NOVEMBER 10, 2009

My $10 list
       Music group the Barenaked Ladies sings about having a million dollars. There’s a whole list of stuff the guys in the band would do and get, and not much of it is very extravagant – it’s odd, but not too extravagant.
       Let’s write a song – or at least make a list – called “If I Had 10 Dollars.” What would I do with that? Buying a lottery ticket is probably one of the last things I’d do, especially if I were raising two kids. Then again, in hindsight it’s probably the best thing Kirby and Marie Fontaine did. After all, they just won $50 million on the lottery.
       You’re going to read this and I know you’re going to think, “Get over it, JB. You’re jealous.” But that’s not the point. I wouldn’t want that much money.
       And yes, leave it to me to be critical about such a joyous and life-changing time for the Manitoba couple, but as we hear the back story it tends to make me wonder some things.
       If someone has a history of health troubles like Kirby does, why is a lottery ticket on the shopping list? If I have kids to raise, why is a lottery ticket on the shopping list?
       I made a list of the things I’d get if I only had $10:
       -bottle of water
       -loaf of bread
       -box of cereal
       -carton of milk
       -hand sanitizer
       -newspaper (to search job ads)
       -a few quarters to use a payphone
       It took me a few minutes to think of that list and even after writing it all down I still think it would total more than $10. The last thing in my mind would be hitting a casino or spending it recklessly on a lottery ticket.
       Yes, it worked for this couple, but will this prompt other people with even less money to take that risk and buy a ticket in the hopes of winning big only to be needing every penny immediately after?
       That’s my whole point today: I’m happy for these people but at the same time, it could be sending a bad message to others that it’s a smart gamble to take when $10 doesn’t go a long way these days.
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