If I Won the Lottery

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If I won the lottery, I would be different.

You see in the news or read in the papers about these idiots who win the lottery and they let it ruin their lives. 

They blow the money on fancy speedboats and thousand dollar caviar buffets. 

Or they hire a shady financial manager who embezzles the money, funneling it to South American narco-hooligans or North American narco-hooligans or narco-hooligans in some other place.

Or their “distant relatives” show up looking for “loans” and end up “murdering” them when they “refuse”. 

Or much worse.

If I won the lottery, the first thing I would do would be to skip the press conference. I wouldn’t be the idiot lottery winner looking smug on TV, just so everyone can get his picture and know to ask him for beer money.

I wouldn’t cancel the press conference, but I would send a dog in a business suit instead. That way people start thinking about that dog in a suit, not me. I paid off that dog to go.

At the press conference, I would have that dog announce a $1 million dollar donation to a foundation that fights against Lotteries. People would think, “This dog just WON the lottery, why does he want to END the lottery!?” That’s my second stratagem, to distract and mislead people so that no one can exploit me.

After that, I would schedule a sit down business meeting with that dog, the one in the suit, and we would discuss my options and really go through the possibilities.

I would show the dog different pictures of houses that I want to buy, then I would show the dog different pictures of other dogs that I want to retain in my new company, where the original dog is in charge of the new dogs.

After that, the dog and I would fly all over the place, staying in the fanciest hotels and eating the fanciest big hotel sandwiches, looking for the best additional dogs to hire.

The dog and I would share a lot of great experiences, like relaxing in nice hotel hot tubs and barking at the lifeguards.

But then, things would take a turn for the worst. It would turn out that the dog, the one in the suit, was embezzling my money and funneling it to his gangster “mutt” friends.

The dog would betray me and reveal that we were never friends, that he never really wanted to help me, we never sincerely barked at a lifeguard together. These things were all subterfuge.

The dog would disappear for a while. Then just when his betrayal was beginning to fade from memory, just as I was finally settling into my new life in shantytown, I would get a postcard from that dog. It would be a picture of him and his gangster “mutt” friends in Switzerland, shopping for new suits at the finest clothiers and haberdasheries in Zurich.

Well, I have a confession to make.

Everything that I just told you—this big “hypothetical”—really happened to me. All of it was real.

My name is Timothy Chau, and I’m a victim of the lottery.

When you play the lottery, you may think you’re spending a few bucks for a shot at a better life.

But what you’re really doing is playing Russian Roulette with your future.

I thought I would be different. I wasn’t.

If you care about someone, don’t let them play the lottery.

The preceding story was a paid advertisement by Cats Against Lotteries (CAL), a 501(c) nonprofit group.


Cash licensed under creative commons.

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Written by

Alex Baia is a humor writer and contributor to McSweeney’s and Slackjaw. He lives in Austin, TX.