Life's constant good is my winning ticket

Originally appeared on

When I learned that I'd won first prize in a raffle, you could have knocked me down with a feather—especially as I hadn't even bought a ticket. I'd given a donation to the local softball team here in Australia, and apparently one of the organizers had decided to thank me by entering my name in the draw. Now I had to decide what to do with my winnings—A$25 worth of petrol.

I’d never won anything before in my life. That's because I never buy raffle or lottery tickets. In addition, I grew up seeing the adverse affects gambling had on my father. His addiction to gambling eroded his marriage to my mother and broke our family apart. So as I grew older, I decided that betting, bingo, lotteries and casino games appealed to the hope that one might get lucky. I wanted to see the good in my life as entirely unrelated to chance.

Buying into the notion of good luck has a flip side—bad luck. To me, belief in either type of luck presumes life is nothing more than a series of random, unexpected incidents. If people get lucky for no apparent reason, that implies that good is accidental.

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