Mommy Talks

If I had 17 million dollars

Seventeen million dollars. That’s about the equivalent of 741 million pesos, the lotto jackpot prize that some lucky person won on Monday evening. That person isn’t me. Although I wish it were. I had it all planned… where the money would go, what the priority buys ought to be, where to stash the excess so that it would earn enough interest to live on comfortably.

Then, someone else won the pot.

Is it depressing? No. I feel exactly like I did before I knew someone had won, before the pot became that huge, before I even decided to buy a lotto ticket.

The thing about lotteries is understanding that it is a game of chance. And it’s pretty stupid to plan the rest of your future based on winning it.

But did I really expect to win? It’s a game, like I said. And the whole point in joining a game is for the fun. It is fun to dream about ’round the world cruises and a rustic house overlooking a vineyard. It’s fun to anticipate winning. There’s a huge amount of adrenalin rush in the suspense. All that for a measly 20 pesos. Cheap thrill but a thrill nonetheless.

Lots of players have a combination that they bet on every draw. I go with “lucky pick” except for a couple of times when I bet on a combination I got from a fortune cookie. I thought that was very cute.

But a lottery is a game you don’t win by adhering to rules. It isn’t something you win by being disciplined or skilled or talented or being the best at something or being the most driven. It’s a game of lop-sided odds and the odds are always stacked against you. If stats are correct, in the case of the 6/55 draw, the odds are 29 million to one.

The leveling factor is that the odds against all other players are just about the same. So, you have as much chance of winning as everyone else. Unless there is truth to some nasty rumors that the government itself manipulates the results so that the millions go straight into the pocket of some son of a god.

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about it. An e-mail (which I refused to forward because the source of the info was unnamed and unverified) had been circulating about how lotto draws are rigged in favor of certain government officials especially during an election year.

Rumor. Unverified.

Then, on November 19 came Executive Order No. 14.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order…

The direct control and supervision over the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office shall hereby be transferred from the Department of Health to the Office of the President.

On Monday, November 29, after months of “no winner” so that the original prize of 30 million had ballooned to 741 million, a lucky bettor won.

Still, I wouldn’t call that a verification of the rumor. But it is food for thought.

Now, back to WikiLeaks.

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