Powerball mania takes hold


I see that the gambling bug has bit millions of Americans lured by the prospect – dim as it is – of winning at least a portion of a half-billion Powerball jackpot.

Good luck with that, folks.

I’ve never been a big fan of games of chance. I lack the stomach or the spine to gamble my money away. Might as well just light a match to it.

But this lottery craziness just amazes me at times. Powerball is played in several states, including Texas. As the link attached to this blog post notes, Texans are lining up by the thousands for a shot at winning the big jackpot.

You can attach any yardstick you want to measure one’s chances of striking it rich. Greater chance of getting hit by a meteor? Being struck by lightning? Getting kidnapped by Martians? Finding Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster … or starting up one of the cars buried at Cadillac Ranch? Pick any of them and the chances of any of those things happening are greater than winning the big jackpot.

My favorite reaction to the payoff occur after someone wins big. It’s when retailers advertise that someone bought the winning ticket at their location, enticing future suckers to purchase tickets in the hope that they’ll sell the winning ticket once again … at the same location.

The Taylor Food Mart at 34th and Coulter in Amarillo about four years ago sold a big-payoff ticket. I think it paid more than a hundred million bucks. Then the folks put up a big sign proclaiming that magnificent event. The best part of it all is that customers actually gobbled up tickets, thinking they were going to score a big win … at that location … immediately after it sold a winning ticket to some guy blessed with pure blind luck.

Me? I think I’ll look for Bigfoot.