Monday, April 2, 2012

The Zeroes Can Make You Crazy

Well, lest anyone get the wrong idea, the person that bought a winning Mega Millions ticket in Baltimore was not me.  I woke up just as ‘po as I went to bed.

It was funny though.  Friday night, I finished watching a DVR’d show about 10:55 pm, turned of the TV and went over to shut down my PC.  A few minutes later, I realized that the drawing was on and I missed it (…by that much.)  I tried to Google the results but there was nothing posted yet, so I gave up in short order and went to bed.

Pinky woke me up first thing in the morning… “Hey, where did you buy your tickets?

On the news, they were saying that a winning ticket was sold in Milford Mill, MD.  That’s in the neighborhood of my subway stop.  But I bought my tickets downtown… so endeth the dream.

When I finally dragged my sorry ass out of bed, I checked the paper for the numbers.  Alas, out of my 5 lines, I had 2 numbers on one line and 1 on the other.  So much for that mess.

But it’s all good.  Round about Friday, I was wondering if I shouldn’t just toss my ticket away.  Judging from all the articles online, winning the lottery sure seemed like a lot of work.  You’ve got endless meetings, financial decisions, life decisions… It looked like a lot of hassle.  It just seemed easier not to win.  If I bow out ahead of time, I still have family and friends that like me, or at least take the minimum steps to conceal their contempt.

There were so many stories about how the winners are robbed of their privacy and hounded to the ends of the earth by people that want donations, investments or handouts.  (And these are the ones that don’t blow their dough on houses, cars and gambling.) 
Remember how I was going to hire someone whose job it would be to tell people “no?”  I decided I’d have to take on more headcount for that task.  I’d have to create a whole staff.

I’d have to have a series of business cards made up.  First card is for the “Director of No.”  He handles all the routine requests from family and friends.  My brother might do for this position.  They don’t call him Evil Ed for nothing.

The second card would be for the “Vice President of Hell No.”  He would handle all the requests for me to partake in investment opportunities.  I’d tap my buddy John for the job, who’s been known to drive off interlopers with a giant pink “fat-bat.”

Lastly, for charitable and political donations, I’d establish the “Chairman of Fuck Off.”  I’d need a big guy for this job… I’m thinking my buddy Rik would do nicely. 
The VP of Hell No and the Chairman of Fuck Off, aka The Pain Clinic.  This ought to keep the riff-raff off my doorstep.

If you’ll recall from my previous Lottery posts, as far as donations go, it will be an “I’ll call you, don’t call me” kind of deal. 

At work, Friday, a bunch of us were talking about some of the offices that pool their money and buy a whole bunch of tickets.  (For the record, we did not do this.)  I made the point that in order to do it right, one would have to be really careful about keeping records.  I’d want to put in writing the names of the people that participated and circulate copies of the tickets that were bought with the pooled money. 

The object would be to minimize the possible misunderstandings that can come when one of these communal numbers hits, when everyone at the office shows up to claim some money whether they participated or not.  Once the big numbers start getting tossed around, people lose their freakin’ minds.  And shame.

That scenario may already be coming into play with the Maryland winner.  Rumor has it that a McDonalds employee hit the jackpot with numbers she bought herself, aside from the communal tickets she bought.

The story goes that 15 employees put in $5 apiece.  She went and bought the tickets, then returned them to the store.  Then, her boss gave her another $5 and she went and bought more tickets… some with his $5 and some with her own money.  The problem is that she went straight home.  She claims that the winning ticket from the ones she bought with her money.

When she called in to work on Saturday to quit, and intimated that she didn't intend to share the winnings, a couple of employees went to her house and beat on the door until she answered.  One of them told her, “These people are going to kill you.  It’s not worth your life.”

See what I mean about the crazy?  All those zeroes do something to your head.

As far as I’m concerned, the only one with a claim is the boss.  And because she didn’t turn over or show a copy of the ticket to him ahead of time, they should split her share.

As for the rest of the lot, I say “Tough shit.”  They bought some tickets; they have the tickets, the tickets didn’t win.  End of story.  If I was her and I liked my co-workers, I might spread a little joy over at Micky-Dee’s just out of the goodness of my heart.  But after people coming to my house and threatening me?  They’d never see my ass again.  Have some fries with that!

