From across the street, it might have looked like I was checking to see if my wallet was in the right spot. Or maybe it would've looked like I was feeling my ass, just to make sure I hadn't lost it in the past six weeks. The joke would be on whoever was playing Otis Voyeur. I don't carry a wallet and I haven't seen my ass in years.
No, I was feeling to see how much I had in my pocket. After you do this for a while, you can get a sense for how much you're carrying. Thickness and weight, all jokes aside, make a difference.
I slipped in the door and worked my way into the crowd. It was an eclectic bunch--women, men, old, young, wealthy, poor. There was a line. I didn't want to wait, but my jones was too strong.
When it was my turn, I stepped up and nodded to the familiar face.
"How much?" he asked, tired, ready to go home. He needed the adrenaline we all sought.
"Ten," I said and handed him my bills.
The transaction took less than thirty seconds. I slipped my purchase in my pocket and made for my car as fast as I could. I knew how it would end. In just a few hours, I'd be wanting more, my ten turned worthless inside of a few lousy ticks of the clock.
I am running so bad at Powerball, it makes me sick.
Don't get me wrong, I know I can't win every time. I know I can't even win every week. And, I know it's a game with a lot of variance. I mean, one week you're winning the thing and you feel on top of the world. The next week, you can't win the thing to save your life. The swings can be insane. It's hard to shake the winning feeling after you win $180 million. That's why it's so easy to put money in time and again when you suspect you might be behind.
I've studied, too. I mean, I've considered there might be something wrong with my game. I labored over Super:System:Powerball. I have lucubrated over the numbers. I think I'm on top of it. I think there is a pretty decent chance that I have just as good of odds to win as anybody else in the country. And yet, week after week (espcecially recently) I walk away a loser. This weekend, some weekend warrior from Oregon took it down. It fucking kills me to see these jokers come in and think they own the entire world just because they can win one of these things. Come see me after you go a year without winning one, boys. Then we'll talk about how good you are.
But, I know, man. I know I just gotta keep plugging away. My time will come. I mean, everybody runs bad. Variance happens.
As long as this Powerball thing is legal, I'm going to stick with it. And since it's a game of skill, I suspect I'll be able to play the lottery for a long, long time.