Yes, I’ve fantasised often about winning some sort of lottery. Doesn’t everyone? In these fantasies, I try to play out my reaction, but a recurring problem I face is “Who do I tell?”.
I gave up on lotteries a long time ago because I never won anything. Not even those ugly face caps or oversize t-shirts they give away. I just couldn’t take the heartbreak and disappointment anymore, you know? Especially because I always went above and beyond. I once bought three crates of mineral in the span of a week in an attempt to win whatever was “under the bottle cap”. What are the chances of getting “TRY AGAIN” seventy-two (72) times? And then there was the time I spent almost six thousand every week on Glo airtime texting “WIN” from dawn to dusk. *sigh* Thank God those days are behind me.
Of course, I still get tempted to participate when I hear the commercials on the radio, or see ads in the newspaper, or pictures of winners accompanying the newspaper ads, and I wonder what those people did that I didn’t. I adopted several coping mechanisms:
1) Pretend I don’t know what’s going on.
2) I convince myself the lottery is rigged.
3) I fantasize about playing and winning.
The first never works, the second has come around to bite me in the ass (my cousin won a car), and the third is why we are here today.
To properly fantasize about winning the lottery, I have to first envision myself participating fully. It’s the most painful part because the memory of all my lost money haunts me still. Finally, I imagine myself winning. Now, this plays out differently for me every time because I can never quite figure out how I really want to react – get excited, play it cool/indifferent, or cuss them out for taking so much of my money – or who the first person I want to tell is. Well, yeah. The winners are usually published in the papers, or announced on the radio or whatever, but on the off chance that I’m the only one who knows about my win, who do I tell?
You’d think I’d like my family to be the first to know, yeah? LOL. Don’t get me wrong, my family is awesome in its own way. But while it certainly has its charms, my family is not bereft of flaws. I’ve played out several scenarios in my head. The timing and outfits are different in each one, and we aren’t always in the same position, but the general outline is the same – It’s a hot afternoon, and I enter the house sweating, parched and giddy with excitement. My mother is in her room occupied with the game on her phone and I prance in, perfect teeth aglitter. My greeting is returned with a curt nod as she can’t be bothered to look away from her phone screen, and then I blurt out that I have won the lottery. Without hesitation, she pauses the game and smiles at me. “My girl!” She says, her not-as-perfect-as-mine teeth aglitter. My sister and brother appear, seemingly out of thin air, and they proceed to share my money. I ask for a glass of water, and my mother asks why I didn’t buy with my newly acquired “wealth”. And then I become the family’s joint bank account. Get the picture?
Telling the church first, in the name of “giving testimony”, is something I’m very unlikely to do. You see, I’ve come to understand that running a church is a business and, like all businesses, requires financing. Which is why some end to have as many as four offerings in one service. While I’m not against giving my offering and donating when one cause/project or the other is mentioned, I don’t see why I would want to go up on stage and announce to the entire church that I just won a ton of money. It’s like this:
What I might say: “Praise the Lord! I won two million naira in the lottery. The Lord has been so good to me!”
What the rest of the church hears: “Prraise the Lord! I am now undertaking the financial needs of everyone in the church! The Lord has been so good to us!” And then the usual announcements won’t seem so usual anymore. I’ll feel like they’re being directed at me, because the announcer keeps staring at me while stating how much is needed for new roofing, or the upcoming bazaar. Let’s not talk about how popular I’ll instantly become, people coming up to “greet” me after service and what-not.
Do I rush to my friends with the awesome news? Well, this is tricky for me, because my friends (the ones I really call my friends) are truly amazing. However, not too lang ago, I was with a friend who recently came into some wealth, and he was speaking quite frankly with me. Telling me how people approach him for a loan on a daily basis, and he feels obligated to help because “they’re friends”, and how getting his money back has become a problem because most of them are under the impression that there’s a lot more where the money came from. He said something that made me laugh a little, but has a lot of truth in it – “Wealth is a tree everyone wants to climb, and I’m the ladder.”. Now, I’m considering whether or not I want to be a ladder. Don’t really fancy getting stepped on.
I may come across as being selfish or whatever, but I’m really not. I don’t have a problem with lending a helping hand here and there, but I constantly try to avoid being taken advantage of. Please, I can’t shout. So, in the event that I do win the lottery, I’ll most likely keep the news to myself. Wouldn’t you? Think about it. I’m sure you’d agree.