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If I Had a Perfect Ticket

Tonight, it will take only six numbers to get to a billion.

The astronomical $1.5 billion jackpot for the Powerball Lottery has reached a mind-bending level. This is Christopher Nolan territory. Contemplating having $1.5 billion dollars is surprisingly (and refreshingly) difficult to wrap my head around. This amount of money is not life-altering, but world-altering.

Every successful person, regardless of industry, has benefited from luck at some point(s). We’ve all experienced lucky circumstances in our personal lives that change our path in life for the better. And if we, by some stroke of otherworldly magic, defy all odds and find ourselves in possession of a ticket with the 5 winning numbers (plus the Powerball), I’d—

Wait. Let’s start with just a million dollars. I believe Barenaked Ladies have a say in the matter.

Winning $1.5 billion dollars will make barenaked ladies sound really good and it might spark a follow-up anthem.

The winning numbers will be announced on our local news tonight at 11:00 p.m. ET.

BETter $2gether

$800 million for $2?

The ticket price for the Powerball Lottery seems like a clear sign to re-popularize the rarely seen (but real) two dollar bill featuring Thomas Jefferson, don’t you think?

This lottery and its eye-popping jackpot, now in its second round because of no initial winner from earlier this week, demands to be played. Not only is it affordable, but it’s fun and exciting.

Yes, the odds are sort of against us (1 in 292,201,338). Yes, $800 million is actually difficult to comprehend as being a real monetary value. And yes, remember during the drawing tomorrow to read and check your numbers very, very carefully…

The dumbest thing you can do is not risk your morning coffee money for the chance to win the $800 Powerball jackpot.

Unlike Lloyd, Christmas could come early for one of us this year!

Making the Right Count

Perhaps, it was just happenstance that I changed the channel to the cinematic masterpiece Titanic tonight literally five seconds before the beginning of the film?

Or maybe randomness isn’t as random (or decipherable) as we’d like to think it is.

With most movies made back in 1997 and earlier, it’s common to change channels and tune in somewhere in the middle. We’ve become so familiar with interrupting a movie in the middle and at the endings when the play on television that we can forget the opening acts that initially engaged us during our premiere experience.

The poker game with Jack Dawson and friend Fabrizio is a classic scene. It illustrates luck, savvy game play and the American way of betting it all on a dream.

And for a particular writer looking for some game-changing chance luck of his own, the aforementioned risk reveals an appealing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of titanic proportions.

The tricky part is identifying that paramount poker game when it’s not a poker game.

And for me personally, I pray my moment isn’t a literal card game.

Looking Beyond the Fiddle Faddle

“I’m a female woman!”

Spoiler Alert: This is a recap of “The Goldbergs” from December 3, 2013.

There are practically zero circumstances in life where that statement makes any logical sense…at all.

To add a bit of clarity, here’s a little context: Beverly Goldberg in mall jail.

Mystery solved.

Imagine running a marathon for 26.19 miles and then, for the final 0.01 mile of the race, your brother sweeps in from nowhere to joyfully jog backwards into the finish line to reap all the glory. The frustration one would feel would be off the charts in complete and utter shock. The emotions would be virtually unprecedented. Actually, in this situation, that was exactly the case. Switch in six months of pursuing the grand prize in “Legends of Zelda” in 1980s-something for the marathon and you’ve got Adam and Barry’s most recent brotherly battle.

What’s worse: Adam losing his glorious Zelda finale to his older brother, Barry’s negativity forcing his quick thinking grandfather to lie and deceive him about luck or that Barry wore a ketchup colored shirt to bet on the ponies while eating a hot dog with mustard?

All have the credentials to claim the Exotica.

To fully understand how Beverly Goldberg found herself in the treacherous room known as “mall jail,” the issue of money plus a teenage daughter must first be discussed. What do you get when the savviest shopper of all-time (buy two mattresses, get two free and a $9.99 lawn mower!) gives birth to a daughter who fifteen or sixteen years later gets a job as a cashier at a dynamite department store with an incredible employee discount?

You get a Mom who sets up camp at her embarrassed teenage daughter’s place of employment/place of coolness/”supposed” freedom and independence, a mannequin stolen, but also the incomparable “Clapper.”

After all the clothes and random purchases during just one week, Erica’s boss finally stepped in (but in a totally non-flirtatious way) to subtly tell his newest employee that her Mom had to be cut-off from the discount.

Enter the snow pants.

With a perfectly maniacal plan to deny the discount from her Mother, Erica, with a smile, watched as her Mom “allegedly” tried to steal perfume while also buying snow pants for the same daughter who was willing to send her own Mother down the river…to mall jail.

While all this was happening, “Barry Luck” was providing said brother with a delusional sense of prosperous fortune. Was it real? No. But sometimes it takes an illusion to spark a necessary and magical mindset of confidence. The placebo effect. It’s something grandparents understand and Pops is undoubtedly one of the greats.

The tension between Erica and Beverly, like most things in life, was not really about a massive overuse of an employee discount. It was about big life decisions and what she and her Mom value most. And the reasons for those decisions.

As every family should realize (and the Goldbergs sure did), being a Mom is full-time job that truly brings harmony, stability and a crazily awesome love for her family.

There are times when we need to pause, take a deep breath and understand that people want different things out of life. Knowing what we want out of life, with all the chaos and opportunities around us, is an impressive trait to possess. Whatever that may be, it’s a sign of intelligence, strength and inner serenity.

And if that’s your starting point every morning, then you should consider yourself rich without the need for any discount or “(insert your name here) luck.”

Beverly Goldberg was only in mall jail for 12 minutes. However, it doesn’t take viewers nearly that long to get hilariously excited for each new episode of “The Goldbergs” every Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.

It’s a popular favorite!

P.S. Beverly literally owns “The Clapper.” She literally used it in the best way imaginable!