If you haven’t heard, there is a substantial lottery payout on the horizon. Tonight, one or many lucky American’s could find themselves in the lap of luxury, impromptu millionaires, and it has set social media on fire. The estimated 1.5 billion dollar jackpot has the citizens of the United States rushing to their corner store to purchase a twenty-dollar ticket to FREEDOM, (yes I am a huge Braveheart fan).
Financial freedom, we all dream of it, we pursue it, the North American dream? Whatever it is, we strive to be the 4%. That’s right only 4% of the American population are millionaires. And winning that Powerball would catapult one of the lucky ones into the realm of Tesla’s, mansions, even hookers and blow if your lottery dreams so include. Some may dream on a smaller scale. Thoughts of buying that cottage on the lake or putting your kids through college. Whatever your lottery dreams may incorporate, it has at the very least put a spark in your dreary over worked, under paid mind and given you a few moments of hope.
There was once a time in my life I too would have joined the frenzy of people lined up at the local lottery booth. Pining to enter the millionaire’s club. Hell, I dreamed of knocking at its golden gates while fanning myself with hundred-dollar bills.
My comma club dreams were lengthy; I could have described the exact colour of the walls in my built-to-suit dream house. I visioned how it rested when the four o’clock evening sun glistened on it while I drove my pick-up truck down the long dirt road towards it. That’s the deal with the lottery dream. It takes you out of your drab bill infested life for a moment and gives you a sense of hope. And there is nothing wrong with it. We all need hope, we all need to dream.
I don’t dream anymore. Not of a winfall. I’m not here to squash your million-dollar wet dream; I’m here to explain the lack of mine.
Over four years ago, almost the same circumstances played out in one of our Canadian lotteries. The highest jackpot in history. I too stood at the edge of pay-cheque to pay-cheque dreaming of a better life. What could it hurt, it’s just a few dollars, and so what if my chances are one in 35,749,600, there is still a chance.
It wasn’t the huge prize at the end of the lottery tunnel nipping at my cerebellum that caused me to no longer dream of riches falling in my lap. I kept those haunting’s at bay … For a while.
My lack of lottery dreams is due to my dedication to recover from an addiction I never want to hold me in its grasp again.
I can tell you the exact moment I became a gambling addict; it wasn’t while I stood in line at my local grocery store waiting to buy a weekly lottery ticket, it was the moment I won twenty-eight thousand dollars. In that euphoric life changing moment, addiction became my pimp, every dollar I made, every bill I took, paid to my owner, gambling.
One of the things that you learn cleaning up from an addiction is you can no longer place yourself back there. There is no such thing as being a ‘little bit’ addicted. I cannot ‘a little bit’ gamble anymore. That includes dreams of huge lottery payouts.
It’s not that I don’t dream of success, I do, and I will work my ass off to knock at the golden gates a millionairedom while fanning myself with hundred-dollar bills y’all. What you need to understand is under no circumstance could I even wish to strike it rich. The act of buying a lottery ticket may not be my demise. Albeit if those numbers matched and I became the next zillionaire, there is no doubt, I would gamble all of those winnings away. Chasing the metaphorical dragon, If I could just win. One. More. Time.
Gambling addiction isn’t about the money; it concerns the dream of the money. It’s the roller coaster of highs and lows. The belief that you are just around the corner of the next big win. So while I wish you all luck, I’ll opt-out. Oh, and by the way, I am not too good to accept hand-outs if you do win. KIDDING, sort-of.
Like the rest of the world, I played the lottery, not often, but I did. And being the dreamy type, I dreamed big. But today I don’t, I can’t. Today, I am 798 days clean, of addiction that changed my life.
If you have a gambling addiction, please get help.