I spent nine of my wife‘s hard-earned dollars on three Powerball tickets. We’ll find out in a few minutes if we won anything.
Normally I don’t play the lottery. For a lot of reasons. Mostly because I’m not interested (I know, I know!!! It’s “stupid”!!), and because I’m superstitious that if I hope for very very slim odds to be in my favor, I’m somehow begging to be struck by lightning or become the victim of some other rare and horrible disaster.
But today I feel part of a hopeful thread connecting tons of people all over the country. It’s beautiful knowing so many people are fantasizing about all of the wonderful things they want to be able to do to help other people if they won that money.
It was lovely when the gas station cashier who taught me how to fill in my ticket said, “I hope you win!” and it feels like she meant it. And knowing she says that to lots of people doesn’t mean it’s any less genuine for every single one of us. When you talk about it with strangers it feels like we’re all wishing each other good luck. That kind of well-wishing is palpably sweet.
I know the lottery (and gambling in general) is a tragic fucking thing in so many ways for a lot of people, even (especially) the winners. But it’s winter and dark and cold and miserable in so many other ways that are more real than the threat of a lottery curse or losing a handful of dollars in exchange for a few hours of hoping and imagining all of the best.
I like being part of wishes and fantasies and feeling like we’re all holding hands and excited for the results even though we know we’re probably not going to win anything life-changing. It’s the hoping and anticipation and acknowledgment that MAGIC IS POSSIBLE.