This is the type of store you can find in New Orleans that sells lottery tickets. It also has an ATM and sells cigars (or so the sign says.)
Speaking of lottery tickets….
In case you did not notice (or hear about it!) this weekend, there was a 650 million dollar jackpot. That’s a lot of money, 650 million dollars is. It’s a lot of money and it made people do strange (and crazy!) things. It seems like, for this recent “mega millions” we all had a collective case of “Lotto Fever” at least it looked that way from the news and the way people were going on about it. Of course, I fell into the trap too, purchasing a staggering (well, for me) 3 entire lottery tickets including, get this, not one but *two* quick picks. Yeowza! That’s me really going all out to get a chance at winning, let me tell you. (I’m one of those people who plays the lottery about once per year.)
Even though I did not win, I sure feel like I got my money’s worth out of that 3 bucks. You see, for me, this time around anyway, the lottery was all about the thought of winning. I “spent” the money over and over again in my head, thinking about what I would buy if I did win. I tossed around holiday travel, purchased giant art centers (one of them even had a theater and summer “art camp” for the kids!) I did a lot, let me tell you. That three bucks really traveled around and took me places I never thought I’d go. (Mentally anyway, I think I’m still visiting some of them.)
To give you some idea, a friend of mine recently purchased a camera like mine: the Canon 5D Mark II. Now, this is a nice camera, but it’s a bit on the expensive side. It retails for about $2400 (give or take) with a “kit” lens that is not too bad (though not too good either.) He was thinking about getting some Compact Flash to go with his newfangled toy. (Gee, I don’t know why he thought *I* would know anything, anything at all, about purchasing Compact Flash. *wink wink*) So, I gave him the pusher…I mean, um, supplier (yeah that’s it) I use for flash memory and he ordered four cards.
With 650 million dollars, you could not only buy those four cards, you could probably afford to purchase a new compact flash card for every single bluebonnet picture you wanted to take. In fact, you could probably purchase a new compact flash card for every single petal on every single bluebonnet in every single bluebonnet photo you could possibly want to take. You could probably purchase a new Canon 5D mark II camera every day for the rest of your life and still not run out of money. That’s how much 650 million dollars really is. It’s staggering!
These numbers, rolling around in my head, got me thinking so much about this entire “lottery fever” situation. Or, to put it another way, could you imagine the mountain of compact flash I could have bought had I been the winner? I just get this mental image of a person, a very small, teeny tiny person sitting atop a mountain, and I mean a really big honking large mountain of little compact flash cards all stacked, piled high to the sky, in their annoying little plastic cases. I would have to hire an assistant just to help me with all of that compact flash (and, hey, with 650 million bucks, I could *afford* to hire an assistant just to help me with all of that compact flash. Imagine what you could tell your friends? “What do I do for a living? Oh, I’m a compact flash opener for some rich photography lady who won the lotto jackpot.” Hey, it beats being a phlebotomist.)
Imagine the headlines if I had won the lottery.
In Cedar Park on Monday, “Local Girl Wins Lottery!”
On Tuesday, “Local Stores Report Low Inventory of Flash Memory” and, in “unrelated” news, “Local Lottery Winner Heads to Italy. First vacation of many!”
On Thursday, “Merchants Report Flash Memory Shortage.” “Lottery Winner Hits Spain!”
You can probably see where this is going. In a few months:
“Lottery Winner Checks in From Bhutan” coupled with “Global Flash Memory Shortage Worsens. Supplier Panic, Black Market Thrives”
There would probably be a black market for compact flash cards and somewhere I would be raking up a bucket load of frequent flyer miles (not that I would need them because, you see, with 650 million dollars, I could afford to fly first class everywhere, and I do mean *everywhere.* Yup. First class tickets for me and my compact flash opener/assistant and, yes, please we *do* so want that complimentary beverage before our next flight takes off.)
So you see, in the end, it’s probably a good thing I did not win that lottery this weekend. First class stewardesses and compact flash suppliers everywhere can now breath a sigh of relief. Phew! They are safe (at least until the next big jackpot hits.)
In the “it’s a good thing” really department, I heard on the radio today that four firemen in New Mexico won (collectively) $10,000 in the big lottery. They had pooled their money to try and get the jackpot. While they did not win the “big” prize, they collected a $10,000 bounty by getting four balls plus the megaplier (or some such thing.) They have since donated the money (all of the money) to one of their co-workers who needs brain surgery-a delicate operation for which insurance will not entirely pay.
If only everybody who had purchased a ticket could now take the same amount they spent on losing tickets and donate to some kind of a fund, I bet the brain surgery would be paid for in full. Really, I’d love to see something good like that come out of Lotto fever, wouldn’t you?
Until next time…