Luck of the draw, or the lack of it
By John Toth
The Bulletin

When I open my email each morning, I usually find a few unsolicited surprises, like many of you do also, I assume.
“You have been Awarded 750,000.00 Pounds in the Toyota CASH SPLASH 2010. Send your Name: Address:.”
Sometimes it’s dollars, but it’s always a large amount. Do these scammers think we’re all completely stupid? Sure, I’ll give out all my personal information, passwords, bank account information and maybe even send a few thousand dollars so I can collect the winnings.
I won again. “You are the National Liverwood Lottery winner.”
Let me respond right away because I was born yesterday.
These scammers have no clue that I am not really a lucky person. There is no way that my email address would pop up, even if the contest or lotto were real. Someone else would win it other than me.
I don’t mean that I don’t consider myself lucky. I do in many ways. But when it comes to games of chance, everyone else around me will win. I’ll just keep on losing. That’s why I don’t even buy lotto tickets anymore.
I used to buy one here and there, but someone else always won. The nice lady who buys them in my neighborhood convenience store wins all the time. She won $500 one time and routinely wins smaller amounts.
I don’t mind waiting behind her with my one item because I am trying to pick up some clues as to how she does it.
“How come you win all the time,” I asked her one day while holding my one item and waiting for her to cash in her winnings and to decide what tickets she should buy next.
Usually, delays like this would put me in a bad mood, but in this case I might as well make it a learning experience.
“Oh, this is nothing. I’m used to winning $30 or more,” she replied.
This is nothing? I asked her to pick out a scratch-off ticket for me, and I bought it. Now I’m going to win, finally. I grabbed a penny and began exposing my winnings, but … nothing matched. I came up empty.
“I should have given you this one,” she showed me one of her tickets that won $5, which she traded in for more tickets.
So, I took my one item and my useless ticket, and I left. I did learn a lesson, though – stay away from gambling. I am still not a lucky person.
A long time ago when Sharon, my wife, and I went to the Bahamas, before we had kids, I convinced her to stop by a casino to see what it’s like. I played the slot machines for about 20 minutes and lost $50. Not one match. I guess it would have killed the casino to let me have one matching fruit, just one.
Another time I went on one of those gambling boats out of Freeport (before they skipped town years ago) and lost $60 playing blackjack in about 5 minutes. The dealer was good, really good. She kept telling me I lost. I finally said just slow it down, let me add up the cards. I lost, anyway.
Another friend who recently went to Las Vegas said he only played the penny slots, but hit the jackpot and cashed in on $600. Now I know where my luck has migrated. I didn’t know they still have penny slots there?
I’ve never been to Vegas, but if I ever wind up there, I’ll probably just look at all the lights and take in a few shows. I may lose $10 in the penny slots, but that’s as far I’ll take it. I have to accept the fact that I am not a lucky person when it comes to gambling.
So, all you email scammers, you have met your match. There is no way I could have won all that money. I can’t even win a stuffed animal at the midway, so bug off. Better yet, let me just zap you into the spam folder, never to be heard from again – at least not until tomorrow, when I win again.
“You are the National Lottery winner of £800,000. Respond with your interest for detailed modalities.”