I'm not a lottery guy.
Sure, I've ponied up a buck here or there on a few occasions, joining the collective office pool when the "big" jackpot is lingering out there.
But I don't go out of my way each week to try and pick some lucky numbers; and as far as wandering into a convenience store and having them spin off a few sheets of scratch tickets - not so much.
So you can understand why, when I do go into a convenience store - key word being convenience - to throw my $20 down on the counter after a quick top-off of the tank, it's a bit annoying to have a couple of these scratch happy folks in front of me.
I'm looking to get in and out. I'm trying to be stealthy and covert, not something easy to do when you stand 6-1 and weigh 300-plus, but I try nonetheless. And it never fails, when I am in a hurry, a legitimate hurry - not a hurry caused by simple impatience - that's when I get behind two or three of these folks, waiting to six if their handful of tickets were winners.
Ding. Woo-hoo. You are a winner.
Then they get their $3 payout and reinvest it in three new tickets. Of course they immediately begin digging around in their pocket for a nickel so they can scratch away with hopes that they've just purchased the dream ticket.
And when lotto fiend one is done, number two steps up and repeats the process.
Ten minutes later, I finally complete my 10-second transaction, handing the cashier my bill and wishing them a nice day.
I'm guessing I'm not the only one who has had what must now be hours of their life - hours never to be recovered - wasted in the line.
Sadly, some of these people are banking on the lotto to somehow provide the answer to their situation. Not all. Some participate in the scratch games for a little fun. But many will stand in the line, hoping by shear luck of the draw all their prayers will be answered.
Not by hard work or innovation or using their brains - but by the fortunes of a cashier handing them a select ticket.
Yes, I know, people do win. But the vast majority of people do not. Might I offer a suggestion, next time I'm behind you in line and you've got a few extra bucks in your pocket that you're looking to burn, offer the money to me on the off chance that I might have $10,000 in my pocket I'm looking to give away.
Your chances of scoring the big bucks are about the same. And heck, you can't win if you don't try, right?