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Lotto Mystery

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I dabble occasionally in Lotto and most of the time I forget to check my numbers until a couple of weeks after the drawings. What’s the point of being punctual? They're all losers anyways. At least I can stretch the fantasy-time by delaying the number-checking. Playing Lotto is a matter of fortuity for me. If I am at a store and I happen to see the Lotto counter as I happen to pass by it and the attendant happens to be free and I happen to have a couple of dollar bills or a few quarters I want to unload, and the jackpot happens to be enticing enough, I might give it a shot.

I understand all about criticizing those who only play when the jackpot exceeds $100 million or something. It's not like I'm a snob and turn my nose up to a $100 grand or even $20 for that matter. It's just that part of playing Lotto is the fantasy of winning big and never having to worry about money. Sorry, but a million bucks isn’t what it used to. I find it just too pathetic to fantasize about a measly million. And a million dollar Lotto pot is hardly a million anyways. On a 21-payment deal and after taxes and other fees are done nibbling at it, you’d be lucky to get $30k per year. That's like working full-time making $15 an hour – not bad but this isn’t fantasy material.

But no matter how much the jackpot is, it must hurt to find out too late that you were a winner and didn't act fast enough to claim your loot. That is exactly what's about to happen on a Connecticut Lotto ticket whose numbers came up on Feb, 14, 2006. Every now and then when I surf on to the CT Lotto site to check my weeks-old numbers (so I can toss my tickets with the confidence of a loser), I see the message about the $3.5 million unclaimed jackpot.

Could it have been my ticket? I play the CT Lotto occasionally and I'm sure I've lost tickets before. I doubt it's mine though, but whoever owns that ticket doesn’t have much time to make that claim. Chances are that whoever the winner is, he/she is totally unaware of this. Maybe she tucked away the ticket and then passed away or had a stroke. Or maybe it was left in the back pocket of someone's jeans and got tossed into the washer and disintegrated. Or perhaps fell out of the owner's wallet onto the street and got battered by cars and the weather. Or maybe it was a going away gift for someone visiting Katmandu and the visitor decided to take up a primitive one-year residence at the base of a Himalayan mountain.

I like to think the ticket's owner is just planning on surprising everyone by showing up at the claims office at the last possible moment. That might generate some extra income like going on talk show circus, getting a book deal, or even starting a blog. Who can survive on a mere $3.5 million these days? Here's the unclaimed jackpot page: CT Lottery - Classic Lotto - February 14, 2006 Jackpot Ticket
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