Why I am lucky. And also, why I am totally not lucky.

Every year for our birthdays, my sisters and I get scratch tickets. This has been going on for years – my dad said he’d stop once we were 21, because after that it just starts getting ridiculous, but he didn’t. 25 would also seem an appropriate time to cut and run, but lo, on my 26th birthday I received a wrapped box containing – what? yes. Twenty six dollars worth of scratch tickets. The whole concept had always been sort of a losing venture for me, as I am the unluckiest lotto girl in the whole wide world, but this year I won a hundred and ten dollars.

I was pretty excited, but I held onto the winning tickets, thinking that someday I’d REALLY REALLY need the money and then I’d be all “oh, hey, there’s those scratch tickets” and hearts and flowers would fall down from the sky and I would buy a pack of cigarettes or something. I held onto those tickets over the summer when I bounced a check out of my reserve credit. I held onto those tickets during our trip to key west when I actually ordered well liquor to curb costs. I held onto those tickets through the weddings AND Christmas while racking up insane amounts of credit card debt and scanning Craigslist daily for paid research studies.

I knew that SOMEDAY, I would really really need the money.

Last night I was meeting a friend for tapas and had no cash on me. So I pulled out the tickets and popped into 7-eleven. Clearly my priorities are all straight.

I hand the guy the tickets and he fiddles with the lotto machine for a few minutes. After forever and a day, he comes back with the voided tickets and tells me, in a very thick accent, that I won a hundred and ten dollars.

“I know” I say.

“I can only give you fifty.”

blank stare.

“what do you mean, you can only give me fifty? what about the other sixty?”

“I can only give you fifty. I only can give out fifty.”

what, am I supposed to take, like, a shopping spree in the 7-eleven? grab all the twinkies and old hot dogs my little arms can carry and head for the hills? I don’t want little debbie snack cakes, I want the CASH so I can go next door and gorge on sangria and goat cheese empanadas!

Unfortunately, the store clerk doesn’t seem like he’d be too swayed by my plight, and there’s an impatient looking asian man standing next to me with a death grip on some winning Keno slips.

“Ok, I’ll take the fifty, I guess… what should I do about the rest?”

“BUY MORE SCRATCH!!!” says the asian man, grinning maniacally.

they both have a good laugh over that, and, unable to come up with a cogent rebuttal, I walk out of the 7-eleven with fifty in cash and sixty in scratch. Six ten-dollar scratch tickets.

I better fucking win something, that’s all I have to say about that.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

UPDATE: not a dollar. not a single red cent. who wants to buy me a drink?

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