Wednesday, August 1, 2007

When It's Good to be an Absentminded Professor

A man and his wife in London play the same lottery numbers every week. Perhaps for months, perhaps for years. The numbers have some special significance - their birthdays, their anniversary, the birthdays of their dearly departed relatives. Ever week, without fail, the husband goes down to the little corner store, buys his lottery ticket, and fills out those numbers. Puts the receipt in his wallet. Only on this day, he was distracted by a pretty woman walking in, or a traffic accident outside, or someone dropping a fistful of change on the ground by accident. For whatever reason, he puts the receipt into the other pocket of his wallet, the one he doesn't normally use. Later on that day, he opens his wallet and notices that there's no lottery ticket in its usual spot. He stops on his way home to buy one, because he knows that if he doesn't, that will be the day when his numbers hit the jackpot. Only maybe this is his lucky day anyway, Murphy be damned.

They win! The pot of 2.4 million pounds, split amongst four winners wins them a pretty penny. They're quite content with their share. But then (then!) a week later, he opens his wallet and finds the second lottery ticket with those same numbers. Thanking his lucky stars? No! That was for the first ticket. Kissing those lucky stars is more like it!

Now this sounds like a nice fairy tale, doesn't happen to the average Joe Schmoe on the street, certainly not to the nice absent-minded British gentleman in the next flat. Well, it seems that it very well did happen to one lucky couple, who netted a million pounds (2 million dollars!) because of a happy accident. Man, if I could win just one lottery ticket, I'd be happy! But then, I suppose I'd actually have to buy one to win...

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