I had time to kill after work. And I mean lots of time. But good thing I was at the mall because there's no better place to kill time than there. I had a semi-agenda in mind anyways. I had to look for balloons for Harvey's party and canvass stuff to wear for that event. Trying out clothing possibilities is a different thing though. I felt I didn't have the mood. So I was left with circling around shops and department stores trying my best to keep myself busy.
I was on the main hallway when I saw people lining up at a particular stall. Since I had no better things to do, I went towards this silent gathering. There they were, serious looking people, marking their lotto tickets, somehow surrendering their fates to luck that they may be the next multi-millionaire.
Observing them was such a revelation. Their faces were taut and their heads were bent, intently looking at their tickets, as if saying a silent prayer so that it could talk back and tell them the magical numbers. They were dead serious. I could feel the need and hunger of these people. I could even sense that some were already regulars and have speedily marked the supposed lucky numbers they've grown to memorize over time. Some even have scratch papers. Funny that some looked as if they're taking the most difficult math test in the world. Good thing the tickets do not have time limits and just evaporte into thin air.
I'm sure they all need the money. Heck, I badly need it too. Whoever says that they do not want to win the lotto jackpot and become instant millionaires might as well gun their hypocrite asses to the ground. Everyone likes free money and paying 20 bucks per bet is such a small price to pay for that possibility of becoming a millionaire. Even if the possibility is small. Even if the system is drawn by luck.
I stood there purely drawn by the energy and felt the desire to make my bets. Even if I know for a fact that I was never lucky in raffles. I only won once in a raffle draw and it was a cheap laptop bag that I ended up giving away. I've also only personally played the lotto twice. Once with Mitch when we were in CDO and another one when there was this huge jackpot. A couple of bets I had was coursed through other people that's why I'm no expert in betting. I am never lucky in these things anyways and god knew I had no idea which numbers to mark down. I have never given it any thought at all.
Feeling spontaneous, I went to the booth and observed the type of ticket the people were getting. Since there was only one set of tickets available, there wasn't much choice. I stood there beside two women and simply observed which boxes to mark, as the ticket has six boxes of 45 numbers each. The ladies marked six numbers per box and it didn't matter which box they marked. At that point it looked like I'm the one cheating on a math test.
In the end I didn't want to think anymore. The first box I marked were the numbers I'm familiar with. My birthdate, Harvey's birthdate, Mitch's birthdate, some silly illogical numbers that pop in my head. My second bet was numbers at random. Thinking about it, it doesn't really matter which numbers I pick. Everyone should learn that there is nothing scientific and certain about lotto. It all relies on luck. I'm sure lots of people pray for it. Some even look at signs, but fact remains that the possibility of winning is slim to none at all.
A friend of mine, who is a lotto enthusiast, would always try to correct my views on this. Luck as it may seem, he said that if I should bet, I should always bet with my heart like I mean it. If the possibility of losing is great, then there is still that slight hope that one would win. That certain positive energy needs all the good vibes and help it could get. He also mentioned about chi, feng shui and attracting positive energies. Too much instructions made my head swirl. In the end I just did what most people would do, pray, hope for the best and simply surrender to the fact that it's all luck. No more rituals, no more thinking, just acknowledging that slight chance to win.
I submitted my two bets and paid 20 pesos for everything. I folded the tickets and kept it in my bag. Mitch met me just a few minutes after and his brother educated me that I shouldn't fold or crease my tickets or else it wouldn't be acknowledged (if I win that is). I envisioned the tickets curled up somewhere in my bag. Oh, great. I thought there goes my chance of winning. I went home and asked my aunt to look after the already creased tickets and confirm the date of the draw. My aunt told me that it was for tonight and it didn't take long for me to see the results online.
As expected, I didn't win. In fact, no one won for this draw. Can't say I was surprised though, but I damn hope it wasn't my cynical mood that destroyed my chances because I know deep inside, just like the rest of lotto gamblers, I hoped to win. Well, there goes my 20 bucks. There goes my luck. I sometimes think that maybe the money is not really for me. Maybe there's no such thing as luck after all but a series of unguided and random events. Maybe my faith and energy in it was too weak. Maybe I already had dirty thoughts about the money before actually winning it. I will never know. There might be various reasons and explanations on why we keep on betting when a part of us knows we'd lose anyways. But I know this. It's fun to surrender to luck and fate once in a while. Win or lose, sometimes you just have to test and see for yourself. You pay and scratch the ticket and leave it up to luck, to the gods, to fate or to the energies. Anyways, however you look at it and whatever you believe in, all of us have a fair chance in winning. But err...just don't expect too much that it's going to be you. This is a form of bittersweet addiction.