It’s Big Money Day. It’s Mega Million Lottery Night in the USA. Close to a billion dollars can be won tonight for the person who beats the $176,000,000 to one odds. And it could be ME.
Well…probably not really. But I don’t want to miss out on the party that everyone is enjoying. I rush up town late in the afternoon to buy some tickets.
I’m in the grocery store and the line is too long for me at the Lottery counter.
I drive down the street to Mike’s Liquor, run by the two Mid-Eastern brothers.
There’s lots of cars and motorcycles in front of their little store. “Karrooom, Karooom,” more motorcycles are charging into the rutted dirt lot.
Inside the store, there’s a long line. A big lady with tattoos all over her muscular arms is buying “a pack of Camels and five Mega Tickets.” Next to her is a woman who is buying tickets for herself and her father, who stands to the side. “He can’t speak English,” the woman says.
The next person ahead of me is a man with a frizzy, curly brown beard. He buys a handful of tickets. ”I’m gonna’ win!” he shouts to those of us in line.
Next up is me. I don’t know how to buy lottery tickets but I gamely say, “I want two tickets from the computer and I want two tickets where I choose the numbers myself.”
“Go outside,” says the brother at the computer.
“Go outside?” I say.
“Must go outside.”
“Why?” I’m flustered and puzzled. I’ve been watching everyone else buy their tickets at the counter.
“I want,” I repeat, “four tickets, two by computer and two from me.”
“Here!” the brother at the computer demands as he reaches for and takes my five dollar bill.
He does something on the computer, hands me the tickets and a dollar.
“What?” I say. I look at the tickets. There are four sets of numbers on one ticket.
“No, no! I only want two computer tickets and I need two sets of numbers that I choose myself.”
The brother reaches over and snatches my tickets. “Fine! I take!” (more…)