Sunday, January 30, 2011

And the winner is……

Every week, I buy at least 1 lottery ticket.  Usually I play the “Mega-Millions” and “Power Ball” games.  You pick 5 numbers and a “bonus” ball.  Lately, I have been using a combination of my father’s birthday and my own…and for the bonus ball, I use the number of grandchildren I have.  I haven’t won any great amounts of money and up until the beginning of this year, I hadn’t won more than $2.  So far this year, I have won at least 3 times that.  I generally never play the scratch off tickets.  I have never been able to win on those and I have seen other relatives spend $20 or more at a time and not even win half of their money back.
My mother-in-law has played one game consistently since it first came out.  It’s called “Cash Explosion”.  You can win instant money; or if you get the word “entry” 3 times on 1 card, you fill the back of the card out and send it in to be included in a second drawing. Once a month, they draw 8 tickets out for people to be on a live TV show.  Contestants appearing on the show are guaranteed $5,000. Most win more than that.
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At Bingo last month we learned that there is a post card you can send in with your ticket, and if they pull your ticket, they will send the post card back to you letting you know which day you need to watch the show to see if your ticket is pulled for the TV appearance.  My mother-in-law estimates she had sent in over 75 tickets before she knew of the post card.  She not only includes her name on some of the tickets, but she has sent in tickets with the names of my sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws…I doubt she ever included my husband or myself as some of the names she sent in, but that’s okay by me.  One day while at the grocery shopping with her, I decided to use the instant machine to buy my lottery tickets, and also took a chance on buying 3 of the Cash Explosion tickets. Not getting too excited, I waited to scratch them off. To my surprise, I had 2 "entry" tickets and the third one was a $1 winner!  I picked up a hand full of the post cards and sent 1 ticket in….no word but my mother-in-law who sent tickets in the same day had 2 of her tickets pulled….both for my 2 sister-in-laws…Neither were chosen to be on the February shows.  A couple of weeks went by, and I sent in the other ticket.
One day when I came home from shopping with my mother-in-law, as we were unloading the car, our neighbor across the street called me over.  The mailman had delivered something of mine to her house by mistake….It was my lottery post card!  My name is in the drawing for the February 12th show drawing!  If they pull my name on the show, I will appear on a March show….
I’m not getting my hopes up, but wouldn’t that be exciting??  I watched the aired show this past Saturday to see how the game is played.  Four contestants are on each segment of the show…2 segments per show so there are 8 contestants every week.  They take turns hitting a button that shuffles between the letters of “EXPLOSION” and then pick a line across from the letters “CASH” …So if it stops on “X”, then you would choose let’s say C…..Under the C could be a dollar amount, 2X or “Cash bonus” and a dollar amount…..So let’s say the Cash bonus came up…it could be $10,000 or $25,000….If 2X comes up, you would hit your button again to see a dollar amount under the “EXPLOSION” letters to see what amount you would double….One man won $35,000 in cash bonus bucks plus $3600 in his 4 rounds of “spins”….and he wasn’t even the top winner!
After each segment, the top winner is the “champion” for the round.  Their win amount gets doubled and they go on to the championship play-off, where the 2 daily winners compete with the champion from the previous week.  Now instead of dollar amounts on a board, there are numbers.  Under the numbers are either names or “Cash Bonus” dollar amounts.  Each contestant in turn chooses a number.  The first person to see their name 3 times is the Champion.  Whatever they won them becomes $50,000 and they play again the following week.  They can continue to be a champion for several weeks this way, and each time the money goes higher. If you get Cash Bonus on either of the segements or the play-off, you keep that amount on top of all the other amounts.
I’m not greedy.  If I were to be on the show, I’d settle for the $5,000….or whatever I won.  They ask the contestants questions about their plans for their winnings….I’ve heard people say they were going to help someone, pay some bills or buy new cars….  I would use my money to fix up my old beater….and go visit my Mother whom I haven’t seen in 3 years.  (Now if I won BIG, I may buy a new SUV!) March would be a good month to win, too…As my High school is having a 50th year Anniversary.  Imagine 50 graduating classes gathering at one time!  Wouldn’t that be a blast?!?! about half of the classes would have graduated from the old school, which was turned into a Junior High when the new High School was built and opened following the year my baby sister graduated. This year…the old school is going to be demolished as they are building a new Junior High behind it, where the Stadium used to be…Some of my friends and classmates have been trying to organize a “Going Away” party for the old school around the time it is to be demolished in the summer.
But in the meantime, I have been doing my usual….Knitting scarves
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Knitting chicks,
January 8 206 (Thanks for the pattern , Anne!)
And going to my youngest grandson’s basketball games.
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The only real news; my grand-daughter’s dog had puppies;
and my Army grandson got some bad news….He has Tendonitis of the knee. The Army is going to send him home 2 weeks early from his school to recuperate.  If it gets better, he’ll return in June to finish his school.  If it doesn’t, the Army may give him an early discharge.  Not sure if it will be a medical discharge or not; or if it will come with or without benefits.  This is bad news as he was so looking forward to doing his service, becoming a paratrooper, and getting his college paid for.  He would have used the bonus to buy himself a new car to get to and from college.
If you would, please include him in your prayers. I would like to see him fulfill all his dreams.  And really, there is not much work in this town of ours …..and no public transportation.
Hope everyone is surviving this winter.  My Prayers go out to Anne, Helping Kath….and to Wolfie who will be looking for a new place to live…I wish all my friends the best of luck and the best of health.
Hugs and Love to all my wonderful internet friends!

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