Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mega Millions Mania

MsManhattan is ambivalent about the state lottery. Yes, all the proceeds fund public education. “Raising Billions to Educate Millions,” the NY State Lottery Web site proclaims -- $2.2 billion, to be exact. But when I see folks who probably should be spending that lotto money on groceries, it makes me a little sad and anxious.

Nonetheless, I usually play when the jackpots are really huge and sometimes I play during the first week of March. A fortune teller in Dublin once told me I would win $50,000 in the lottery on March 5th or 6th. She did not say what year. So anytime a lotto drawing falls on one of those dates, I usually get optimistic and play. It has been 16 years, but, to quote the lottery ads, hey, you never know. Of course, it turns out that she told anyone who went to see her that they, too, would win $50,000 in the lottery…

But, she was uncannily correct in most everything she saw in me or, that is, my forehead. She threw Tarot cards and then gazed intently at my forehead as though a movie were playing there. It was unusual, but effective. She saw in my forehead, for instance, my former father-in-law having a heart attack while trimming the shrubbery in the front yard. She described his house and his yard to a tee, down to the unusual color of bricks for which the house was named: Greystones. And, he had, in fact, just a few months before, had a heart attack while trimming the shrubbery. She saw my office and my co-workers, including particular physical characteristics of each. She described my boss perfectly except she said he was “clean-shaven.” He had a beard, so I figured she just got that detail wrong. But when I returned to New York, his beard was gone, and he had shaved it off – I kid you not – the day before my appointment with the fortune teller.

So, with the March 6th Mega Millions drawing worth a potential $355 million jackpot, I have purchased $20 worth of tickets. That bought me 23 chances to win – you get a bonus set of numbers for each five sets you buy. I’m hedging my bets – since she said March 5th OR 6th, I waited until the 5th to buy for the drawing on the 6th… I’ve got it all worked out.

I always get a little flustered when playing lotto because the rules are different for each of the games. For Mega Millions, you choose five “regular” numbers and one “Power Ball” number. I’ve played all my lucky numbers – one being the fortune teller’s street address – in various combinations of “regular” and “Power Ball.” Like I said, I’ve got it all worked out.

Tonight’s drawing will be live in Times Square. You have until 8 p.m. to buy your chance at instant freedom. For MsManhattan, instant freedom would mean I’d have to start a new blog: MmeParis… Or, MsMaui, perhaps… As a previous Lotto ad campaign used to say, all it takes is a dollar and a dream. This March 6th, MsManhattan is a little less ambivalent about the state lottery…