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ANN BAILEY: Out of luck

Odds are I never will win the lottery. That's OK with me because I don't know what I'd do with the money, anyway. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things I can think of doing with a moderate amount of money; home improvements, contributing...

Ann Bailey
Ann Bailey

Odds are I never will win the lottery. That's OK with me because I don't know what I'd do with the money, anyway.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things I can think of doing with a moderate amount of money; home improvements, contributing to our children's college education and upgrading our vehicles, to name a few. However, the prospect of winning millions seems too overwhelming and I think the money probably would create more anxieties than it is worth.

That said, I do wish I was a bit more fortunate when it comes to beating the odds. I'm a little envious of the people who always seem to be lucky when it comes to having their names drawn for door prizes, picking the winner of the Final Four college basketball tournament or pulling the arm of the quarter machine at the casino.

No such luck

Heck, I'd be happy if I could just win one of the prizes at the Larimore (N.D.) Elementary School carnival. This year I thought winning was a sure bet because I bought 18 tickets for the carnival. I bought that many not because I was trying to ensure a win, but because I know the carnival is a good fundraiser for the school. I also wanted to support the efforts of my son Thomas who was selling the tickets.

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Though I bought the tickets for altruistic reasons, I couldn't help thinking that they would give me a pretty good shot at the prizes, which included season passes to the Larimore swimming pool and Larimore Dam and Recreation Center, two places our family likes going to in the summer.

Wrong. I didn't win a single thing. Nothing. Nada. I guess I should have known, though, that buying large quantities of tickets doesn't necessarily guarantee success. Once when I was at the Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg I placed a bet on every single horse in every single place, figuring that I would have to win. I did win a small amount of money, but paid far more to bet than I got back in winnings. I decided then and there that I wouldn't make a very good gambler and haven't placed a wager since.

But even though I've given up on betting on the horse races, I've still been the holder of many a losing ticket. Lately, I haven't even been able to win a door prize. At a recent gardening event I attended, I thought my unlucky streak had ended. As I scanned the list of winning tickets, I saw one that had not only the first and second numbers that matched mine, but also the fourth, then I came to the last one. It was one number away from winning. It may as well have been a thousand because, as the old saying goes, "Close only counts in horseshoes or hand grenades."

Better luck next time

I'm sorry to say that my winless streak does not only apply to cash or prizes, it also is evident when it comes to things like washing the car and attending sporting events.

For instance last month, I attended a UND hockey game for the first time in a few years. It promised to be a good one because it was against archrival Minnesota and UND was on a winning streak.

That is, they were on a winning streak until I went to the game. After trouncing the Gophers the night before, UND lost the night I went. Of course, they made up for it by winning the next night. I figured I did my part to ensure the win on Sunday by staying home and listening to the game on the radio.

When it comes to our mini van, a surefire way to break a dry spell is for me to wash our mini van. For example last month, after several weeks of driving on gravel roads with spring potholes, our minivan was so filthy that I was embarrassed to drive it.

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I had held off washing the van for several weeks because I knew that it would stay clean only as long as it took me to drive home from the car wash. However, my pride got the better of me after several days of parking next to shiny, bright cars in the Herald parking lot, and I decided I couldn't take the embarrassment any longer.

Because the van was so heavily smeared with dust and dirt, I splurged and bought the supreme wash, which has a 48-hour guarantee. You guessed it. It rained shortly after the 48-hour guarantee and now I am back in the same boat with the minivan. At least this time it sports a cute drawing on it, courtesy of my 7-year-old daughter, Ellen.

The smiley face she drew with her finger on the dusty side of the van will have a home for quite a while because I know that if I wash the van it will rain again and I'd hate to be responsible for keeping farmers out of the field.

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