November 11th, 2006


Ho, ho, ho ...

I'm not sure why I find this so appealing/amusing, but I do ... it's the latest "scratch-n-win" lottery thing from the Illinois Lottery. Now, I never buy the scratch-off tickets ... I prefer to wait to find out that I wasted my money (or, as I typically put it: "I spend $1 twice a week to keep the probability envelope open on the MegaMillions game") ... but this one has a certain perverse attraction to it.

I wish they had a better picture, but if you look closely, you will see all sorts of little numbers around the gingerbread house ... and this is on something like an 7x10 card ... yes, the Illinois Lottery managed to combine a scratch-off ticket with an advent calendar ... just like the ones I had when I was a kid! However, obviously, rather than a cute picture behind each window (and there are indeed little windows to open, not just areas to scratch) there's a scratch-off area with a prize symbol ... get 3 matching symbols and win a prize (up to a million bucks), with a 1/2.49 chance of winning (the second best odds of all their "scratch-n-win" games) something per card.

Again, I'm not much into doing these scratch-off cards, but this one has fascinated me. I'm currently having an internal struggle about whether it's worth the (rather steep) $15.00 to buy one just to "scratch that itch" or not. I was thinking that if I blogged about it, maybe that would be enough, but we'll see! Needless to say, having one-in-2.49 odds would be quite the shocker over my usual play (it's 1:40 to win anything in the MegaMillions game), so I'd probably be real disappointed if I didn't win something for my $15 buy-in (this is the reason I don't gamble ... I get so depressed at losing money)!

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Looking for suggestions ...

Next Wednesday, I'm going to be doing the "Table Topics" at my Toastmasters meeting. These are questions (I'm doing 18) that folks randomly pick and then have to speak about (off the top of their heads) for two minutes. Frequently, these are based on current events (I recall one that I got once that was about Tom Cruise getting dumped by his studio), but in the wake of an election, that can get dicey ... the ones I've come up with so far are fairly trite ("favorite color, and why?", "Batman or Superman, and why?"), but I'm running up against "knowledge pool" limits for stuff that I would think was a great question, but others might not have the background for (classic myths, assorted religions, sub-atomic particle physics, comparative hallucinogens, TV sci-fi trivia, etc.).

While I may fall back on the newspaper (hmmm ... "what is black and white and re(a)d all over?") for some "topics" if this gets too close to Wednesday, but I'm hoping that I might get some good suggestions from all you "Pixel People" out there in L.J.-land!

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