My needs and wants are not many. I’ve always thought I have not really been financially ambitious. Ok, that may not be an absolute certainty. But I irrefutably wouldn’t choose to do dealings business-wise relating to any form of gambling. I even rarely bet on a game of chance myself. Then how did I get to become a middleman for the Philippine Charity Lottery Office? A more critical question: Why am I still holding a franchise to operate this type of retail after all those tough years? How could I have let it box me in for too long?
Long story from a long time ago.
The first, original stall for its operation was originally set-up by my ex-husband – through the assistance of my elder sister who had connections inside the government agency. He decided to go for it despite the fact any connection to gambling matters is forbidden by his religion. He badly wanted to invest the money he had saved from working as an Overseas Contract Worker on a sure business that would give him a return on his capital. So he, or rather we, ended up as among the pioneers of online lottery-ticket generators of this nation some 13 years ago. Then something happened along the way. We were held up helplessly at gun point just barely outside our booth during a closing time one night. We lost the entire day’s sales which had to be remitted to PCSO (government agency). The misfortune discouraged him severely. As a consequence, he came to the conclusion I might do a better job of managing everything – due to my commerce background and more structured conceptions – thereby passing on to me his minuscule business; with all the responsibilities holding such a franchise entails. It turned out, as time went on, I could manage things more effectively than him. Until resentments ensued and ramifications of changes that occurred started playing a part in the dissolution of our relationship and – in the end – our marriage. The earnings coming from the business had proved insufficient, too, to support the three of us – him, my son, and me. He finally proceeded in converting all the franchise documents to my name so he’d completely be free from all legal commitments to the main office. A few months later, he left us and never came back.
The course of maintaining and operating such a franchise are far from uncomplicated. I am seriously thinking of giving it up – now that my son has already completed college. The red tape, daily remittance, prompt submission of reports which take too much work weigh heavily against the minimal income the franchise is currently generating. The low return has been compounded by the numerous other outlets the Main Office had approved to sprout within the vicinity of my lottery booth. I often ruminate these days on how operating it isn’t worth the troubles anymore. The feeling of being stuck with the system, with all those accompanying demands, has added to my growing indifference, too. For now, I’m in the dark as to how all this will end.
Funny how lottery mimics some major parts of our lives. Anything can happen. There are no guarantees. Life can be a game of chance.
In this country, winning that much amount of a jackpot prize means you have been stamped “DEAD” on your forehead or scheduled for extinction very very soon.
If you think keenly about it – given the circumstance of our cash-strapped society – who can you trust aside from your immediate family while in possession of that much amount of dough?
Scary, isn’t it? Yet I bet nobody can stop you from falling in long line to grab even the slimmest chance of winning the sum above.
You should know: The chance of getting struck by lightning thrice (yep, that’s 3X, baby) is higher than getting all the numbers right in any of the 6/45, 6/49, or 6/55 lotto game. It is that hard to hit a fortune through lottery. But my countrymen are incessantly fond of indulging in inexpensive games of chance. Proof of which are the millions of filipinos who visit lottery stores to purchase those tiny tickets everyday of their lives, hoping to get lucky and strike it rich. We most often feel it’s our only hope – in spite of the fact we’re simply buying the dream; allowing us a (rather quixotic?) differential mode of optimism. For the longest time, frolicking in Wishland where life is easier and cash-abundant has long been a national pastime in our country. It’s free to dream anyway (except when procuring a lottery ticket), isn’t it?
When the pot prize gets to rise to half a billion pesos, there’s no doubt I’ll fall in line, as well, no matter how long it is – joining my fellow citizens here – in buying the dream.
But first, I’d better make sure lightning doesn’t strike me first.
A few days ago, a younger blogger pal mentioned he was listening to songs of the Eagles and I went, “Why, I adore the Eagles!” Yes, the band remains to be my all-time favourite so I got busy looking for two of my most favourites from them: “One of These Nights” and “New Kid in Town” from You Tube. Lovely lyrics; rich and exquisite melodies. And I thought Don Henley and Glen Frey have the coolest voices ever.
The full moon is calling
The fever is high and the wicked wind whispers and moans
You got your demons, you got desires
Well I got a few of my own.
Someone to be kind to in between the dark and the light
Loneliness will find you in between the wrong and the right.
I’ve been searching for the daughter of the devil himself
I’ve been searching for an angel in white
I’ve been waiting for a woman who’s a little of both
And I can feel her but she’s nowhere in sight.
You look in her eyes the music begins to play…