Sunday, March 8, 2015



So me tell you of how one Saturday I laboured  to renew my Lotto 6/49 advance subscription and after more than three hours of cursing the Internet and searching for phone numbers and arguing with people and driving to stores I actually ended up winning.
 I was rewarded for not procrastinating for a change! But then I had this feeling I was about to win big.
It all started when I realized I had not got a tiny lottery cheque lately on my annual advance subscription.  Usually I win once or twice a year for the munificent sum of $5. I don't worry because some day my numbers will come in.
So I dug out an old bill from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission and phoned. Or rather tried to. Number out of service. So I went to my computer, did a Google, and called that number. Couldn't be dialled from my area. Did another Google. That number had been changed and the automated voice of a vulture told me Bell would give me the right number for $3.25.  Nuts to that obese outfit!
Finally found a working number and was told after a wait through seven options and then another wait that the OLG had retired the advance subscription plan by mail and you had to do it retail. You mean go to a store? Yes, she said. Why didn't you inform customers like me who stupidly had done it for years that you cancelled the plan? She didn't know. I said I regretted my old boss and friend, Paul Godfrey, had fired the Liberals and quit the OLG since now I had no one to complain to.
So I went to the local Shoppers run by Margaret Fisher and assisted by Barry Phillips.  There was a long lineup at the cash register. So I left. Tried to park in front of a wee convenience store called Pops. No space. Finally found one.  Filled out the form to buy in advance only to be informed the store didn't take VISA. Searched my wallet and by some miracle found enough cash.
But wow, I won. Four numbers. Then I looked more closely through my smeared trifocals and found it was only three. My birthday, Mary's birthday, and a wildcard number because I only have three sons and a wife and I needed six numbers.
Didn't know what I had won. I tried Googling but the OLG has so much information on its site, it's incomprehensible. I was part of a Sun syndicate once that won $1,000. Then there was the time Andy Donato was one number away from $40 million and pretended to Diane that he had won it all by holding a finger over the one bad number when he showed it to her.  Couldn't remember how much he got but at least it covered his injuries.
So back I went to Shoppers, stuck my ticket in a thingamajig, and it informed me I had won $10. What? Did it short-circuit? Stuck it in again. Still $10. Cashier asked how I wanted it. I said by certified cheque.
Let's see now. I paid $3 for the chance which means I netted $7. And I spent more than three hours chasing this rainbow with a pot of pennies. So that's $2 an hour. Haven't worked for that for 50 years.

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