I just returned from my local Sobey’s store clutching my two new chances to win a car, a shopping spree, or a home makeover. Just for good measure, I also put five dollars down on a Lotto Max—it’s 40 million dollars this week. Five dollars into millions? Sounds like the old fairy tale about spinning straw into gold. The idea of getting something for nothing has been around a while.
As I was leaving Sobey’s (pronounced, so-bays), it occurred to me that going through till 6 might have been a mistake. The winning ticket –I’m just one bingo token away from any of the prizes—might have been at till one. We all know how these contests work. It always boils down to one winning ticket. Suddenly, I understood. That one-in-a million ticket could be in another store entirely; another city, even another province. Help! As I watched the customers ahead of me, behind and around me, coveting the same thing as me, reality hit. The ticket we all needed could, at this very moment, be buried in a pocket, discarded in my neighbor’s trash can, or tossed carelessly aside a thousand miles away. My heart sank, my hopes of victory evaporated, blown away in a haze of odds greater than I can fathom.
Oh well. I certainly played the game. I made almost daily trips to my neighborhood Sobey’s. I collected tickets, tore the strips off, painstakingly glued each token to my card, and even entered the sorry, try again PIN numbers into my computer. I would reckon that I put forth no small effort to be a winner. The thing is, as the old proverb puts it, the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but time and chance happen to us all. In the end, no matter how conscientiously I shopped at my local Sobeys, if the winning ticket was elsewhere, all my efforts were in vain. I’m going to have to think about that for awhile.
Meantime, I’m sure another contest will be coming along soon. I can always, as the losing tickets say, try again. Who knows? Maybe time and chance will happen to me on the next game.