Ever The Optimist

Every so often I buy a lottery ticket. There are several different lotteries here, and the prizes are starting to get really big, so I figure, Why not? I mean SOMEONE has to win, and what are the odds that one day I might? Pretty astronomical actually, but still, a girl can dream. And the best part is that you don’t even have to wait to find out if you won because there’s an app you can download onto your phone that lets you scan the barcode on the ticket and find out almost right away, which completely satisfies my need for instant gratification. Like, you know those obnoxious scratch tickets with 3 separate play areas that advertise themselves as “hours of fun”? All you have to do is scratch the barcode, scan it, and you’ve saved yourself a hell of a lot of time, which is a win all on its own. Also, because Canada is a bilingual country, if you DO win, you’re told by a very excited woman’s voice in both official languages, and I think it’s some kind of Pavlovian thing that if an Ontarian ever hears someone say “Winner!”, their immediate and automatic response is “Gagnon!” If you don’t, you’re a spy or an alien or an alien spy or whatnot.

But as I was scanning my ticket last weekend, I discovered something interesting. As I was waiting for the results, I realized that I was pretty sure I was going to win, and when I didn’t, I was genuinely disappointed, like What? Really?, and that I feel that way EVERY SINGLE TIME. What does this mean? Is this the true irony of my life that I, the Queen of Worst Case Scenarios is, at heart, an eternal optimist? That the woman who has mentally laid out, in painstaking detail, plans to survive bear attacks, bouncy castle misadventures, high speed train derailments, cars plunging off bridges into icy water, and thousands of other potential disasters, is secretly convinced that there is a BEST CASE SCENARIO?

(Side note: Speaking of Worst Case Scenarios, the other day some of us met with a group of people who came to the secret agency to do some research. They started by going around the table and telling us who they were and what their backgrounds were. It went like this for the first 5 people: Accountant, IT Support, Accountant, Business Analyst, Programmer. Then the last person, a man who looked about 25, said, very casually, “Before I came to Canada, I was a Colonel in the army, responsible for training other military units in confirmation and identification of biological warfare agents as well as combatting potential nuclear strikes.” There was a pause, then I said, “OK, this guy wins.” Everybody laughed except me, because I was IN AWE, and also if I was single and about 25 years younger, I would have dropped to one knee and proposed right then and there.)

But back to my point—if anyone remembers what it was. Oh right—I’m always certain in my heart of hearts that I’ve won the jackpot, and when I haven’t, I console myself by saying, “Next time” and “What would you do with 50 million dollars anyway? It’s just too much for one person.” But that is, of course, bullsh*t. I could very easily enjoy that much money, and could find numerous things to spend it on. Once, Ken and I were talking about winning the lottery:

Me: If I win the jackpot, I’m buying a helicopter to take me to work. F*ck the train. I could get there in like 15 minutes by helicopter. The only problem would be where to land.
Ken: If you won the jackpot, why the hell would you keep working?!
Me: Ooh. Good point. Can I still buy a helicopter?

One of my friends at work has an article pinned up in her cubicle about a woman who won millions of dollars and the headline is the winner saying, “I’ll Keep Flying Economy”. And my friend was like, “See? People like that don’t deserve to win the lottery. If you’re not going to change your life AT ALL, you shouldn’t be allowed to keep the money. There should be a quiz, only instead of a skill-testing math question, you should have to describe the things you’re going to do to make life better” and I was like, “There’s a F*CKING MATH QUESTION??!!”

Still, I agree with my friend. If you’re not going to at least fly first-class and sleep in one of those cool pods, you don’t deserve the money. Stop being all humble and sh*t and just go around screaming “I’m rich!!” I’ll be checking my lottery ticket from last night very soon, and I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m going to be writing about next.

Update: I just checked my ticket and you won’t believe this!……

……I just found out that the word “acai” is actually pronounce “ass-eye-ee” and if that isn’t something to giggle about every time I see a bottle of Blueberry Acai Vitamin Water, I don’t know what is. Also, I didn’t win the lottery and I’m really shocked. But there’s always next time.

