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U3A Writing: A Difficult Day

Dick Nolan's story concerns a lucky worrier.

Difficult Day! What a heading you may well ask! If only you the reader could have been with me you would understand what I mean by a ‘Difficult Day ’!

Like many days this day was a string of variables. It was a Saturday and I left home shortly after mid-day to play bowls. On the way there I stopped at the news agent to buy some peppermints which I usually chew while playing. I paid for the peppermints and then noticed the advertisement for the night’s lotto which had a big Jackpot prize of $22 million dollars.

I purchased a ticket for about $7.50 and the girl ‘swiped’ my I/D card which I always produce when buying lotto tickets. This was not anything out of the ordinary for me on Saturdays. I went on to play bowls and even though my team lost the bowls match we all enjoyed a pleasant afternoon.

Afterwards I returned home to have tea with my wife and visiting daughter who later borrowed my car to meet her friend at the local cinema where some new film was showing. As we settled down to watch the local ’seven o’clock ‘ news we were interrupted by the telephone-my wife answered it and I noticed her whispering something as she handed the instrument to me . I asked who was calling and the gentlemen identified himself as Keith Gregory, from the Lotto office. He spoke slowly and clearly and he enquired 1. If I would identify myself, 2. Did I buy a lotto ticket that very day and 3. Did I have the ticket in my possession? He stated that the ticket appeared eligible for a serious prize. He said he could not disclose any further information until I could establish whether I had the particular ticket. I suddenly felt very stressed. I told him I would have to sit down as my wife was also somewhat upset. He kindly gave me his ‘phone number to call him when I had the ticket in my hand and he would then explain things further.

My worry increased when I remembered that I had put the lotto ticket in the coin tray of my car and I wondered whether my daughter who is a ‘ cleanup’ person might empty the ticket out of the car. I sat there with my wife .We were not a happy pair sitting there worrying and not knowing what was the possible prize. We had few words to say to one another until our daughter returned at about 10.00 p.m. and after a quick search I found the ticket. Then to my dismay when I did make the call to the Lotto office I was greeted with an answering machine message advising me to call again after 9.30 on Sunday morning.

It was difficult for me sleep that long Saturday night and I was not the most rested among us when we sat to early breakfast on that Sunday morning. Promptly at 9.30 a.m. the phone rang and my wife answered it .She quickly asked me for the ticket which I handed to her. She called out the number of the ticket and then began to cry. Handing the phone to me she mumbled- millions. I again spoke to Mr. Gregory who said it looks like you deserve congratulations ! That ticket has drawn the prize of $22 millions.

I worried even then if this was the start of another ’Difficult Day’.

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