$1 ticket pays way to dreamer's fantasy

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Today's column - because of newspaper deadlines - was written before Friday night's Mega Million lottery drawing. Because today is April Fool's Day, I actually considered announcing that a Sikeston resident had matched the magical numbers and was trying to determine how to spend a half billion bucks.

But when you speak of that kind of money, perhaps it would not necessarily be a laughing matter.

So at this writing, I have no idea if some lottery player is really, really happy right now or if the jackpot remains in the stratosphere of lotteries.

But regardless, the truth is that for the past week or so, millions upon millions of Americans have dreamed of ways to spend $500 million or so.

I certainly won't enter into the debate on the moral aspects of playing a national lottery. To fork over a dollar for the chance at millions is a personal choice. I do find a tinge of irony in the fact that most past winners have acknowledged giving a substantial portion to their church. But I'll just leave it at that and hope my Baptist brethren cut me some slack.

But you have to admit, it has been an interesting lesson to play in your head the various ways to spend an amount of money that we literally cannot comprehend.

Not to put a damper on anyone but you do understand that this massive sum of money would pay the interest on the national debt for about one day.

But honestly, none of us are contemplating giving that money to a losing cause like the national debt.

So let's just dream while we have the chance.

Once you get past the baubles and trinkets that you would inevitably purchase with your lottery winnings, most of us dream of helping those who need it most - hospitals, charities, schools, etc.

And it's a good thing - even if only in dreams - to think of ways to help others. The truth is that this amount of money is so much more than one individual needs even with the most extravagant dreams.

Given the news of the day and the realities facing this nation, it's refreshing to dream of riches beyond our imagination. We know it's brief and we know it's just a dream. But admit it, it's a fun dream isn't it?

So when those numbers are drawn and when we realize that our "magical" numbers weren't really so magical, there is still benefit in a brief escape from reality.

Not getting too philosophical, daydreams might tell us something about ourselves. The new car and new house and escape from all bills is a fantasy.

But when we dream of using our newfound riches to help others, well that too says something about us.

Here's hoping the winner dreams of seeing just how many lives they can change with their once-in-a-lifetime good fortune.

And should - by sheer chance - my numbers be the winning combination, next week's column will be written from my new island hideaway. And I'll still be dreaming!

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