May always chose the same numbers. 24 (her mother’s birthday), 19 (her birthday), 12 (because it was a multiple of 3 and that was her favorite number), 8 (because it was a ‘nice-looking’ number… and yes, her friends at the nursing home had told her she was weird), 2 (just because) and 1 (no reason).
Every week she would insist on walking down to her local newsagent to put the Lotto on. Her doctor at the nursing home would “tut-tut” and her only daughter would tell her she’d drive, but still, May would walk. Granted it took her a little longer than it used to, but at 92, that was hardly surprising. Everything took her a little longer these days.
Norm, the owner of the newsagent would say, “Here she comes! May Day, May Day!” and pretend to hide behind the counter. May liked his sense of humor. He was at least 30 years younger than her, but if he’d asked her to marry him, she’d have said yes. No point in dilly-dallying around at her age. Who knew how much time she had left? Why not spend it having fun?
May always took the Gold Lotto on a Saturday night because it had the biggest jackpot and if she won, she knew her daughter would be set for life. Not that she needed 4 million dollars, but still, it wouldn’t hurt. May didn’t have any grandkids and her husband was long dead, so there was no one left to leave her money to and no one around to squabble over it when she died. One of her friends at the nursing home had died a few months back and oh the drama with the reading of the will. The way her friend’s sons and daughters had fought over who got what was disgusting. She shuddered. Nope, she was glad she didn’t have to worry about that.
A voice brought her out of her daydream.
“May, it’s Lotto time!”
She heaved herself slowly up from the chair and hobbled across the room to the sofa which was next to the TV.
“Reckon you’ll win tonight,” her friend, Eileen said as she sat down next to her.
“Ah well, there’s always a chance hey?” May replied.
They watched as the balls bounced around in the bubble before the first one slid down the narrow tube and into the cage.
“Number 2 will start us off,” said the presenter. “And the next one down, number 19. The third ball is number 24, followed by number 8.”
Eileen grabbed May’s wrist and gasped.
May didn’t react. There were two balls still to go and she’d been playing this for 25 years and never won a thing. Why should tonight be any different?
“The second last number is number 12 and the final ball for tonight’s draw is…”