The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 1, 2012

I won! I won! I won! I won!

By Kelly Kazek
kelly@athensnews-courier.com

— I won! I won! I won! I won! I won!

Surely you have heard by now that three of us winners will be splitting the $640 million lottery.

Yep, I bought my ticket in Illinois.

I’m going to keep working, though. My life would be so empty without you guys. Besides, $213 million will only go so far after taxes.

So keep an eye on your mailboxes: you should each be receiving a check for $500,000 to thank you for reading my column through the years.

Oh, and, um, April Fool’s!

No, I didn’t win. (For those of you who are still scratching your heads, that also means the part about the $500,000 checks was a joke).

Do I look like I have that kind of luck?

My luck leans toward the bad side, although it can fluctuate. I did get a parking space right near the door at Publix last week. Then again, I also bit my own hand yesterday while eating a cheeseburger.

Just so you know, I did not buy a ticket to win the lottery. I figured with my luck I would run out of gas while waiting in all that traffic at the exit on the Tennessee line, then get picked up by a serial killer with a media nickname like Bind, Torture, Kill.

I made a decision a long time ago that I do not wish to win mega-millions. Nope, I’ll earn mine the old fashioned way: One sweat-stained penny at a time. I should reach a million by the time I’m, say, 142.

Seriously, though, if you’ve read some of the stories about what happens to people who win the lottery, you would understand why I’d rather stay the humble small-town journalist who from time-to-time gets recognized while wearing a paint-stained sweatshirt at “the Walmarts.” 

That’s much better than the fates that have befallen many lottery winners, whose stories read like a listing on an R-rated movie box: May contain graphic, disturbing, violent content plus some nudity of questionable origins.

Take poor Michael Carroll. Please.

The Brit won a European lottery and arrived to claim his prize wearing a criminal offender monitoring device, which should have been a clue right there. Carroll soon blew his money on drugs, gambling and prostitutes and is now living on state assistance.

Well, at least he had fun for a little while.

Many people lose friends because those who are jealous try to scheme a way to a portion of the money.

For others, though, winning the lotto is a life-or-death situation. In 1998, William “Bud” Post III won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery, which led his brother to hire a hit man to kill him and his wife so he could inherit.

So, you see, this is why I would give the money away if I won.

Y’all know I just have a big heart that way, right?

I’m happy to share, right after I use some of the money to purchase Hugh Jackman (or maybe I could just adopt him like that one sleazy millionaire businessman adopted his 20-something-year-old girlfriend. Hmmm.)

Oh, and after I buy a Hershey-bar-shaped swimming pool filled with milk chocolate sauce.

Anything more would just be greedy.

By the way, The News Courier’s corporate office warned us last week about running fake news stories on April Fool’s Day but this is a humor column so it’s OK. I think. Just don’t tell on me, kay?