Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

December 1, 2010
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It was the Tuesday night I’ll never forget. It changed my life. Those 5 numbers: 3, 17, 42, 26, and 38. I won the lottery! It was the highest it had been ever that year- 43 million dollars. Coming from a poor family I was flabbergasted. I ran to the phone to call my mom.
“Mom, guess what?!?!” I screeched in to the phone.
“What?” She replied.
“I won the lottery!!”
“SERIOUSLY?!?!”
“Yeah!”
“I’ll be right over.”
For three straight hours we talked about how we were going to invest and spend it. The next day when I woke up, I went online to check my bank account. It said that I had a total of 217,463 dollars. Boy was I shocked.
I knew what I had to do. I knew that I had to get myself some new clothes and jewelry. I stopped at EVERY store in the mall, even the ones for teens. I bought a whole new wardrobe, got real 24 karat gold jewelry, and a nice pearl necklace (real of course). Thursday, I went to the furniture store and bought myself a new bed, one of those cool memory foam ones. It was much nicer than sleeping on a futon. I also bought a nice new sectional and a 60 inch plasma 3-D TV. It made me feel like I was on top of the world. Then I went to Coach and Dooney and Bourke and bout 20 purses, and 27 wallets. I bought a pool table, with some expensive pool cues that had a nice wood finish and had my initials engraved in them. It was a great day for me. I was a super shopping machine. I loved it more than a nerd loves math class. Did I mention that I spent over fifty thousand dollars that day? Well, I did.
I bought a three deck yacht with the most lavish interior and exterior I could find. I don’t even like the water because I get sea-sick but I thought it was the protocol for rich people to have the most lavish thing that they could afford. I decided on the name S.S Manta because I like the word manta. It had a kitchen with a French-door refrigerator. On the top deck was a hammock and a covered sitting area. It had a gigantic cooler stocked with only the new and coolest drinks. I had hired a captain who would be at the ready for me whenever I needed him to take me anywhere on my yacht.
I knew I needed it to scream “I’m rich and I can do whatever I want.” With that attitude I decided to paint that on the side of my yacht in shimmering gold paint. My yacht made all the other yachts jealous. It was very sleek and modern, with an antique style to it as well. The best part was when I threw a party on my yacht and had over 100 people come. It was so amazing I thought for a second I was famous.
One of the people that were at my party invited me for caviar at his house. Of course I accepted even though I didn’t know what caviar was. I googled it and found out that it was raw fish eggs. Nasty! I have to eat fish eggs! It was all I thought about, day in and day out until I saw them. You know how they say love at first sight? Well, for me, seeing caviar was like barf at first sight. It took me about an hour to force them down. I wasn’t a happy camper, that’s for sure. I sucked it up and put on a happy face and tried to enjoy myself. The man who invited me didn’t even notice that I took so long to eat the caviar. Thank goodness for that. When it was over I went to bed in my plushy memory foam bed.

After a week my little two bedroom apartment couldn’t hold all the stuff I purchased. My closet overflowing with shoes and clothes. My bathroom was filled with makeup and accessories. Also, my extra room was full with the items from my shopping sprees I had been on. I knew that this was the start to something good. Or was it?
After that it never stopped. I thought since I had all this money I could spend it willy-nilly and not care how much I was spending. One day I checked my bank account and it said four thousand, one hundred twenty two dollars and fifty-eight cents. And I thought I was astounded when I won the lottery. I had to stop spending the money on things that I wanted because they looked cool and I wanted it just to have it. Like the disco ball I had installed as my bedroom light. That was what I needed to stop spending my money on. It was like I was my own worst enemy with my bad spending habits. And I knew I didn’t want to be my worst enemy. Things got worse after that. I was late to work so many times that I got fired from my regional manager position at STAPLES. I finally decided to go to the bank so they could help me finance my money. The only thing the bank budgeter told me was that I needed to keep all of my receipts and to allow myself a spending limit for the month. He said that I could start out high like one thousand five hundred dollars a month on things that were not my house, car, water, and electric bills. I was okay with his criticism. He’d never seen anybody spend that much money in that short time. We also made a date to see the investor so I could invest my winnings in the Sock Market. The meeting was for next week and I was hoping to be good and not spend a lot of my money on unnecessary things.

I did okay until I saw a big sale at Nordstrom’s take an extra 40% on regular and clearance prices. “Well,” I thought to myself, “I do need some new pants and suits for job interviews.” I ended up spending eight hundred dollars. “Oh, no! That means I only have seven hundred left for the MONTH!” I was a nervous wreck that month. I decided the only thing that wouldn’t keep me from spending the rest of my money was if I was occupied.
I cleaned and organized my apartment, start to finish. Room by room, I made it seem that I didn’t have that much clutter. I was pretty happy. I knew that I had accomplished a great task, and I was proud. So It was like I was this new not so spending machine. I needed some time away from the world so I volunteered at a retirement home. It was as fun as a retirement home could be. We played shuffleboard, and played poker. They all had neat stories, but they liked mine the best. I felt good about not caring about myself for once and doing something for the community. I met some nice folks who shared their stories about going through the Great Depression with barely enough food on the table for their families. It was very touching that they still remember back way back when.

I donated a lot of my money to charities like the ASPCA and the Ronald McDonald House. It was an experience I hope to never forget, especially when I’m their age. I felt like I had really made a difference in the community. Later, the caretaker called me up and said how much of a difference I had made. She said that they don’t usually get volunteers to come and that after I left that’s all they talked about. How much they liked me, and that I was so interesting. She went on for about fifteen minutes saying how big a smile a put on the retirees faces. When I went to bed, I too had a smile on my face.

I had a rough start, but in the end I realized that life isn’t always about you, it’s about what you do. I also learned that winning the lottery can have a negative effect as well, and that you should never take anything for granted. But, if you do well the positive can overrule the negative and make life worthwhile again.





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