My hands are shaking. There’s nothing I can do to stop them. Actually its my entire body that’s shaking…shaking in disbelief. I look at my hands – hands that hold a small slip of paper on which are printed a row of numbers. This arrangement of numbers are mine and mine alone. More than 176 million number combinations but mine are unique to me. My hands shake and my body convulses, nerves make the hairs on my arms stand on end. I hold in my hand the solution to all of life’s problems…a 21st century version of the Holy Grail.
I listened as the cheerful announcer welcomed me and the millions of other hopeful ticket holders onto a stage where a spinning container would spit out a series of numbers. Each of us hoped that like Aladdin’s lamp the genie would appear and grant our ultimate wish. My hands shook with anticipation as the first number was called, the remaining numbers following in random sequence.
My bills will disappear. My kids’ college fund will be fully funded. I will have houses in multiple states that will be mortgage-free. The organizations and institutions I support will receive generous gifts. I’ll buy myself a custom tailored suit or two. I’ll go car shopping. I’ll invite my friends to the nicest dinner in the nicest restaurant in the nicest city I know. I’ll travel – London, Paris, Rome, Berlin – and my friends will grow weary of saying, “Where in the world is…”
My hands continued to shake as the announcer called out the final number. I stared in disbelief. I’d already made plans to contact – 1. my lawyer, 2. my family, 3. my newly employed financial adviser/planner, 4. my colleagues announcing that I’m planning to take my 4 weeks of vacation effective immediately. Like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the big question was “to facebook or not to facebook?” my current status. I knew my worries were over.
What I didn’t realize before but do now, is that one set of worries have been replaced by a different, more complicated set of worries. I’ve gone from worrying about not having enough to having an excess. I will look at my friends differently – suspicious of their motives, waiting for them to ask for the loan, the gift, whatever it may be called. I will be regarded as a show-off by my work colleagues who now know that I’m working for fun not for my livelihood. I’ll have to either give up or hide my identity on facebook and twitter because of the deluge of friend requests from complete strangers. I’ll worry that my kids or wife will be kidnapped and held for a “king’s” ransom. I’ll be called a “miser” while eating a ‘buck fifty’ hotdog at Costco.
Winning the Lotto changes lives. My life will be changed too.
The shaking in my hands has begun to subside. My breathing is back to a normal rhythm. My thoughts are no longer racing as a calm new reality begins to set in.
I awaken from my lotto dream to my monthly bills in my one home. My kids will go to college with the help of scholarships and grants, loans and campus work programs. I’ll buy my suits off the rack. I’ll travel the world with the travel guides on PBS. I’ll go to work with colleagues I enjoy working alongside. I’ll keep my current settings on facebook and twitter. I’ll enjoy my family and friends.
I am the richest man on earth!