Americans, including Brainerd lakes area residents, were drawn into the huge Powerball lottery that topped $550 million before Wednesday night’s drawing like mosquitoes to a Bug Zapper on Gull Lake in July.
Fellow Dispatch employees chipped in the $2 ticket price to be part of a 53 person pool in hopes of drawing the winning numbers. Another pool was established late in the game for those interested in doubling their chances of winning.
Around the region, employees pooled their money to buy lottery tickets before the drawing. Some of those employees shared dreams of a vacation in Europe, a new lake home; others wanted to just lay on a sunny beach and soak in the sun’s rays.
When the winning numbers — 05 16 22 23 29 and the Powerball 06 — were drawn only two ticket holders, one in Arizona and one in Missouri, realized their dreams would become a reality.
Knowing that many millionaire dreamers woke up Thursday morning to learn the news of the two winners, and most disappointed dreamers quickly reclaimed their day-to-day routines.
After all, if one had won the monster jackpot one would have realized only $221 million after paying Uncle Sam his portion, not to mention the taxes that would have been owed the state of Minnesota.
Oh, dreams and hopes are good things as long as one returns to the realities that surround us every day.
In fact, coming down to earth in this, Minnesota’s greatest and most scenic lakes area, isn’t a bad consolation prize to winning the $550 million jackpot. Those of us who call this area home have already won life’s lottery. It would have been nice to have added a bit of a cushion.
There’s always the next Powerball jackpot or the other get-rich-quick schemes that foster hopes and dreams against all odds.