people play the lottery.

We all knew that our odds of winning the lottery were 1 in 171,000,000 and we weren’t deluded enough to think that we would actually win. But it sure was fun to dream.