The fact that I am back at my desk today, typing on my trusty, crusty Mac keyboard can only mean one thing -- my ingenious Powerball retirement fund plan somehow went awry over the weekend.
Didn't win the $590 million jackpot Saturday night. Haven't bought a private island, perfected a new margarita recipe, adopted an unlisted telephone number or put Alan Dershowitz on legal retainer.
Reports out of Florida indicate one outrageously lucky ticketholder has won the biggest Powerball prize ever. Probably some Florida retiree who plucked eight quarters from an ancient cracked-leather change purse to buy one quick pick on a whim.
I had a plan, you see.
Since I was driving to Chicago for daughter Emily's law school graduation, I made it a point to buy a lottery ticket at every stop.
That netted me tickets from Crawfordsville (yea, I know, after 28 miles on the road? ... Can I help it I have a small bladder?), Lafayette, Remington, Rensselaer, Rose Lawn (the cashier thankfully was fully clothed, incidentally), and of course, Chicago and Greencastle.
Remington was an interesting stop. The guy behind me whipped out a Benjamin and ordered up $100 worth of Powerball tickets, asking a surprised attendant when the drawing would take place (hard to image betting $100 on something without knowing when it was happening). Then he got in his black Porsche and literally drove off in the sunset.
My haul produced 14 separate six-number Powerball combinations, a reasonable $28 Bernsee Retirement Fund investment for a chance at more than a half-billion-dollar nest egg.
I figured winning that much would at least cover my gasoline for the rest of my life (especially after paying $4.48 a gallon in Chicagoland).
So with those 84 individual numbers on my side, I confidently dreamt of island life and tropical drinks and no responsibility.
But when that 10-13-14-22-52 (PB 11) combination was drawn Saturday night, guess how many of those numbers I hit?
Obviously not all six. Nor five. Nor even four or three on a single ticket, which would have paid me something.
Nope, I got three stinky numbers. Total. One on each of the two tickets I purchased at the Gas American Speedway in Greencastle before leaving town on Friday. I hit No. 14 on one and No. 52 on the other.
Other than that, I nailed only No. 13 on a ticket I bought along Stony Island Avenue in Chicago just before hopping on the Skyway.
So my Powerball investment isn't worth the recycled paper the tickets were printed on. A $28 gamble gone awry (most money I've ever spent on the lottery). Just 590 million more reasons to whine and moan.