Saturday, September 01, 2001

I THINK my wife and I have become addicted to Powerball. After the last two big-money drawings, we were genuinely irked to find out we had lost. We're not usually big on the power of positive thinking, but we had that money spent.

Yes, the odds are ridiculous. But here we are, financially comfortable but sharing one big dream: not to have to work for a living. Oh, we would work in some capacity even if we were filthy rich, but we don't like the idea of having to show up at a job five days a week. And it's not likely that anything we normally do would give us that freedom. Hollywood producers don't throw bagfuls of money at copy editors in exchange for the rights to a particularly good headline, so I'm out of luck. (I even wrote a fairly successful book -- I got a Corolla-size advance, but I'm not even in royalty territory, let alone million-dollar-movie-rights territory.) And as for Jacqueline's prospects, who ever heard of a Web developer becoming a millionaire? Uh . . . OK, who's heard of such a thing since 1999?

We're not about to spend hundreds of dollars a week on lottery tickets, and we'd probably set our sights a little lower if buying a Powerball ticket meant driving from Manhattan to Connecticut. But we live a few blocks from a D.C. liquor store selling Powerball tickets and we've reached a point where five bucks a week, let alone a dollar, isn't a whole lot of money to us. Call it a waste, but we don't consider $5 a week too high a price for harboring a chance, however small, of achieving that big dream.

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