Destined to Win

Are some people -- perhaps all of us -- destined to win at one point or another in our lives?

Before you dismiss this as a crackpot thought, let me offer you some evidence that suggests a higher power than ourselves determines the outcome of certain events.

I'll begin by relating a true story that occurred in Florida some years ago. I was working as associate editor of LOTTOWORLD, a national lottery magazine published out of Naples. It was a fun publication to work for and it paid well.

My managing editor was a big-hearted guy from New Jersey named Barry Miller. Our publisher was a custom home builder in South Florida who had more money than people have dreams. He thought the country and perhaps the world was ready for a national lottery magazine that would publish stories about the major Powerball, Lotto and lottery winners, how they picked their numbers and how they spent their winnings.

We also had several prognosticators who would choose the 'hot' Powerball and Lotto numbers. They were an interesting cast of characters who would be great candidates for an Agathie Christie mystery. They used everything from computers to ancient Chinese formulas to birth dates to pick their numbers, and some of them like Boston Blackie, my favorite, actually came up with occasional winners.

One morning Barry came by my desk and tossed a piece of paper with a name and phone number scrawled on it.

WinningLotteryNumbers

'This is our lead story next week,' he said. 'It's an incredible yarn and it's true. Give me 2,000 words on it and make it snap, crackle and pop. You know, like that cereal Post Christies or Post Toasties. Whatever they call it.'

I dialed the number and a woman answered. She was in her 60s, lived somewhere back East, and she and her son, a mentally challenged man in his 20s, had just won a $10 million Lotto jackpot.

'I clean houses,' Virgie said, laughing. 'Or at least I did til we collected all this money. Praise the Lord for good things! About three weeks ago, my son Andrew came to me and said he just woke up from dream. He told me, 'Mama, the Lord gave me the winning Lotto numbers. You have to play them.

'Andrew didn't won to win the Lotto for himself,' she added, wagging her finger. 'You got to remember that. He wanted to win it for me so I could retire from cleaning other people's houses. Well, I looked in my pockets and didn't have the dollar it would take to play the numbers he had dreamed. I told him, 'Honey, I'm sorry. I just don't have the money.'

'Well, Sir, that night they called the numbers and they came out exactly the way Andrew predicted they would. If we had played them, we would have won over $4 million. I cried. I was so disappointed that I had failed my son. He just smiled, patted me on the back, and said, 'Don't worry, Mama. If the Lord wants us to have that money, it will happen again.'

'A week later, he came up to me with a big smile. 'Mama, Mama, I had the same dream again last night. The Lord gave me some winning numbers. I wrote them down. Here they are. You got to play them, Mama!'

'I looked into my pocket and, lo and behold, I had just two dollars and change left from my play. I went down to the convenience store and bought a Lotto ticket.' She started crying over the phone. I cried with her.

I asked her what she planned to do with the money.

'Help my church,' she said. 'Help other poor people. And get my son to one of those rehabilitation centers where they can help him. Just tell your readers if they're destined to win the lottery, they're gonna win and ain't nothing -- I mean nothing -- going to stop them from winning it!'

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