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Opinion

Lottery tickets suggest possibility for wealth and happiness, but fail to deliver

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November 8, 2007

What do you have? The love of your family? Food to eat? A roof over your head? Loyal friends and a deck of cards? Well, isn’t that sweet. Am I supposed to be impressed?

Like many individuals in our world, I wish a ridiculously large sum of money would fall out of the sky and into my lap.

Call it what you want: materialistic, greedy, lazy or simply unrealistic—whatever you label my wish, the thought of such freedom is exhilarating.

And like many of my peers who are pursuing education after high school, I am nearly thirty thousand dollars in debt and awfully stingy.

Despite this trait, I recently bought a lottery ticket out of a lottery ticket vending machine in Econo Foods. I didn’t know those existed, and I definitely didn’t consider the consequences.

A flash of all of the silly shit I want appeared behind my closed eyelids as I fed the machine the only dollar I had in my pocket: a twenty-foot tall hologram of Josh Groban standing in the living room of my carbon copy castle from Beauty and the Beast, surrounded by a moat filled with deep sea angler fish.

I pictured myself spending my days riding around on four-wheelers with dozens of colorful balloons tied to the back. With my backyard as an enormous game of Twister, I would share my wealth by hiring everyone I know to play for an hour a day. Their salary? Millions upon millions of dollars, as well as a puppy wearing a collar made of sparkly happiness.

I would buy as much time on public access television as possible, only to air endless hours of footage of myself doing cartwheels and laughing uncontrollably. I would buy J.K. Rowling and force her to make Dumbledore straight. Oh, the possibilities!

I used a safety pin to scratch off the ticket because I didn’t even have any change.

I lost. Now thirty thousand and one dollars in debt, I left the grocery store with a furrowed brow and an even more cynical view on the world and its sheer unfairness.

I have come to the mature verdict that simply wishing for money is pointless.

The Verve says in their song “Bittersweet Symphony,” “It’s a bittersweet symphony this life … Try to make ends meet, you’re a slave to the money then you die.” It is a sad yet true fact. Unless you don’t mind living a humdrum middle-class life, I suggest dedicating your time to burglary. That, or pull an Anna Nicole Smith and don’t die.

Money doesn’t just fall from the sky. You have to work for what you want.

Annee Mayer-Chapleau is a junior studying creative writing. She loves astronomy and her main goal in life is to dance like David Byrne from the Talking Heads.