My Collection of Unscratched Lottery Tickets
Forgive the self-indulgence, but the reason I was willing to go all-out in my coverage of the unveiling of the Redskins' instant lottery ticket is because of my own vested interest in those cardboard rectangles of scratchable magic. See, I used to collect unscratched instant lottery tickets from a variety of states and nations, which my friends helped gather from around the globe. See the image above. I keep them all in a little box, a box that I dutifully brought to the Redskins' press conference to show off.
"What if you got a winner in that box?" Clinton Portis asked. "That's some big money, and you're around here, asking me questions. You could be gone. I think you should scratch them off. One day, just sit down and scratch all the ones off."
I pointed out that they were expired.
"Oh, that blows," Portis said. "Now what if you could have been rich?"
Being rich, I said, is overrated.
"Definitely," Portis said. "But I'm not rich."
Ha. So who's actually rich, if Clinton Portis isn't?
"Mr. Snyder," Portis said.
I also showed my collection to Chris Cooley.
"Why do you do that?" he asked me, appropriately. "I don't know what you want me to say," he added. There's not much to say, really. As he pointed out, they're not even nicely displayed in an album; they just sit there in a box. I asked him if he plays the lotto.
"I would like to play the lottery a lot," Cooley said, "but it's not a very good investment." Don't listen to him, Redskins fans. Go play Redskins Mania.
I also showed my collection to Paula I. Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery.
"That's very fun," she said.
I argued that for collectors like me, we'd much rather see a $1 ticket than a $20 ticket, since we're not angling for the prize money anyhow.
"Well, that's true," she said. "We have lots of $1s and $2s for you also, just not a Redskins one. The prizes were too valuable to have it at a lower price point."
We then discussed how most of my mint-condition tickets are now expired.
"But you know," she said brightly, "the unclaimed prizes go to the literary fund, at least in Virginia they do....So you may have built a school or two."
My good deed of the decade. Maybe they can name one of those schools after me. Better than "Winding Forest Road of Liberty and Freedom," or whatever they name those new Virginia public schools. Which are supported by the lottery. Which is awesome.
June 8, 2009; 9:58 PM ET
Categories: Redskins , Weirdness
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