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Lotto Tickets

Please let me win the Lotto!” Every Saturday the same prayer. “Oh Lord, please let me win the Lotto! Please, please, please let me win the Lotto!” Week after week, month after month, year after year. Before every Lotto draw this old guy would fall on his knees and pray as hard as he could for a Lotto win. One day, after about twenty years of this, the Lord just had enough, and when the man fell on his knees again to pray, the Lord interrupted him and said: “My son, just once, will you pleeease go and BUY a Lotto ticket!!

This may be a funny little joke but there is so much wisdom hidden between the lines. The moral of the story is, it is never to late to win the “Lotto”, but you have to go out and buy the ticket! How often don’t we plead for something, for change or a miracle in our lives. We expect others, God, the universe or fate to bless us with what we want. We just expect. And then, when nothing happens, we blame or find excuses.

Do we realise that we have to buy a ticket? And remember that not every ticket is a winner? Before you pray to loose weight, you may just need to pay the price of not eating so many chocolates or actually getting off the couch to do some exercises.

Staying with the metaphor of gambling; I have always felt that I have been dealt good cards in this poker game of life – I was just never the best at playing them. My first hand was a blessed and protected childhood. It was not all Aces and having to go to boarding school from the first grade onwards was not always easy. But I had a good King and Queen, my parents, and my teachers were, well, let’s say Sixes and Sevens.

My next round was college. The first hand was great and I had fun snapping away for the National Diploma in Photography. The next hands were duds until I drew the Joker and specialised in Theatre Photography for my final exams. (Okay, I know there is no Joker in Poker but bear with me) I had nine years of fun playing my game at the State Theatre in Pretoria but never drew the final Ace for the jackpot of a fulfilled career. I never had the natural personal connection with my subjects to do good portraits.

A pair of Queens (real ladies – not the cross dress ones) also came into my life but did not stay for long and what followed after the theatre were eleven years of mainly dud hands with a few Jacks and Nines and Tens in between.

I did not feel that I was winning at Poker and decided to try my luck at Black Jack when I went back to college to study Massage Therapy. So far the hands I have been dealt where mixed, some high scores, some low scores and a couple of duds. No jackpot yet, but I feel that this game is more for me.

I was still frustrated and trying to control the cards until I met more Queens in Jenny and Celeste (I hope they don’t mind me mentioning their names) They gave me some wonderful tips and taught me how to play the hand that is dealt better, rather than getting mad if it is not a 21 score hand. A 16 score can also be a winner.

They also taught me that you can’t always rely on your skills alone to play. Sometimes you just need to let go and trust. And that is why I am back to playing Lotto. With this trip I have spent all my money and energy on a ticket, trusting that the winnings will be big. Maybe it will not be the jackpot but at least, on Monday at the airport, when I bow my head to pray for a win, I can honestly say that I tried my best and bought my Lotto ticket.