Bless the windfall

I like to play the lottery from time to time, as we know, so this evening I picked up a Mega Millions ticket for the “Apocalypse Day” drawing on Friday. The jackpot’s only $12 million, hardly worth crossing the street to buy a ticket for, but what the heck? This could be the week.

As I was waiting for the machine to print my ticket, an older gentleman at the counter next to me finished scratching off his tickets and tossed them away in disgust.

“Any luck?” I asked.

“Nah, not tonight,” he said. I remarked that he must win something once in a while because he keeps playing. “I won $10,000 once,” he said, “but the government took $3,000 of it.” He was clearly still bitter about this.

“Well,” I said, touching his arm lightly, “you still came out $7,000 ahead, which was money you wouldn’t have had otherwise.” I took my ticket and left him standing there looking slightly puzzled.

I’m not sure why, when some people receive a windfall, the first thing they think is, “why didn’t I get more?” If I’d ever won $10,000 and ended up with $7,000, I’d still be talking about how fortunate I am and what a blessing that was, that one time, when I won all that money. But that man has probably forgotten already what he spent the money on. He’s not forgotten what “the government took” from him. His primary association with winning the lottery is bitterness over having to pay taxes on his winnings.

What did he expect, sympathy? Because he got lucky and won some money, but it wasn’t quite as much money as he thought it would be? Really? Sorry, I can’t get next to that one. Income is taxed in this country and that’s just the way it is. No point in crying about it because it isn’t going to change. Better to bless whatever income you have and make the most of it.

windfall

When money falls out of the sky into your hands, be grateful!

Speaking of which, I enjoyed a windfall of sorts this morning. I took my car back to the dealership to see about those shocks, and insisted that the service manager come out and inspect my car to determine whether this was actually needed or if the car’s misalignment might have caused the wear pattern on the rear tires. (See yesterday’s post for all the details.) He did inspect it, determined that the shocks were fine, and sent me on my way without trying to sell me one single thing more. So that was $300 I didn’t have to spend on my car today, some most all of which I used instead to buy Christmas presents for my family. I am very pleased about the gifts I found for them.

This sweet video captures perfectly how I feel about Christmas … every year.

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