Editorial: It often doesn't pay to be too smug

By Michele McPherson

Just last week I confidently told a colleague I didn't see the point in wasting money on Lotto tickets, and he wholeheartedly agreed.

"You may as well dig a hole in the backyard and pour the money you spend on tickets in there," I told him smugly.

Two days later a Mount Maunganui woman, of similar age to me, won $200,000 on Lotto's Winning Wheel.

When I read how she planned to use her new-found wealth for a deposit on a house in Papamoa, I felt a fleeting pang of jealousy, but consoled myself with the fact the chances of winning Lotto in Tauranga now seemed even more remote.

On Saturday I was in a local Lotto shop where I overheard the owner "selling the dream" to a wavering Big Wednesday customer.

"Ha," I thought. "That poor sucker is being cajoled out of another hard-earned $20."

On Wednesday night, the smug smile was wiped from my face. A Tauranga Lotto shop, less than a kilometre from the newsroom, had sold the golden ticket.

During my lunch break on Monday I took a brief stroll in the sunshine, on a route that took me right past the door of AJ's Lotto and Tobacconist. Not one to waste money on Lotto, I didn't go in. Despite the fact I hadn't even bought a ticket, I found myself planning what I was going to do with my winnings.

My sister is also saving for her first home, surely I'd give her a cool $500,000? But does that mean my brother gets the same, and my fiance's brother? Is half a million a bit cheap when you have $27 million? Should I give them a million each? The internal monologue was preventing sleep.

The taunting continued when I got to work yesterday and discovered a colleague parked in my carpark. I rang him and he told me the boss had told him, with a wry smile, that I was in Wellington. He had failed to get the joke.

By 9.30am another colleague had sent a text message saying she would be late into the newsroom because she was collecting her winnings.

Rather than being happy for the new-found millionaire in our midst, workplaces across Tauranga's central city, were plunged into a state of, 'why wasn't it me?'

Maybe I'll buy a ticket this weekend.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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