Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at
Tue Dec 21 02:34:09 EST 2004

Dorian wrote:

> (Possibly the only thing sillier than buying lottery tickets is buying
> lottery tickets and then forgetting to check the numbers until after the
> deadline for claiming a prize has passed!)

My mother has a colleague in England who claims he enjoys torturing his
family by picking a number just seconds before the great draw on television.
Everybody groans and covers their ears because no one can bear the thought
of the regret they'll feel if the number actually wins and they didn't go
and buy a ticket. But he still does it every week, with the confidence that
the odds are in his favor (against winning).

My husband's family regularly buys lottery tickets, and bought my husband a
subcription to the national lottery for one of his birthdays. My father in
law will buy instant scratch-cards as place markers for family celebrations.
I play along with everybody else, but I think you've realised by now that I
would never ever buy a lottery ticket myself, or encourage my children to do
so.  Last holidays, my daughter's card won a nice little sum of 100 shekels
(about 20 U.S. dollars), and my nephews' eyes popped out. I had them do the
math and see for themselves that the total sum of the winnings around the
table (nobody else won anything) was significantly smaller than the amount
of money spent on all the tickets. I have a lovely extended family and it's
all done in good spirits. I have no doubt my father-in-law will continue
buying his grandchildren lottery tickets, and I'll continue pointing out how
silly this is, and we'll have the same old familiar family arguments time
and time again just as we do over a million other things (is the meat
overcooked, is the prime-minister an idiot, is it wise to invest in
Bulgarian catfood...) ObDWJ, I used to have a very small family, and always
longed for a large rowdy family, like Hathaway's family in Archer's Good or
the family with all the little girls in Deep Secret (I need to reread
that!). Now that I have a larger family, it's every bit as nice as I always
knew it would be.

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