Most people know that winning the lottery is nearly impossible. Mega Millions has a 1 in like 302 million chance of winning the big prize, and most scratch off tickets seem to be the same for me. I bought my first Lotto ticket on my 18th birthday because it was that, or a pack of cigarettes and it seemed fun to now have this option to buy a ticket. I bought a $1 scratch off ticket and quickly lost. I didn’t buy any other for year after that. I knew it was a waste of money, and a $1 value meal deal was a better buy. I never really bought another lottery ticket of any kind until I was grown with kids. I would buy an occasional Powerball or Mega Millions ticket when it would reach some huge sum and make the news. I would spend on average $2-$3 a year on a large lottery drawing. Well, in 2018 we had a huge $1.5 billion dollar lottery so I bought a ticket with my kids, so I could teach them a lesson on how you never win the lottery.
We woke up the next morning and we checked our numbers as a family to find out if we could buy an island together, and sure enough my plan backfired. We had won $20 with the megaplying feature I threw in for fun at the checkout! The kids celebrated, and I told them this was a rare thing. You could tell I had just created three lottery players and then wanted to turn the $20 into more. So we went to the 7-11 to cash the lottery ticket. We got some slurpees with the winnings to celebrate and we used the rest to buy some scratch offs. We had about $14-$15 in scratch offs and I thought we could win a few bucks and then buy some more tickets and eventually we would just run out of money and show the kids that the Texas Lottery always wins in the end.
We went out to the parking lot with our newly purchased scratch offs and slurpees, grabbed some quarters from the car’s ash tray, and three kids started scratching and slurping away. I hear one yell out we got another $1!! Then another we won $7 on this one! Then another says, “This $5 ticket just won $10!” We had turned $14-15 into $27…lesson not learned!!
We walked back in and got some more scratch off with the $27 and started to scratch again in the parking lot. Dad! We just won $3! Holy Cow! We just won $20!! I’m crapping my pants a little bit because I am now failing as a father. We ended up losing the rest but still had $23 in winnings from our initial $3 Mega Millions ticket with the megaplier. This time I suggested we just use the money to go eat lunch at Sonic. But, the kids protested and said lets keeping winning more money. So, I knew this time how to lose for sure…I would buy two of the $10 scratch offs, keep the $3 to break even, and lessen our chances of wining more money. Surely, the bigger tickets could lose faster…
So, after a small kid fight over who would scratch the two $10 tickets that had about five different ways to win, we started to scratch away….and you guessed it….we had won $45 from those two tickets! Dad Fail!!!!! We just cashed those out and took the money because I said we didn’t have all day to stand here and play the lottery. My kids were sold that the lottery was a great way to make money, and it was a fine way to invest their hard earned money.
I had thought I had completely failed as a father and my important life lesson that the lottery is a tax on the poor. But, then the next day when one of my kids asked if they could use the $45 to buy some lottery tickets I suggested that we use their money today. They replied, “No way, we just got lucky.” I knew that despite all the struggles my children had received the lesson and in their mind it was alright to gamble with other peoples money but not their own hard earned money. They had bigger plans for their money. So after all that I knew the lesson had been learned, all worth the struggle was worth it, and I was $45 richer!