As someone who isn't really a gambler (I like to see exactly where my money goes - like to new shoes), I'd never really seen the appeal of "throwing away" any cash on a piece of paper. However, I was having kind of a crummy day, and I just decided to go for it. The thought of doing something silly and spontaneous was really appealing to me.
As i stood in line behind the 10 other people trying their hand at the power ball, I couldn't help but get a little giddy. Allowing myself to imagine the possibility of winning, however infinitesimal the odds, started to be pretty fun.
It was like being a little kid again, and letting your imagination run COMPLETELY wild while still believing deeply, even if it's with just a little bit of your soul, that it might come true.
I bought a ticket along with several of my coworkers, and everyone spent the next 5 hours talking about what we would do if we won. Often the thought of obscene wealth brings out the greed in people, but just the thought of it brought out a surprising amount of hypothetical generosity. We were promising each other yachts and homes, offering to pay off debts or for children's college funds. I know it was imaginary, but it was nice to share millions of fake dollars with each other.
It was also just a total blast to live in the world of imagination all day. We enjoyed the experience and being in the moment. Despite the outcomes, we all bonded together and lived in fantasy, even if it was just for a few hours.
It made me think that the lottery might be an example of some of the best parts of the human spirit. Hope, the belief in magic and chance, bonding with your peers, enjoying the experience and believing in the fantastical.
Shooting stars, wishing wells, birthday candles, four leave clovers, lottery tickets - they bring us back to the delicious hope and imagination that we have a tendency to move away from as adults. It's so healthy and wonderful to get back to that every feeling every once in a while. (Or as much as possible.)
It was a good day.
I WON 1,000 DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm fucking with you. I won nothing.
BUT - to experience a day full of fun, ignited imagination, and bonding with my peers was absolutely worth the four bucks.