Lots Of Lotto

By Dobie Maxwell –

   Living close to a state line provides opportunities most people don’t get to experience living in the middle of just one. One thing I notice much more since moving to Lake County is the war of state lotteries between Illinois and Wisconsin. There are several rivalries between the two states, but this is a big one. Which side of the border promises the biggest jackpot on any given week?

There’s usually a significant difference, with one side greatly outnumbering the other. Rarely if ever have I seen a week where both sides have a whopping total. Is this merely random chance or a very subtle conspiracy between both states to get customers on both sides? I know I am not the only one who has frequent business on both sides of the state line, and I buy tickets both places.

I’ve never been a huge lottery player as a rule, but since times have gotten tighter I’ll admit my attention to the ultimate prize has increased significantly. Someone has to win all that cash, don’t they? I know it’s a long shot, but so were all of our births. All of us walking are lottery winners.

That makes me feel lucky right there, but living so close to the state line is doubling my cost of chasing my dream. I find myself buying tickets in both states, and I can’t believe it’s just me that does it. This little hobby is getting expensive, and if it doesn’t pay off soon I’ll be in big trouble.

I’m not one of those greedy ones that only plays when it’s $100 million or higher. Just a single cool million will do me just fine – after taxes of course. That’s always an issue, and I can’t figure out why they have taxes on it in the first place. Doesn’t that money go to help schools in the first place? I thought so, but what do I know? All I’m worried about is the final total I get in the end.

Yes, I’ve heard more than a few sad stories of how winning a major lottery has ruined people’s lives, but I wouldn’t mind a little ruining right about now. I might wind up broke at the end, but I sure would have some fun doing it. If nothing else, I’d give the media a whole lot to write about.

First, I’d show up at my press conference completely naked. That would be a first, and if there was a fine so what? Seeing the look on everyone’s face would be worth it. I would then demand 99% of the balance of my winnings to be delivered to my residence by a large truck – in nickels.

That would make it difficult to steal, as anyone who would attempt to walk off with more than $100 would need a chiropractor to realign their back muscles. I would keep 1% of it with me for spending in crispy bills, but mostly for amusement purposes. What would be more sheer fun than to tip people who don’t expect it? I’ll bet the guy in the toll booth would tell everyone he knows.

The possibilities of what to do with that money are endless, as are the number of idiots like me who think they’ve actually got a chance to win. It’s the same mentality as those who frequent the casinos. They wouldn’t keep building them bigger and better if dreamers like us won all the time. It’s that dream that keeps us coming back, but my lottery fantasy is costing double where I live.


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