I was a lucky girl this past weekend. My Aunt Jeanne sent me a birthday card with one scratch-off ticket tucked neatly inside. I was giddy. It was my birthday and I was feeling extra lucky.
My children are always the ones who get to do the scratchin’. Not this time. It was MY ticket. MY birthday. (Bwaahaahaa!) So, when my husband took the kiddos to take a bath, I got my ticket out from my secret hiding place. (Hey! A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!)
There I was – just me and my ticket. Alone. All I needed was three matching numbers. I started scratching. I uncovered the top left and bottom left numbers - $25 and $5,000. While $25 would be fun, how cool would $5,000 be? I was in a zone. A scratch-off zone. The next two amounts were $10 and $5. Hmmm…didn’t look too promising, but I was still feelin’ the birthday luck.
I got to the third and final column…I scratched off the top right corner…$5,000. I scratched off the bottom right corner…$5,000. My eyes grew to the size of watermelons. I tried to focus. I read the instructions on the front twenty times – “Match any three amounts to win.” I looked at the three $5,000 amounts and counted the zeroes a billion times. A $50 and a $500 and a $5,000 can look mighty similar when your eyes are crossing with glee. Could it be true? Could I have really won?!
I gained some semblance of composure and marched my confident birthday self right back to that bathroom where my family was. I had news to share! I was a WINNER, WINNER, WINNER!
As calmly as I could, I opened the bathroom door and stated, “I just won a little cash on that scratch-off. Guess how much?”
My husband started guessing. “Twenty?”
“Nope,” I responded with my gig ‘em Aggie thumb in the air as to direct him to keep going higher.
“Fifty?” he guessed again.
“Nope. Higher,” I replied with my thumb still in the air like a hitch-hiker.
“Nah. No way,” he responded with a bit of disbelief.
“One hundred? (my thumb going higher) Two hundred? (higher) Five hundred? (higher) One thousand?” He was starting to show some signs of enthusiasm and my six-year-old daughter was now requesting a lap top with my winnings.
“Five thousand dollars!” I finally interrupted to end the guessing game.
my husband answered.
I proudly said. “This is gonna be a lucky, lucky year for
me! Woo-hoo!” (Insert scratch-off-ticket-winner-boogie-dance here…)
Then, I proceeded to look at the back of the ticket. I had to know where to mail this sucker. I knew I wouldn’t be able to just take it to a convenient store. I never buy scratch-offs, but I knew this HAD to be an extra special event.
I proceeded to read the back of the ticket to my husband. “Winning prizes of $1, $5, $25, and $50 may be claimed wherever lottery tickets are sold. (blah, blah, blah…I was a WINNER…a BIG WINNER!!!) Winning tickets of $100 or more (ME!) must be sent to the…Money Fairy…123 NoWhere Drive…in
.” (What?! My
heart sank and still in disbelief, I noticed the odds of winning were 0 in
10,000. But, I was a WINNER…they must
have made a mistake printing these tickets!) Make-Believe
I continued reading as the adrenaline started to fade away down my arms and legs and settle into my fingers and toes. “Valid only in your dreams. Any resemblance to a real or implied lottery ticket is what makes it fun. (Insert small heart palpitation) This ticket is for entertainment purposes only. Thanks for being a good sport.”
I sat there looking at the ticket for what seemed like two hours. Time stood still. I looked at my husband. I looked at the ticket. I looked at my children. I looked at the ticket.
Then, we all started laughing. “Oh, I am SO gonna get Aunt Jeanne! She hosed me big time! She got me bad! BAD!” I said. I called her immediately. “Please tell me that YOU are the Money Fairy, because I am mailing this ticket to YOU to cash in!”
The moral of this story is that no, I am not a lucky scratch-off winner of $5,000, but I do still feel lucky. Over the course of my birthday weekend, I received special wishes by phone, e-mail, facebook, mailed cards, and in person. I got to spend time with friends and family and I even received a birthday blessing at church.
I am indeed feeling very lucky. Lucky to have a roof over my head. Lucky to have food on the table. Lucky to have clothes on my back. Lucky to have family, friends, and an Almighty God who love me for me. Lucky to have my wonderful husband and children. Lucky to have an aunt who gave me the perfect opportunity to laugh at myself. Lucky.
And, I thank each and every one of you for being a special part of my life! Here’s to another year of sippin’ sunshine! And, remember, however old you are is the new 30! That’s right. Yippee!
I’ll leave you with a great quote about money: “Measure your wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.”