My girl’s softball team had been selling tickets for several weeks for a raffle to pay for new fields. If enough tickets were sold, the winner would receive a new car, but if not, the proceeds would be split in half and given to the winner.
1103 out of 1300 tickets required for the car were sold, so the drawing would be for half the proceeds, or around $11,000. The drawing was made Saturday. None of my relatives won.
That may have been a good thing. Not that we couldn’t use 11 grand, and not that we didn’t earn it by manning the sales booths and canvasing the neighborhoods.
Think about it. What if someone you knew had won? Would you be keeping them in your sight, being curious as to how they would spend the money? Would you feel a little disgust if they were to treat themselves in one way when they obviously could have spent the money on something they needed?
What if the winner was in a position to support you? Would you expect something extra, a little more support, because they had the apparent means? Maybe you have a special cause: would you ask the winner for something extra for the cause, and if the person said no, how disappointed would you be?
And what if you won? Think of all the friends and long-lost family that come out of the woodwork just to get reacquainted! The causes. The financial decisions. Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star reported just 2 days ago on my football idol Neil Smith now owes over a half-million dollars in taxes and had his home foreclosed upon 5 years ago after a restaurant chain he invested in collapsed. Warren Sapp filed for bankruptcy after real estate holdings went south. Chiefs receiver Eddie Kennison is doing better, having invested in a wine store and his wife’s cosmetology business — both profitable businesses. Those first-round NFL Draft picks from last weekend will have more money than they know what to do with: for how long?
For every winner, though, there are plenty who have not hit it big, with all the resentment that comes with seeing their friends do well. We should be able to just smile, congratulate, and carry on, but who can do that, honestly?