Monday, March 2, 2009

irony and presumptuousness

So, there has been no winning ticket for the MegaMillions lottery for a little while, so the jackpot is now at some ridiculously high number. I don't play the lottery much, but I was at a gas station this morning anyway, so I spent some money on lotto tickets. As the clerk handed the ticket to me, I took a glance at it and was amused by what I saw.

How weird that "Problem Gambling Awareness Week" falls at the time of one of the biggest jackpots in MegaMillions history, when there are probably going to be a lot more people playing because of the jackpot size, people who don't normally play, like me.

And as I was about to step away, the clerk said to me, "If you win, don't forget about us." I think I kind of half-heartedly laughed or made some other non-committal noise before walking away.

So, if I end up with a ticket that has the winning numbers, I somehow owe that to the person who happened to take my money and push the button to give me my quick pick? That just seemed like a really odd comment. The entitlement attitude behind that comment really caught me off guard.

Now, if I were to win the lottery, sure, I'd probably want to share my good fortune with some people, commensurate with the size of the amount I won. And I could make you a list of people who would not be recipients of any of my good fortune. And I could make you another list of people who would be recipients of probably very small amounts of my good fortune. And then I could make you a list of people who would be *very upset* that they were on one of those two lists, who would be mad that I didn't choose to share more or at all.

I am not of the belief that *anyone* is entitled to a share of the jackpot. In my case, because of my relationship with my parents, I'd certainly want to use a portion to do something nice for them. I would also do something for some of my family members and some friends. But no matter how close someone is to me, I wouldn't think they'd expect that I would give them something. If my parents won the lottery, I wouldn't expect them to give me any. If one of my siblings won the lottery, I wouldn't expect anything. If my best friend won the lottery, I wouldn't expect anything.

So why would a random clerk even make a comment about being "remembered"? How can I remember you when I don't even know you, when it would be complete happenstance that you're the one who sold me my ticket? And frankly, I wouldn't have a clue which particular person sold me the ticket, other than that it was female. So would I have to then share my winnings with all of the women at that gas station, just to make sure I rewarded the right person? To be honest, I don't think it would ever occur to me to go back and give money to the person who sold me the ticket, even if I knew who it was.

Oh, well. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck. I stopped playing because the most I won after 15 years was $92.00. And, I agree with you about people who feel they are entitled to something that clearly belongs to you.