Jeffrey Jackson


I Won the Powerball!

  • January 14, 2016
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On Monday, I bought a ticket for the Powerball lottery — ten, actually. I can’t remember the last time I bought a lottery ticket, but the jackpot is up to $1.5 billion and the whole country is abuzz about it. This is such hypocrisy for me because, for years, I’ve openly jeered at people who play the lottery. The odds are so astronomical that I mocked it as a “stupidity tax.” I had even less regard for the people who only jump in once the jackpot has reached some dizzying figure. Being a multi-millionaire doesn’t entice them, but mega-millions — now that’s worth a trip to the 7-11. From now on I have to shut my trap because I’m one of them.

The drawing’s tonight — in fact, as I write this, it’s already over. I haven’t checked my ticket against the winning numbers yet, because I promised myself I’d post the following thoughts before I do.

I know I’m not going to win, but since buying that ticket, something interesting has happened. I’ve found that I’ve had fun just thinking about what I’d do if I won. For over 48 hours, I’ve been a little giddy planning out my billionaire future. I made a mental list of all the people I’d share it with. How I’d drop what I was doing and finance the dreams sitting on my back-burner. How I’d set out to change the world in some meaningful way. (Eradicating L.A.’s homelessness problem quickly rose to the top of the short list.) How it would render bad experiences from my past meaningless. I even imagined the smug confidence I’d have when approaching women, knowing that if they shot me down, they’d be passing up the chance of a lifetime.

Then all this goofy rumination sparked an idea. A few hours ago, while waiting for a movie to begin (I didn’t want to watch the drawing live because I didn’t want this feeling to end yet) I challenged myself to come up with ten ways that I could live my life as if I had won the Powerball — even after I find out I didn’t. At first, I was sure I couldn’t even think of four.

Soon, my list was up to 11. Not having a pen and paper handy, I mentally tagged them all with a single word so that I wouldn’t forget them. Here they are:

JOY: I could live my life with unbridled joy — because I have no reason not to.

OPTIMISM: I could look to the future with complete optimism — because I have every reason to.

LUCK: I could think of myself as one of the luckiest people ever to live — because I truly am.

PEACE: I could find peace within the solitude of my own self, regardless of whether I’m alone or amid a throng — because money wouldn’t really change that anyway.

SPACE: I could be content with whatever space I occupy — because whether it’s ten square feet or 10,000, I’m still just me, taking up the exact same amount of space.

PAST: I could divorce myself from the pain of the past — because I can choose to do that at any time.

FAMILY: I could do all I can to help my family, and the friends I love as family — because nothing’s preventing me.

WORLD: I could work to make the world a better place — because I can.

CONFIDENCE: I could approach people with utter confidence, knowing that I’m special — because I truly am.

DREAM: I could pursue my dreams as if they were completely within my reach — because they are and always have been.

And finally…

POWER: I could awaken to the fact that the power to do all of the above is already inside me — because it is. It’s not woo-woo bullsh*t. It’s a thing. All I have to do to make it happen… is simply do it.


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