For years we’ve walked around the city noticing the New York Lottery signs at newsstands yet rarely bought a ticket. We found it curiously difficult to chose numbers, filling out the little form while standing at the counter feeling the impatience other customers waiting to pay for their stuff. And truth be told, we weren’t entirely sure how to fill the confusing form out.

Then a few months ago, we found Jackpocket, an app that makes it easy to play the lottery. Set up an account, Paypal a few bucks to fund it, and chose your game; Jackpocket will purchase whichever official state lottery tickets you chose and email you a copy. And if you draw a blank when choosing numbers, you can have Jackpocket do it OR use this Random Numbers Generator.

We don’t think it’s the same one the great Roz Chast used in this sublime little artwork for the New Yorker (and available at Conde Nast’s cartoon bank…)

This Week’s Winning Numbers by Roz Chast, from The New Yorker

Two dollars a pop for a $40 Million Powerball, MegaMillions or $1,000 a Day for Life makes for a thrilling little bargain. (Despite the odds of 1 in 292 million)

Best of all, we find that contemplating what we’d do with a big windfall of money illuminating, showing us what we really value. It is fodder for really wonderful daydreams...

We imagine where we would live (would we live somewhere else?), what we might do, who we might help with a gift of money, and…

What would we do differently than we do now?

And that reminds us of this Mary Karr poem:

Ninety percent of what’s wrong with you
could be cured with a hot bath,
says God from the bowels of the subway.
but we want magic, to win
the lottery we never bought a ticket for.
(Tenderly, the monks chant, embrace
the suffering.) The voice of God does not pander,
offers no five-year plan, no long-term
solution, nary an edict. It is small & fond & local.
Don’t look for your initials in the geese
honking overhead or to see thru the glass even
darkly. It says the most obvious crap—
put down that gun, you need a sandwich.

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One thought on “Why a $2 Digital Lottery Ticket Is a Thrilling Little Bargain

  1. I taught art for 23 years and one of my sweet middle schoolers folded a dollar bill exactly like this for me. I still have it in my art room at home in a little glass, a reminder of how some students really appreciate their teachers and WHAT they teach!

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