I held my handbag tightly against my body in the crowded subway, packed with commuters battling to get home to peace and quiet.
My arm had grown numb from a combination of fear and excitement which caused my whole body to tense.
I gripped my bag especially close because it held precious cargo…and pickpockets weren’t entirely unheard of in New York City.
I coveted my handbag today because it was no ordinary bag.
It contained six numbers.
Six numbers chosen randomly by the lottery computer at the newspaper vendor on Lexington Avenue near my job.
When I had bought this lottery ticket, I joked with the clerk that I’d come back to tip him after I won. It would be a pretty big tip, I told him. After all, with a $1.5 billion dollar jackpot, I could afford to be generous. We had chuckled at the thought of it.
After an hour of clutching my bag as if it already contained the billion and a half dollars inside, I finally arrived home.
The lottery drawing was in a half an hour. I made it home just in time to watch the drawing on TV. Thirty more minutes and my life could change forever.
I felt my stomach rumble. I had forgotten it was dinnertime with all the thoughts of lottery racing through my head.
I grabbed a bag of chips and plopped myself down on the couch, turning on the TV. No more meager dinners for me after I hit it big.
Just as the lottery drawing came on Channel 11, my decades-old television decided to act up again. I adjusted the settings but the lottery announcer’s image came in blurry on the vintage TV screen.
Luckily, I could still make out the numbers written on the lottery balls as they wildly jumped around in their bubble-like container. They reminded me of hot popcorn, popping in a machine at the movie theater snack counter.
But this was one very expensive, very valuable machine…
Just before the pretty TV announcer began to read off the winning numbers, I reached for my handbag and pulled out the precious cargo that I’d carried home so gingerly.
As the “popcorn” started to surface from its sizzling pot, she carefully pronounced each number.
Suddenly, the volume and picture on my TV screen grew hazier and blurrier than ever before.
But this time, the poor quality of my ailing Panasonic was not to blame.
In what felt like a drunken stupor, I managed to pick up the phone and dial my boss’ number…
Here in the United States, the Powerball lottery has reached a record $1.5 billion jackpot. The drawing is tomorrow evening….The story I wrote here is fiction, but who knows?!