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A Million Dreams

Sonja Haggert

I DIDN’T WIN the Powerball lottery—this time.

That’s too bad because I knew exactly what I’d have done with the money. I’ll bet you did, too.

I was ready to pay for the education of all of our nieces’ children. “Go where you wanna go,” as the song says. My favorite charity would also have been on the list. Laurel House, a domestic violence agency, does tremendous work in Montgomery County, where we live in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Lest you think I don’t have something personal in mind, there’s a condo in Florida that I’ve had my eye on. And another one in New York City, so I could attend a Broadway show at a moment’s notice.

All in my dreams, of course. Because I didn’t win—this time.

Which means I won’t be on the evening news. In Pennsylvania, you must fill out a claim form to get your prize. The state will reveal your name, the town or county where you live, and how much you’ve won.

Why does the state insist on this? It wants the public to know that you can indeed win, plus the more winners it publicizes, the more people play. Pennsylvania also has an open records law, which makes such information public.

With such a revelation, all my friends and neighbors would have known I was RICH. I may have discovered friends and family I didn’t even know about. How would I say “no” to them? More to the point, how do you decide when to say “no” in general?

Then there’s the whole issue of safety and scams. My lawyer friend said someone might have filed a bogus lawsuit against me or staged an accident, hoping I would pay up.

There are loopholes around the identity issue, such as forming a trust to claim the prize. Still, I suddenly see many disadvantages to having a lot of money.

So ends the fantasy. And the headaches.

I’m back to reality, living an anonymous and mostly contented life.

Till next time.

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