Play the lottery!

Beth Boyle Machlan is hurting for money:

The concept of credit is based on a future brighter than the present; it assumes that your ship will come in. I can sit behind Fairway and scan the harbor until my eyeballs dry, but at this point I'm pretty sure none of those boats are mine.

And so she plays the lottery:

Part of the appeal of scratchies is the illusion of control. There's a ritual to them. Choose the vendor, choose the ticket, choose the private place to scratch (as when scratching your ass, you don't want anyone you know to see you), choose the coin with which you'll dig a tiny pile of gray dust to find, almost always, that you've lost again. But that's the thingyou haven't lost, not really, because other than pocket change nothing you had is gone. In the odd logic of lottery players, we can only win.

Of course, not all tickets are created equal. To a scratchy addict, playing Megamillions or Powerball seems boring, even fiscally conservative. Yes, the jackpots are bigger, but the chits are thin and colorless and the wait until the drawing interminablemore like planning for retirement (yawn) than playing a game. Scratchers need the right now, the feeling of mastery that comes with choosing and defacing the surface of what could be a whole new world.

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