posted by Matt W on April 25th, 2012

A couple weeks ago the Mega-Millions jackpot reached 600-and-something-bazillion-dollars and I along with everyone else across the nation made sure I walked in to buy a ticket while gas flowed into my car. I typically don’t by lottery tickets unless the jackpot is over $100,000,000. Not because I don’t think $20 million isn’t enough money to be worth my time, I just don’t think about the lottery unless somebody else thinks it’s a big deal and reminds me. As I am also aware of the odds, I am usually happily talked into splitting a Twix bar by my daughter with the change in my ashtray, as opposed to buying a ticket. But every once in a while, I purchase a ticket and spend the car-ride home describing dreams with my daughter.

We have a list of places we would purchase homes (as the list is quite long now, that is probably why I stick to the $100 mil+ lotteries), things to do (no sweetie no matter how much money we win you can’t skydive until your 18 or get a trampoline), places to travel, things to buy, all the typical lotto dreams. But no matter how many ideas I come up with, I still can’t top the dream and actual execution of that dream by the only lotto winner I’ve ever met.

Years ago, when the state lotto jackpots were much lower, I was playing a round of golf with a buddy. As we passed by the clubhouse at the turn, a friend of his saw him and asked if he could join us. He was a very nice guy, with an average game, and brand new clubs. So as we made it through the back nine, I ask all the typical small-talk questions, “What do you do for a living? Do you have any kid?”, etc. He was very hush about everything. I’m not a nosy person, and because he played golf at a fast pace (slow golfers are the bane of my personal universe); I was fine with his nondescript answers. I had narrowed my line of questions to golf related questions and figured out that he played almost every day, which seemed odd matched with high end clubs and a very mediocre swing. All these answers were not lining up.

Finally my friend said to his buddy, “He won’t tell anybody.” As I am trying to figure out if he is some sort of hit man or heir to the Boeing fortune he says, “I won the state lottery.” Nice. This answers everything (except why he hasn’t paid a golf coach to fix his swing). it was a nice purse, but not huge. He has a nice small condo, plays golf a lot, and just hangs out. He goes on to say that if he is fairly frugal over the course of his life, he will probably never work again. Very nice.

As we are walking up the 17th fairway, my buddy whispered that this guy’s ex-wife was evil and had taken him to the cleaners. My buddy calls out to him, “Tell Matt W. the best part, he’ll get a kick out of it.” He paused for a few moments and then finally said, “My divorce was finalized a week before I hit the jackpot.” As I chuckle a bit, he follows up with, “She will never see a dime.” And then he was quiet, never saying another word about it. My buddy says that everyone who knew her (even her friends) thought she had gotten exactly what she deserved from his lotto winnings, nothing.

So when it comes to winning the lottery, and people’s dreams coming to reality, I’m sure this would top any divorced guys list. Hopefully, he has fixed that swing by now.

File Under Jack of all Trades