It was a warm and sunny day… no I actually didn’t see Donald Trump at the Village Market but now that I have your attention, like Mr. Trump, there has been something else in America grasping everyone’s eyes, the ridiculously famous and at the same time infamous lottery.
On Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, the winning numbers that meant incredible wealth for three lucky people and zip for roughly 371 million people, appeared on the television screen to display the biggest Powerball lottery jackpot the world has ever seen.
I work at a local grocery store here in Wilton and I would absolutely never again take a shift that was a couple of days before a lottery drawing. The place was a madhouse. I saw it with my very own eyes, it reminded me of the African plains when a lioness, being the employee behind the desk, just made a kill of a gigantic elephant and all of the cackling yipping hyenas in the area went in to get a piece of the meat, that later was tarnished by a good ole reality check.
Everywhere in the United States, people were running into stores displaying the “1.5 Billion” sign out in front on their windows. I find the lottery advertisement signs, especially for states, actually very funny. If you look up any state’s lottery system, you’re going to see either a happy kid with a rainbow in the background or a happy sun smiling down on flamingos in bright colors. It’s great because that’s obviously your reaction to losing the lottery, you’re going to be happy with the sun shining and children laughing all around you.
Although the lottery is serious for some people, its primary purpose is to create humor and for participants to have fun with it. But the one golden phrase that people think about is the “what if.” Those two words are the foundation of any lottery system. Because most people have fun with it, their shields are down and they don’t expect the unexpected, winning. That is why a fake lottery ticket is the grandfather of the most hope-crippling pranks. I’m sure that everyone has seen on television or in movies a family member give another family member a fake ticket and before you know it, that “winner” quit their job, booked a vacation cruise to the Caribbean, bought seven cars and the list goes on and on. So I warn you, monitor the situation if you’re giving away gag lottos, it’s a dangerous piece paper.
Going back to the mega-ultra-enormous lottery recently, let’s talk about probability and odds. The estimated probability of winning was one in 292 million. “May the odds be ever in your favor,” am I right? Anyways, I’m sure everyone has heard that you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning on the way to buy the ticket than you do winning, forget that!
Those odds are so high, you have a better chance of getting into a car accident with a deer, and the deer being the other driver.
It’s a funny world out there when it comes to the lottery. It makes people’s state of mind go right out the window into a toilet below. To quote Marty Huggins in the political comedy movie starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, The Campaign, “Big money runs this country, does it run you.” …Well America, does it?




Christian Lovallo is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with four classmates.