Oh, by the way, I found out a couple of days ago that a site called Feedspot has my blog listed in their Top 100 Humour Blogs, so thanks Feedspot! I’m currently number 93 but that’s better than not winning the lottery.

58 thoughts on “Ever The Optimist

  1. I remember hearing a long time ago that contests in Canada are required by law to have a “skill testing question,” even if winning is just random. Does that really apply to the lottery as well? Man, I’d hate to win $100,000,000 and have to forfeit it because I forgot to carry the one…

    BTW, I’d totally be one of those people who could win millions of dollars and have it barely affect my life. I actually despise luxuries… but I’d very much appreciate the financial security for the next time I need $12,000 for an emergency home project!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know–with my math skills, it could be a disaster! But I’m not sure if the big jackpots have one, and that’s definitely something to look into! Me, all I’d like to do is get enough to pay off the mortgage:-)


  2. Feedspot is brilliant and just now figuring out what we all know: MyDang is the bee’s knees. Funny, prolific, and smart. It’s hard to be all three but there she is, nailing it.

    Okay, enough buttering up I have a bone to pick with the colonel. He stole my line. I’ve been using that exact phrasing in every group meeting and pick-up bar since I was, like, twelve. Damn him. He probably overheard me the time I used it in Gravenhurst.

    Finally, I have a customer who won the lottery and got filthy rich and built a new house and picked all her appliances from me. Her husband, a real ass, died shortly after and she married the contractor, also a long-time customer of mine. He was a real ass before, too, but now he seems like, well, like he won the lottery.

    Anyway, when she first came into the store and picked out all her stuff my co-worker, a rather shallow gal to be frank, turned to me and said, “She won the lottery? I wouldn’t know it. She looks so plain.”

    If I won the lottery I’d bank the money and go right on being me.

    I like being plain ol’ Tom. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

  3. That biological warfare ex-colonel sounds unbelievably cool. But I am worried that he has already done so much by the age of 25. While he is doing research at your office, please keep an eye on him….that he is getting some play time as well.

    I don’t have a clue what to do if I win a lot of money. So I never buy a lottery….even when I get those emails that I have already won some huge amount of money because my name came out in a lucky draw, I don’t reply!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, he seemed very serious for such a young man! I never paid attention to those mailers telling me that I won something–I just buy my own ticket every now and then. Because you know what they say: “You can’t win if you don’t play!”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just a second – you don’t seem to have mentioned the “See raptors in NY” bit of the ticket. I think those of us in the tri-state area should be warned about these things (the raptors, not the Canadians swarming down to see them…)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There’s nothing like a new guy with the coolest background, like Ex-colonel of chemical warfare. And I’d still work if I won the lotto, definitely! That’s when I’d get personal assassins to take out the Dept of Bernie Madoff when they’d piss me off. And even though I only live eight and a half miles from work, I’d still buy a helicopter to get to work, lol.

    How cool would that be? Getting to work in purple helicopter with my initials on the side? I would land right on Truckzillas truck (because I could buy him a new one, after all I won the lotto) to teach him a lesson about parking like a douche.

    Then, I’d start a foundation to help homelessness, single teenage moms and veterans in need of mental and employment help, and create an organization to help low income individuals who struggle with buying a home here in El Paso. But I’d buy my purple helicopter to get to work, priorities you know, lol. 😎😁

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Bryntin says:

    Mrs Bryntin bought a ticket for the fist ever UK Lottery many years ago. She sat and waited for the draw numbers on the glitzy TV show, then screwed up her losing ticket (with no matching numbers at all, of course) when they were announced and said ‘That’s it, I’m never wasting my money on THAT again…’ And she didin’t.

    Scratch cards are weird aren’t they, there’s always about twenty different ones in the UK to ‘play’ at any given time which basically all require you to scratch off all the foil covered panels to reveal the numbers. There’s no ‘play’ in that is there? Just little scratched off globules of disappointment gathered on the floor.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. As far as the meeting goes, I would have done the same, regardless of age. You know what they say, age is only a number…uh😳. Here a trip to a restaurant or the mall, let’s face it, there are not a lot of choices, I love the scenery. Not flora and fauna because we don’t have any, but uniformed people. There are tons and it’s so nice just observing and dreaming…😄. Thanks for another lift to my day❤️

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a backlog of posts collecting digital dust and one of them is all about false hope.
    “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.” Until it’s debilitating false hope that, when the final truth is exposed, renders the hoper a babbling puddle of collapsed dreams.

