Friday, December 21, 2012

Bah Humbug – Georgia Lottery Style

Ella’s brother, Jimmy, loves to play the Georgia Lottery, and was all grins late last week when he knocked on our door, and proudly displayed his $1000 winning scratch-off ticket.   You see, Jimmy doesn’t make much money, lives on food stamps, and this unexpected windfall had perked him up considerably.  I was happy for him, and, for reasons we won’t discuss, I even agreed to cash it in for him.

Needless to say, he was in a hurry for the money.   He had big plans.  He was going to send $100 to each of his kids, and get a tooth pulled.
However, since the lottery office was in Macon, about 30 minutes away, I had to wait until this past Monday to make the drive.  With ticket in hand, I stepped into the lottery office, my first time there, and handed over the ticket.  The lady behind the counter looked at the ticket, and asked me how I wanted it.

Huh?, I thought, and asked “what do you mean?”
“Do you want cash, or another ticket?” she clarified.

“But it’s $1000,” I said. 
She picked it up again, finished scratching it off, and said, “No, it’s $5,” and showed it to me.

I looked at the ticket, and sure enough, it was a $5 winning ticket.  Jimmy had not scratched off enough to realize that he had misread the numbers.
“Cash,” I said dejectedly, and she handed me over a $1 bill, and four gold dollar coins. While I was disappointed, I knew that my disappointment was going to pale in comparison to Jimmy’s.

In hindsight, I should have kept the ticket to prove its worth, or lack thereof, because I knew it would be difficult to explain how $1000 just evaporated.   So, I waited for Jimmy to drop buy, dreading to give him the news.
All things considered, he took it pretty well, alternating between disbelief, and claiming that the lottery office had cheated him, before settling down to just a numb silence before leaving.  I genuinely felt sorry for him, like he had actually lost something valuable, even though he never had it in the first place.

Last night, however, the universe proved that it was indeed a magical place, especially at Christmas time.  Jimmy called and said that he had won $100 on a scratch off ticket.  He politely refused to let me cash it in for him, though.
Meanwhile, on the ‘bay and the river, sales have been brisk this week, even though mailing deadlines for Christmas have passed.  One buyer purchased a Christmas cartoon collector’s edition DVD set on Monday morning, and I, being of good holiday cheer, bumped shipping to Priority just so they would get it before the holiday. Late Monday night/early Tuesday morning, the buyer emailed me asking me to ship it overnight, even though they had only paid the $2.98 Amazon shipping cost. I politely declined, especially since the package had hit the mail stream some eight hours or more previous to her email. Another buyer asked how much it would cost to overnight a CD.  She balked at the $30 price tag.

Hopefully, your selling season went well, and you are looking forward to another productive year.
Have a happy holiday.

1 comment:

  1. I spent around $30 on lottery tickets to give as gifts (along with cookies) to my co-workers and the good folks at the post office. Nobody won anything more than a free ticket. I was pretty bummed.