by Samantha Hazlewood
The numbers flashed on the screen, and the hyper announcer repeated the numbers.
“And the winning numbers are …5, 8, 9,23 and 15. Winners may collect their prizes from the following outlets…” Lionel didn’t hear where the outlets were; all he was aware of was that he had won 1.5 million dollars.
“I’m rich … Good gracious I’m rich…”.
The next couple of minutes were hazy and hitting the ground was what brought Lionel back to the “real” world.
“I knew my numbers were bound to come up…. I was born on the 5th, I got married on the 8th, divorced on the 9th, 23 is the age of my oldest son and 15 is the amount of years I’ve been playing LottoLotto.” The grin on Lionel’s face said it all, being an avid player of LottoLotto he knew that the returns were due to come, after all, spending $50 in tickets a week was more than a qualifying ticket to win.
“Well I had promised mum that I would fix her house, and my brother George could do with a new car…I had my eye on a nice spot in Westmoreland, and that silver Land Rover is looking mighty reasonable now…” Lionel’s laughter was cut short by the ringing of the phone.
“I hope you realise that Shannon hasn’t gotten her school money yet….”
That was Sylvie, the ex-wife who placed the A in attitude.
“Don’t worry about it, I will be sending more than enough to cover her schooling; in fact she will be able to go to that fancy finishing school in Switzerland.”
“My Goodness, you gone mad, or you rob a bank… let me turn on the radio quick and see if I hear about any bank robberies. Where on earth you going to get that sort of money…. You old fool.”
Lionel rolled his eyes, at times he missed Sylvie and her strident attitude but then it is at times like this that he remembers why he is glad that she’s gone.
“Let’s just say, the $50 a week ritual paid off.”
The other end of the phone went dead. When Sylvie did speak her tone was the cajoling one that had gotten Lionel interested in her.
“Linie … How much you win?”
Lionel smiled…he knew her too well to fall into her trap. “I have to go.”
“But Linie…I mean, I was meaning to invite you over for dinner.”
“I have plans; I’ll call you in a couple of days, and keep it to yourself… Okay?”
“Yes baby, call me later tonight let us discuss our, I mean your windfall.”
Lionel shook his head and put the phone down; maybe I should call the hotline. Lionel had those numbers memorized from the first day he started playing. He picked up the phone and quicker than lightening had dialed the seven digits. An automated voice greeted him. “You have reached LottoLotto, press 1 if you have 3 numbers, press 2 if you have 4 numbers and prices 3 if you have the winning numbers.”
“Please hold while a representative takes your call.”
“Congratulations for winning LottoLotto, kindly read your numbers for me…”
“5, 8,9,23 and 15.” The hyper voice at the other end replied “Yes indeed sir you have the winning numbers, please bring in your ticket for validation before noon tomorrow.”
Ticket… Lionel’s hands slid down into his trousers pocket, ticket…. Oh my goodness … the ticket….
Lionel placed the phone back down and raced into the bedroom. Where is the ticket? What did I do with my ticket?
After turning the house topsy-turvy, Lionel sat down on the chair with his hands on his head. Rocking back and forth he retraced last night, he went to the shop to get a beer; he had all intentions of buying the tickets for today’s draw. He was talking to Smallie and Bertie when the commotion broke out and everyone ran down the road to see the van that had overturn. He remembered saying he’ll come back to the shop but he never did get back. He went home. The tears ran down Lionel’s face, he couldn’t believe that he missed his chance. Lo and behold if Sylvie finds out. Lionel’s wails became louder and louder. The only other thing left for him to do beside leaving town was to lock up the house, unplug the phone and lay low…real low. [email protected]
by Samantha Hazlewood