I didn’t win that six hundred million dollar Powerball jackpot

Last week someone in Florida won the six hundred million dollar Powerball jackpot. I was so pissed. I was positive that this time it was going to be me. It’s like, I always feel like I’m going to win, I’ll always look at the ticket and get into these really deep thoughts inside my head, thoughts like, the numbers haven’t been chosen yet, and so any of these tickets could be potentially worth all of that money. And it just blows my mind that over the course of twenty seconds, the value of this little slip of paper could jump from nothing to everything.

And so yeah, at some level I’m always like, this is it. This is the one. And I recognize that, and I try to suppress it, to not let myself get carried away, just ripe for an almost guaranteed disappointment. But this time, like I said, I was beyond sure. I could feel it. You know how like sometime when you’re bored you’ll just sit there and check your email every five minutes or so, not really expecting anything, but just wanting something to happen? And you’ll check and hit refresh and nothing, there’s never anything, and you get like really numb to the whole process. And then another five minutes go by and you go to hit refresh again but this time something’s different. This time you have a feeling, a certainty, there’s going to be something there. And sure enough, there it is, an email.

That’s what I had this time. I had that gut certainty, like holy shit, this is real, I’m going to win the lottery. And now that I haven’t won, my whole email prediction theory has been thrown out of whack also. Maybe I don’t have special email prediction powers. Or, maybe my prediction powers only work for email, and so when I was looking down at my Powerball ticket, and I felt that feeling, like this is it, I’m going to win, maybe I should have just checked my email, there was probably something sent right that minute. And maybe it’s all about honing in on those email powers, strengthening them. Eventually I’ll get so good at it that I’ll be able to turn push notifications off on my iPhone. I’ll just know when new emails are coming in. That’s going to save so much battery life.

But that doesn’t have anything to do with the lottery. I had plans for that six hundred million dollars. First, and I told this to my family and friends, you know, the ones who were listening anyway, I told them that I’d spend a hundred million on a huge advertising campaign, billboards, TV and radio commercials, just getting it out there that I was the winner, that I’m the one who collected the giant jackpot.

I was hoping that people who have wronged me in the past, people who’ve maybe made a joke or two at my expense, or took a pen from my desk when I wasn’t looking, basically, any small sort of transgression that either escaped my knowledge or didn’t warrant me committing it to my permanent memory. They’d think that they got away with pulling a fast one on me, or getting in a good laugh about some lame prank. But then they’d look up at these billboards everywhere, it would be me, giving a thumbs up, to myself, and a text bubble coming out of my mouth, “I won six hundred million dollars, suckers!”

This could even apply to anybody just thinking negatively about me at all. But whatever, the advertising money would come and go. Obviously it would be kind of foolish to keep financing a campaign like that for an extended period of time. After I spread the word, I’d pull back somewhat, try to get a grip on living a regular life, something that wouldn’t change who I am too much.

And so I was telling this to my mom and she kind of laughed (I wasn’t kidding) and she said, “So would you quit your job?” And I was like, “What are you crazy?” and my dad interrupted, “Don’t call your mother crazy!” and I was like, “Sorry dad, figure of speech.” But no way, I wouldn’t quit my job. I would just go back to work like nothing happened. And it would be the best. I’m a waiter, and the worst part of waiting tables is that basically everybody in the whole restaurant is my boss. Every single customer can flag me down and start barking orders at me, and I have to say, yes sir, yes ma’am, right away sir, very good ma’am.

But if I had six hundred million dollars? I’d be like, listen, here’s five hundred dollars. You go into the kitchen and get me another Diet Coke. And they’d be like, you got it. So I’d be sitting there at this table with this random person’s family. I’d be smiling, laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. And then that person would come back, I’d take out my wallet and say to this person’s dinner party, OK buddy, now I’ll give you five hundred dollars to take that Diet Coke and pour it over your head. And they’d do it. I’d laugh. They’d laugh. We’d all be laughing, having a great time.

And maybe my manager would come over, “All right Rob, get up, you’re out of here.” And I’d just take out my checkbook and pay my manager to give me a raise. And then I’d make him go into the kitchen and start eating steaks until he’s sick. And everybody would keep laughing. I’d bake hundred dollar bills into the bread and watch people initially get really upset with a foreign object in their meal, but ultimately ecstatic at finding such a cleverly laid surprise.

But yeah, I didn’t win anything. I guess I’ll just have to be content at hiding pennies and dimes in the cracks of the seats, hoping that somebody might find them and go, hey pal, I just found some spare change, you want it? It’s all yours man. And I’d be like, thanks a lot, I appreciate the gesture. Would you like another Diet Coke?

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