For people who know me well, two things about today’s first would be true. It isn’t a surprise to them that I’ve never bought a lottery ticket before. And it might be a surprise that today, I did. I have nothing against anyone who occasionally, or even regularly, plunks down a few dollars in the hopes of gaining much more in return, especially with the mega lotteries, where the prizes can get into the hundreds of millions. I’ve just never wanted to spend my money in that way. I don’t gamble at casinos either. It’s not a moral issue. It’s a mathematical issue to me. I know the odds are against me, so I just don’t bother.
However, during this year of firsts, I was inspired by, of all things, an episode of the TV show Modern Family. One of the young characters, Manny, collects money that he finds on the ground. When he has enough of this “lucky” money, he intends to purchase a lottery ticket, hoping that the luck will continue and bring him wealth. I was intrigued. What if I did the same, with money I found lying on the ground? The idea appealed to me, and I began to glance down more often, watching for coins.
That was a shift for me, and really the most important part of this little exercise. Up until now, I have not bothered to pick up pennies, or quarters, lying on the ground. Once I found a dollar on the parking lot, and a $20 bill, also on a parking lot. Those I did retrieve. But the small change, I didn’t really even notice. Greg is much more aware of these coins than I’ve ever been and will pick up any money that he spies, even if it’s lying next to someone’s foot! I used to pretend I didn’t know him when he would nonchalantly walk over and pick up a dime. However, his awareness is very high in this area, and he finds a lot of change in a year.
Recently, as a friend approached me, he suddenly bent and picked up a penny and handed it to me, saying as he did so, “Abundance”. He went on to explain that he always picks up any money that he sees on the ground, acknowledging it as a sign that abundance is near. My friend, Mark, has a similar philosophy. Perhaps it was time for my own awareness to open up. I created a money jar, and this year, I’ve paid more attention to those stray nickels, dimes, pennies and quarters lying on the ground, picking them up, giving thanks for abundance, and saving the coins to purchase a lottery ticket.
Realizing that the year is winding down, today I decided to use the accumulated coins to purchase my first lottery tickets. I counted out almost $5 in change. Other family members, knowing that I was picking up coins, have joined in my adventure and contributed to the fund. Just two weeks ago, my six year old granddaughter, Aubrey, crawled under the counter at Chuck E Cheese and triumphantly handed me a penny, saying, “For your money jar.”
I selected a convenience store and waited in the parking lot for customers to clear out. In a few minutes, the store was completely empty and no one was pumping gas. It was time. I appreciated the young man behind the counter. I told him what I was doing and showed him my coins. It was important to me to pay for the tickets with the actual money that I found. He was game, although he seemed surprised that I had never bought a ticket before. At his suggestion, I purchased three scratch off tickets, one for $2 and two for $1 each. After dinner and a bit of relaxing, I used one of the pennies from my jar to scratch away the coating on the tickets to see if I had won anything. I had the potential to win up to $32,000. I won a free ticket. I had already decided that if I won a small amount of money, I would use it to purchase more tickets, continuing to play until I ran out of options. I’ll redeem my ticket for another chance.
I had fun with this first, knowing that I was using money that found its way to me. I learned new things about myself in the process. I’ve had a lot of limiting, negative beliefs about money. I am currently releasing those and raising my awareness as I open myself up to abundance, which is about so much more than money. Money is energy, like everything else. It flows. It moves through me and beyond. The energy today around buying my first lottery tickets was playful, joyful, adventurous. Those are beliefs about abundance that I can embrace.