What I Learned From (Nearly) Winning the Lottery

Red and purple Fireworks explodingOne day at work I was checking my email, and I got an email reporting 10/29 lottery results for Freelotto.com. I have won about $30 from Free Lotto over the years, and I have never paid for a ticket, so yes, it really is “free” and legit. Normally, per normal odds, I get about 1 to 3 numbers correct on each game, and occasionally I will win a dollar here and there. It was a normal morning. I was barely awake for my first period class, sipping my warmed-over coffee. As my students were checking their assignments on the computers, I checked my lottery results. I saw “CONGRATULATIONS!! 7/7, $10,000,000.

I was crazy excited. It is hard to describe the feeling. Instead of immediately quitting my job and booking that trip to Disney World, I immediately counter-checked the results by logging into my account and something was fishy, because it didn’t show the win. So, I was a little skeptical, but still thinking it could be possible. I let that feeling linger as I went throughout the day.

What I found was fascinating. Throughout that day:

– Even though it was a chilly day, I immediately ran home and ran 5 miles outside, with no stops for breaks
– I was cool to everybody, and the little things that normally get me frustrated didn’t mean anything
– I was feeling great. I fell asleep quickly and woke up easily
– I got my dad and grandma birthday presents and was more generous than I originally planned

Later the next day, what I secretly expected was true: the company’s computers were down because of Hurricane Sandy, and the emails were a mistake. They didn’t even draw numbers that day, which means I (and everybody else that got the glitch email) didn’t win ten million dollars.

Yet…I still felt great. I felt some disappointment, but overall I was feeling good.

The lesson here is that we can feel good right now. I didn’t really win the lottery, but when I thought I did, I allowed myself to be active, generous, cool, relaxed…i.e. my absolute best. I put the entire day in its proper perspective. That student who talked a little too much…who cares? The traffic jam on the way home? Big deal!

One thing we teach at Theta Hill is that you should do your best now. Don’t wait until you win the lottery, retire, etc. Do what you know to be the best right now.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is a teacher, author, and speaker. His articles receive over a million hits per year and have appeared in a variety of publications. He is co-owner of a communication company, and he also writes for The Popular Teen and other sites. Follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.