JAN. 9 OFF THE MARK COLUMN — MARK SPENSLEY, CO-PUBLISHER
By no means do I consider myself a lucky person when it comes to raffles, casinos, the lottery or dog track. That’s why I tend to stay away from those places or do not get to shook up when I do not win.
But from time to time, I will a win a few bucks on an Iowa Lottery scratch-off ticket.
Last Thursday, for instance was one of those days. Of course, it started out like any ordinary day. Get out of bed, hit the treadmill, shower and scoot to work. Then I fall into my routine of checking my emails, scanning the Internet for my daily sports news or Facebook updates before heading out to make a few sales calls.
After stops at Stephen Motors and Kromminga’s I stopped in to Casey’s for a snack. As usual, I bought a couple of $3 scratch-off tickets before heading back to the shop.
Back at the Express I ran into Mr. Tom Keleher and joked with him about a couple of current events. Before he left I showed him my scratch tickets and mentioned if I won we were going to Cancun on vacation, my treat.
After turning out a couple of ads to be done, I begun scratching off my tickets. I always play the $3 crossword games. It didn’t take too long and I discovered I had a winning ticket and it looked like it was for $100. I was plenty excited.
As I went over the letters one more time, making sure I didn’t miss any, I did discover one I has missed and all of a sudden, I was up to $300. Now I was really excited. The other ticket I purchased was a $10 winner too. I shared the news with my wife and co-workers before heading to Fareway, which was my next advertising stop, to cash them in.
I had some previous wining tickets to take in as well and it included a $30 winner from a couple of weeks ago. When the Fareway cashier got to the $300 winner, it started spitting out a long receipt and she said I needed to go to Cedar Rapids to collect on that winning ticket.
My response was that I should have been able to be paid on the spot for a $300 prize. That’s when she informed me I actually won $3,000. “Holy Cow” or something like that came out of my mouth. I didn’t believe it till she showed me the receipt.
So I headed back to the office and casually showed the receipt to Darcey and she said something like “are you kidding me?” I wasn’t, and off to Cedar Rapids I went to pick up my winnings.
Of course like anything in life, sometimes things are too good to be true. Just past Springville, my truck died. Fortunately I got it going again, and made it to the Iowa Lottery Headquarters, got my check, which was missing a few dollars for taxes, and had my picture taken (but not with a giant fake check).
When I got back to town, my truck quit again and this time the check engine light stayed on. Figures. I then got it running again, deposited the check into the bank and went straight to Keleher’s Jewelry.
No, I am not taking Tom and Teri to Cancun, but I did write him a check for a ring I had on layaway for my wife. I also put some into my daughter Allie’s wedding account. I sent my poor starving son at college a Fareway gift card, with instructions not to spend it on beer, and donated a little bit to a family in need. My other son owed me a Ben Franklin and I told him to call it even. Sorry Macey, you missed out.
I did get a new pair of running shoes out of the deal.
After all that it was gone, in less than a few hours. Of course, now I have a nice truck repair bill so it’s back to scratching off tickets. I really do feel lucky now!