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My Neighbour Just Won The Lottery, And I’m A Better Man Because Of It

by Z.S. Roe


*Courtesy of Ontario Lottery & Gaming

See this guy to your right? His name is Chuck, and he is my next door neighbour.

And guess what? Chuck just won a million dollars playing Lotto Max (You can read the story here).

Now, if you’ve known me for any length of time, then you likely know that I frequently fantasize about winning the lottery. No, it’s not an obsession; rather, it’s more akin to a reoccurring dream. I do think about it often, but I rarely ever buy an actual ticket.

Still, should ever I win, I have my future already planned out.

Were I to win $3 million, I could retire; turn that 3 into a 6 and my wife could retire, too. If I won more than that then there’d be some happy friends and family of mine.

Yes, I would quit my job, but I wouldn’t buy a fancy car or a bigger house or anything like that. Nor would I likely go on some exotic vacation (I went to PEI last summer and that was excitement enough). Maybe I’d drop three grand on an expensive guitar, but that’s about as outrageous as I would get.

I know – that’s kind of boring, but it’s my kind of boring. The point, though, is that I’ve planned this out in full and with a degree of seriousness that should be troubling to any therapist. Lucky for me, I haven’t returned my therapist’s phone calls in, like, a month. Screw that guy.

With all that said, you’d think I’d be jealous of Chuck’s good fortune.

Yet I’m not. I’m actually happy for him.

And nobody could be more surprised by that response than me. Yes, I’ll be the first to admit it – I can be a bit of a downer. Not always, no, but certainly from time to time. It’s true that whenever I hear that somebody’s found their calling or is “in love” with their job, I can’t help but feel just a little bitter. And, truth be told, I’m not always the best at hiding how I’m feeling.

But with Chuck it’s different. The reason, you see, is that Chuck and his wife are good people. They’re the kind of neighbours you hope for – warm and friendly without being too clingy or in your face. Add to this the fact that they’ve had more than their fair share of shit come their way in life (quite literally, actually – just over a year ago a sewage line under their house ruptured and filled their basement with . . . well, shit).

I suppose I just like to see the underdog win from time to time. Sure, it’s a bit of a cliché in movies, but in real life it happens so infrequently that you start to lose hope after awhile.

Put simply, my neighbour Chuck winning the lottery has made me feel good about the world again. It’s as if his winning has balanced the cosmic scales that we all seem to totter on.

I understand the illogic in this type of thinking, but – dammit all – the heart feels what the heart feels.

And right now the heart feels pretty dang good. And that, my friends, is something worth celebrating. Because, really, what’s better than knowing that you aren’t dead inside after all? The answer: not a damn thing.

Opinion is a sometimes column of just that, my opinion. While opinions are like noses and everyone has one, mine are especially snotty. Please leave a comment or question—all opinions are welcome, and all contributions are greatly appreciated. If you like what you read here, please subscribe.


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