    The post goes into living in false hope (denial) or living in crushing objectivity. I won’t go into it here, but there are situations where false hope wins. The lottery, however, is not one of them. Treating it like entertainment, the slot machines, roulette, etc. is one thing. It’s a minor high resulting in a minor low when you ultimately lose. But treating it like salvation, like a Heaven bound soul, but having to live with the aftermath of rejection, well, that’s where the post gets (if I ever finish it) heavy.

    I’d ask to see the “colonel’s bona fides”.

    Your blog is great entertainment, deserving of a top 10 on Feedspot, at least.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. #93?! Seriously, I would rank you at #2 and that’s only because Jenny Lawson exists and I’ve read three of her books compared to one of yours. And that’s genuinely the only reason you don’t get the top spot. (I don’t think Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and A Half posts anymore, so you were saved the ignominy of spot #3). And now that I know your relationship with lottery tickets, my first installment of Fifty is going to either a) amuse you more than I thought; or b) piss you off more than I thought. I guess that all depends on your opinion of Filth Pig and whether you find him worthy of coming into disgusting amounts of money.

    Liked by 3 people

      • At first, I was going to correct you, as if I could somehow know more about Canadian lottery tickets than you. “But,” thought I, “Google informs me that OLG stands for Ottawa Lottery & Gaming, but these people live in Vancouver.” Then I read further. Oddly enough, I had already identified the fictional lottery ticket in question as a Lotto Max in my first draft — and now I know that Lotto Max is owned and operated by OLG. See that? This is why you are the most vital reader of NFTA.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Google is sending you down the garden path because it’s Ontario Lottery and Gaming, unless there’s another federal OLG for the people in Vancouver! Here in Ontario, we love the Lotto Max because the jackpots are the biggest but Lottario is closest to our hearts😊

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Something I’m ashamed to have never thought of before is why those bottles of vitamin water have “XXX” on them. Of course they’re X-rated if they’re full of ass-eye. And I should be ashamed of thinking that but really it’s the other way around because that’s how I roll, and can you imagine how much worse I’d be if I had enough money to not have to work so I could sit around all day and think up stuff like that?
    Because you know I would. And the world would be a better place if instead of working for a top secret spy agency and meeting cool people who deal with bona fide worse case scenarios you had enough money to spend all your time writing. We would, too. Some people are like that. The poet James Merrill had enough money that he never had to work a day in his life–his father was the founder of the Merrill-Lynch investment firm, but he got up every day and wrote poetry.
    Also if you’ve never seen the film “Waking Ned Devine” you really should. Best case scenario is you’ll really enjoy it. Worst case scenario is you’ll see some aged ass-eye.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. When I was a kid in the 1980s, the New York Lotto play-cards looked like a voting card, or a public-school multiple-choice exam, with all these little bubbles you needed to fill in with a no. 2 pencil. The whole things seemed so Delphic and complicated to my young eyes. (Then, of course, you’d tune in to a local TV station later that afternoon to watch some woman spin a wire-frame wheel full of colored balls to determine the winner.) Nowadays, though, you’re right: All one needs to do is scan a barcode! Must take all the “fun” out of it…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Suzanne,
    Live like you already won that lotto! Go buy that helicopter, dang it, and have Player One painted on it! Quit the secret agency! And while you’re at it, jump off that building and trust that there’s a net or Superman to catch you…or better yet, maybe you’ll find out you can fly! Fake it til you make it! That’s my advice! LOL! Sorry. Bad advice…all bad advice! Just keep playing and maybe next time, all your lotto dreams will come true! 🙂 Mona

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I straight up tell my coworkers that, while I love them, if I win the lottery they’ll never see me again. I mean, I’ll fly them out to my tropical island to visit as long as they want, but I am not going back to work. Nope. Better luck with your next purchase!

    Liked by 2 people

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