TO ANSWER your first question, the store that sells a winning Arkansas lottery ticket receives an amount equal to 1% of the winner’s prize.
TO ANSWER your second question, those ‘scratch-off’ lottery tickets can cost up to $10 per card, depending upon the number of scratch-off spaces, the prize, and the payoff odds. There are lotsa games on colorful cards.
TO ANSWER your third question, I’m not going to interview Norman Johnson of the Paraloma community located between Mineral Springs and Ben Lomond because I figger he’s got friends and relatives and perfect strangers coming out of the woodwork since news got out he’d won $500,000 on an Arkansas Lottery scratch-off. They all have sensible suggestions as to how he can best divest himself of that windfall.
The winning scratch-off ticket was purchased at B’s Quick Stop in Mineral Springs where Mr. Johnson has been a weekly customer for lottery tickets. When the Arkansas Lottery began a couple of years ago, I went down to B’s and got a picture of the first customers buying their tickets. And they were lined up to buy them, too.
If you buy a ticket at B’s, you’ll probably buy it from Delagene Byers, the proprietor, or her twin sons Blake and Brock, who take turns at the checkout counter. Last Friday, Brock told me he wasn’t sure exactly who sold Mr. Johnson the winning scratch-off.
I’ve gotta tell you that Brock was also a little nervous at the battery of questions from a nosey newsman. He’s normally pretty quick with a quip. He’s also more accustomed to taking my money for one of Delagene’s low-cal steak sandwiches.
While I talked with Brock, there was a steady stream of customers, most of them coming in for a softdrink and a lottery ticket. I talked to one guy who purchased a handful of scratch-offs. He tucked them into his jacket pocket. “Aren’t you going to scratch them?” I asked. Nope, he answered, it’s bad luck to scratch them off inside the store. He took his tickets and drove away, but not before telling me that he had once won $20,000 in the Texas lottery scratch-off.
TO ANSWER your fourth question, I don’t buy scratch-offs, but I do occasionally contribute a couple of bucks to the scholarship lottery fund through one of the other games when the prize gets really, really, really big. In my heart I know that there’s not a chance I’ll win $673.6 million, but then I remind myself that somewhere, someone IS going to win that obscene amount of money.
And, of course, my main object is to help deserving Arkansas kids with the scholarships. Honest.
Usually the lottery office announces that someone at Waldo or Walnut Ridge, or Dermott has won a big prize. Not so often towns from down our way.
So, congrats to Mr. Johnson and to B’s.
TO ANSWER your fifth question, B’s prize for selling that winning scratch-off was $5,000.
ST. PADDY’S DAY. It was Monday and I forgot to wear green, of course. Luckily, no one pinches your cheek, anymore, if you forget to wear green.
Up in Boston, which is the Irish stronghold of America, the ‘Irish’ got to hold their traditional parade despite threats from many — including City Hall — if parade organizers did not allow a group of Gay Lesbian Bi-Sexual Trans-Gender (GLBT) marchers. The Samuel Adams beer folks, in fact, withdrew their financial support because the marchers were not allowed.
The parade is privately-funded, and organizers get to decide who gets to march and who doesn’t.
I think the GLBT marchers were mostly concerned with calling attention to their desire for acceptance, not for honoring St. Patrick or the Irish. I’m sure there have been plenty of fine folks who were BOTH Irish and GLBT. The kernel here is that if the GLBT folks had put on some green and had been more intent upon honoring St. Paddy and the Irish, they wouldn’t have met with opposition.
This little bit of wisdom is from someone who has never, ever made anyone mad. Honest.
YOU CAN BE EXCUSED if you do not fully understand the big scientific announcement this week that scientists now have a better idea about the “Big Bang” which they say launched the universe 13.8 billion, that’s a buncha zeroes, years ago.
The theory is call ‘cosmic inflation,’ and it’s complicated because it involves space-time gravitational waves. My own theory is that this may or may not have been the way the Almighty caused everything to happen.
I will attempt to explain their other guys’ theory
THINGS I LEARNED from reading email: A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.
HE SAID: “It is easy to sit up and take notice, What is difficult is getting up and taking action.” Honore de Balzac, French playwright
SHE SAID: “We are used to cleaning the outside house, but the most important house to clean is yourself — your own house — which we never do.” Marina Abramovic, artist
SWEET DREAMS, Baby