I learned how to play the Lottery.
So, like I said, I'm about thirty and up until last week I didn't know how to play the Lottery. I assumed it was easy, but there are about seven options when you go in to buy a ticket, and I didn't want to look like a rube. How is the novice gambler expected to choose between:
3) Mega Millions
4) Fantasy 5
5) Daily Derby (twice daily)
6) Mega Scratchers
7) Paul DeLillio's Fantasy Scratchers
What finally got me over the hump and into the liquor store? We were out on our morning walk, and I saw a Lotto sign in the window that said something like, "$43 million!" I thought, "that'd put a dent in the car payment. Let's give it a whirl." Mind made up, I bravely asked my wife how to play the Lottery. She gave me that one-eye-squint look she gives to me when I ask how to do basic life functions, and then said to give the man at the liquor store five dollars and ask for five Quick Picks (these are Super Lotto terms, I discovered).
Armed with this Lottery terminology, I walked into the liquor store. It was sort of dry-feeling, and smelled dusty, though there was no visible dust. Interesting place. I handed the five-dollar bill to the man behind the counter, and before I could speak he pressed a button on a proprietary-looking green machine and handed me a small orange "Super Lotto" sheet with a matrix of numbers on it, five rows tall. How did he know I wasn't there to buy $5 worth of Mega Scratchers? Or $5 worth of "Leg Show," for that matter? Do liquor stores still sell remaindered copies of Leg Show by the pound? I'm proud to say I no longer know.
That done, I held the winning ticket (what I called it, at the time) all the way home in my hand. "How easy it is to win the Lottery!" I mused.
Later that evening I checked the Lottery website and I had gotten none of the numbers. The winning set was something like 1, 2, 3, 4, 46. Ridiculous! Not even a machine would pick that kind of spread. Oh well, at least California public schools had gotten 36% of my investment (about 54% went to Abe Padrascus of Tarzana, CA, who said he planned on using my portion of the pool, as well as the rest of his $43 million, to "not get a Rolls Royce but maybe just a Lexus, that's good enough for [him]". What the hell does Abe Padrascus know about cars? Is he worried that the Rolls won't have a trailer hitch for his Ski-Doo? Jesus. Talk about a guy who pulls his testicles away from his body with both hands.)
That soured me pretty well on the whole Lottery experience. From now on, when I go into the liquor store, I'm going to try to find something else to spend my $5 on. Maybe they'll have a fancy ziggurat-shaped bottle of something called UNFAIR MESOPOTAMIAN GOD.