I have suspicions, though, that all is not what it appears to be.  As of this afternoon, no one has gone to the lottery office to claim the prize.  And the lady seems to be backing down from her initial claim.  When she was pressed to produce the ticket, she told the newspaper, “I don’t know if I won.  Some of the numbers were familiar.  I recognized some of them.”

Are you freakin’ kidding me?  The numbers were all over the TV, newspaper and internet.  How do you not know if you won?  And why would you call in to quit without being certain?  The whole thing sounds fishy.

Also, there are reports that they went through the store video and backtracked to the time the ticket was bought.  The reports say that the buyer appeared to be a man.

I wouldn’t be surprised if an entirely different person is sitting on the ticket, until the heat dies down. 

If it were me, I’d be firmly entrenched in an “Undisclosed Location.”  (Where there would be sand and umbrella drinks.)  And anyone that needed to speak to me would be referred to schedule an appointment with my Under-Secretary of Scram.


Reeik said...

Yeah BUDDY... It wouldn't take any zeros I'll still be the CHAIRMAN !!!!!!! Any buddy wondering can FUCK OFF ........

Anonymous said...

If I had the numbers, all you'd hear from is my badass laywer, Jackie Chiles. I'd be harder to find than J. D. Salinger... unless you were a waitress on a tropical island with a rum drink in your hand.

Unapologetically Mundane said...

My office plays together and has an elaborate system of taping the tickets to a piece of paper with the names of the players written on it, scanning the paper, e-mailing it to everyone who played, and using any small money won with those tickets to buy separate tickets the next time with any winnings from those being split amongst the original group. It's a little bit of work, but yeah, it'd be the worst for some non-player to show up Monday morning and lay claim to the prize when he didn't put any money into the pot.

That's really the thing that keeps me playing despite the fact that I think it's SO STUPID. When literally everyone in the office is playing, I don't want to be the one person not quitting come Monday morning.

Also: your friends are the best.

bluzdude said...

Obviously, my skills for evaluating talent are peerless. Never has someone been matched so well for a job…

bluzdude said...

That’s “word,” my friend.

Harder to find than a girl in Honors Math Class. (Calm down, that was an intentionally sexist joke. Only kidding!)

It’s funny how the media whip up all this “Who’s the Winner” expectation, run stories on how messed up previous winners are and how their lives are ruined by publicity, and then wonder why no one has stepped up to claim the prize.

Gotta fill the hour, I guess.

Me, I’d hit an island for a while at first, and conduct all my conference calls from a beach chair. Or maybe from the infinity pool. But my anonymous Lottery Winner’s Blog would be called, “Tales from the Eternal Tailgate.”

And now, a scene from Bagger on the Beach
Jackie Chiles: What's that on your arms?
CarpetBagger: It's aloe... it's like a balm.
Jackie Chiles: Who told you to get a balm? I didn't tell you to get a balm...

bluzdude said...

See, that’s exactly the right way to do it. It’s all transparent and up front. Anyone that tried to horn in after the fact would look like a complete a-hole.

I’d go one step further and have everyone sign a declaration that they will only claim a winning share if they buy a ticket for that particular drawing. That’s just to weed out the “But I always play, I just forgot about this one.”

The group event can be a fun bonding event, but only if the rules are clear.

Man, how bad would it suck to be the only one left at work after everyone else “retired?” You could immediately start doing lottery ads, saying, “Don’t let this happen to YOU!”

Lastly, my friends would look at the opportunity to beat somebody’s ass as a “fringe benefit” of the job.

Anonymous said...

I would literally hire the actor who played Jackie Chiles (is he still alive?) and pay him to be my spokesman in character.

"That's totally inappropriate. It's lewd, vesivius, salacious, outrageous!"

bluzdude said...

Dude… that is INSPIRED… it would be hilarious.

I began writing a much longer comment than this but then I realized that it really warrants a post of its own. (which will be up shortly.)

Cassie said...

I read an article yesterday about a guy who won 16 million or something and everyone came out of the woodwork asking him for money. And being the kind guy that he was, he gave out all kinds of loans, of which he'll never see back again. Now he's bankrupt, poor and all his kids hate him.

I guess winning the lottery teaches you who your real friends are.

bluzdude said...

Yeah, that's been a recurring story in the news since last week... all the poor saps that got filthy rich and then pissed all away, leaving nothing left but the friends and family that hate them.

Kinda makes that island sound mighty good.