I didn’t win the $1.5 billion Powerball lottery on Wednesday. Of course I wouldn’t tell you if I did, but I also wouldn’t have written this column, so you can trust me when I say we won’t be getting gold toilets installed anytime soon. My chances of winning Powerball were hampered somewhat by the fact that I did not buy a ticket. However my father did purchase a few and texted me a photo of the tickets he said were mine. This was very kind of him, and it did cause me to spend most of Wednesday daydreaming, but I suspect had one of “my” tickets won I’d have soon heard from my parent’s attorney.
But I didn’t win, and neither did my parents, but it was kind of fun spending an afternoon dreaming about all the things I’d do and buy if my numbers had come up. It was something I hadn’t done since high school, when I was one of 10 people in the Gadsden area to qualify to swing for a million at the old Goodyear Golf Course. I qualified by paying one dollar and hitting a seven iron 5 inches from the hole, and in the month between qualifying and my actual swing for a million, I spent 90 percent of my waking hours dreaming about all the things I’d buy with my winnings. It’s hard to remember now everything I planned to buy, but I do recall telling my friend’s I’d buy them all 1984 Pontiac Fieros, and together we’d cruise the streets of Gadsden as the least intimidating street gang of all time.
When the day came, all I had to do was hit a hole-in-one from 180-yards, but I barely got the ball off the ground, and afterwards I drove off with my Ray-Bans on the roof of my car, so the whole thing ended up costing me $100.
On Wednesday, my dreams didn’t involve Fieros, or at least not exclusively. I wondered if we’d keep our current house or move into a mansion somewhere. I mean we like this house, but it’s kind of small for a billionaire. Then I spent a lot of time thinking about the hospitals I’d build and all other manner of philanthropic feats because, well, if you don’t at least plan to do some good with the money God would never let you win it, right?
Then the numbers were drawn, and I didn’t win and suddenly I felt kind of guilty for wasting the better part of a day dreaming about winning the lottery. Tricia’s known she wanted to be a doctor since she was a kid, and I believe I’m doing what I’m supposed to do with my life. But if we won all the money would Tricia still practice medicine, and would I still write? Probably not, and it would be a shame to turn our back on our life’s calling just because we guessed six numbers correctly. No, I think it’s probably a good thing we didn’t win the Powerball. Besides, I just found a 1984 Fiero on Craigslist for $200.
Chad Gibbs resides in Auburn and is the author of “God & Football,” “Love Thy Rival” and “Jesus Without Borders.” To learn more about Gibbs’ projects and to purchase his books, visit www.chadgibbs.com.