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Adam Kalbluck was just plain lucky. Whether it was finding a twenty dollar bill in the mall parking lot or scoring the winning touchdown with two seconds left, he always had the advantage. Many of his classmates couldn’t believe his good fortune. Many of them were also envious of him and his luck, but to all, he was still well-liked. Many of the people around him questioned how all of this luck could be granted to one person.
It was a crisp fall day when Adam walked into his high school, trailing in dead leaves. His best friend, Davis, walked up to him. Adam grew wary, as Davis had a mischievous grin on his face that always meant he was up to something. With a smile glued on his face, Davis held up the small piece of paper he had been holding. Disinterested, Adam turned and began to put his combination into his old, beaten down locker.
Adam inquired, “What is it?”
“This,” Davis exclaimed, “is going to be the winning lottery ticket!”
Adam, stuffing his books into his locker, asked with suspicion, “What are you talking about?”
“You know, you with your magical skills of luck. . .” Davis hinted.
“Yeah, what about it?”
“Why did you leave your lottery ticket at my house?”
Adam slammed his locket shut. “I don’t know. I just didn’t really want it.”
“Why not?” Davis questioned.
Adam scoffed, “There’s no way I’m going to win the lottery. Do you know how little the chances of winning are? I have a better chance of being struck by lightning.”
“Just take your ticket. I guarantee it’s a winner,” Davis said, shoving it into Adam’s hands.
Sighing, Adam shoved it into his backpack. “Come on, we’re gonna be late.”
Later that day, Adam was sitting at the small desk in his room. The paint was chipping off the walls in flakes of blue and he could hear the trains as they passed on the tracks outside his window, but it never really bothered him. He had writer’s block, and he still had to write his essay on the French Revolution. Adam pulled out the lottery ticket Davis had given him earlier that day, hoping to get his mind off of his schoolwork.
He went into the living room and turned on the television with his ticket in hand, turning up the volume. He watched as they announced the winning numbers of that week’s lottery jackpot. Adam looked down, expecting his numbers to be way off. He looked up, then looked down again. Then, he checked a third time.
“No way,” he muttered. “There’s no way.” He glanced up, not believing his own eyes. Adam screamed, “I can’t believe this! This is crazy!” He jumped off the couch, clutching his ticket. Then, he ran into his room, grabbed his phone, and dialed. Adam shouted into the phone, “You’re not gonna believe this! Guess who just won 67 million dollars?!?!”
It had been a month since he had sat on his couch with his ticket, a month since his life changed for good. He had claimed his prize, and was also interviewed on television, as he was one of the youngest winners ever. Everyone was talking about the eighteen year-old kid who won the lottery.
Adam was caught in a whirlwind. Everything was changing, all at once. He was able to buy his family a house, and he would never forget the looks on his parents’ faces when he told them. Their looks of confusion, then disbelief, changed to utter joy.
Other things changed as well. All the people at school wanted to talk to him, even people who had never even talked to him before. Adam’s uncle, who lived in California, who had never spoken to him in his life, flew out to see him. Many charities solicited donations for various different causes. Everything was happening so fast, and Adam was finding it hard to keep up.
Adam walked into school with his new sneakers that he had just bought himself. Davis caught up to him, shaking his head.
“I still can’t believe it. I just don’t believe it,” Davis said.
“Davis, you’ve been saying that for a month now. It’s pretty much old news.”
“Never, it will never be. I was so right when I told you that ticket was a winner.”
Adam rolled his eyes, “I know, I know. You were right.”
“Are those new sneakers?” Davis asked.
“Yeah, I just bought them, and. . .” Adam reached for something from his backpack, “I also bought you a pair.”
Davis’ eyes widened. “What? Are you serious? No, I can’t take them.”
Adam placed the shoebox in Davis’ hands. “No, really, take them. I have all this money that I don’t know what to do with. I want you to have them.”
“Wow, thanks. This is awesome!” Davis exclaimed.
As Adam watched his friend open up his brand new sneakers, he realized that his incredible windfall had changed his whole life, and not always for the better. His uncle, who was like a stranger, had shown up for the first time as soon as he had seen the story on television. He didn’t know what to do about the charities asking for donations. His newfound wealth changed the way people treated him, and sometimes he wished they would act the way they did before. Other things hadn’t changed that much. His family and his friends still wanted what was best for him, and now he was able to give them the things they deserved.
Adam realized that his huge windfall was a blessing and, in some ways, a curse. He knew he would figure everything out. For now, he was just going to live his life, appreciate every day, and enjoy every moment.