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Life’s magic numbers…

April 1, 2012

You don’t have to play the lottery or pay attention to its drawings to know that the world just watched the largest jackpot ever grow to epic proportions — $656 million to be exact. The Mega Millions, which stood to make any of its winners multi-multi-millionaires, had the highest jackpot in the history of lottery drawings across the world. Many who don’t play regularly bought a ticket just to try their hand at a lucky drawing and hope for the best. Just walking into the gas station for any reason, I found myself in line behind hopeful winners who kept giving their statements of faith or non-belief of the chances they have. I heard one man say, after buying a ticket, “This may be the last time you ever see me in here.” I heard a woman at another station tell her friend she was going to make sure she wins, with implication that the visit wasn’t just her first or second time in the store to buy a ticket. I read an article about a man in Kansas who went to purchase a ticket and told some people, “I have better chances of getting struck by lightening.” What is amazing is he actually did get struck by lightning just a couple hours later and lived. Unfortunately for him, he still didn’t win the Mega Millions jackpot.

There are no magic numbers in life. Our chances of getting struck by lightning really is greater than our chances of winning a Mega Millions jackpot. For many, it’s a false hope. It’s a chance to ponder things that otherwise we have no opportunity or chance to ponder. Most of us don’t have rich relatives ready to hand over their fortune or other ways to back into a fortune. We struggle for what we have. Especially here in Vinton County. We have to work for our fortune, and it’s a fortune that most of the outside world would scoff at. If I would have won a multi-million dollar lottery prize, I would like to think I would spend a good portion of it in the community in which I live, and helping those who have worked so hard in this area. That list includes myself. I would have given the Commoner Journal the best gift that I could possibly give to ensure that it continues to grow and provides the area with the best news possible. Maybe I’d be photographing automobile accidents from a helicopter instead of the ground or hire a number of editors, writers, graphic design personnel, office workers, delivery drivers and other staff. Maybe I would have my own printing press. I’d build an office right in town and people could stop in to our Commoner Journal museum to see photographs, print editions, videos and other things we build over the years as we grow. All of these things require magic numbers, though. There are no magic numbers in life. If you draw some, you are very lucky. Don’t expect that to happen.

We can’t expect magic numbers to save us. We are where we are for a reason. Our job is to do the best we can with what we have and give everything we have to make our lives better. If happiness cost a dollar, people would be lining up everywhere to buy it. We saw that in the days leading up to the March 30 drawing. Happiness is not only a dollar, though. Our magic numbers are not part of a pick-five sequence with a mega ball at the end. The important numbers for us are number of hours, days, weeks and years we put into something we love. Our numbers are on the clock and calendar. If you want to find happiness, try using those numbers and see what you get back. If you play the lottery, go ahead and enjoy, just don’t expect magic numbers to give you the happiness these other numbers take a lifetime to build.


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