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The Lottery
by Howard Reeves


“Congratulations, Mr. Lambert, you’ve just won the lottery!”

“You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Oh, my God!  The lottery?”

“Yes, Mr. Lambert, you are the winner of one million dollars. How do you feel about that, sir?”

“Hold on, my wife’s on the other phone. Honey? You’re not gonna believe this—we won the lottery!”

“What lottery?”

“Well, I’m not sure.”

“Hello… Mr. Lambert?”

“Hang on—no, not you sweetheart, I’m talkin’ to the guy on the other phone.”

“Well ask him what lottery we won.”

“Hey, Mister, what lottery did we win?”

“You have won the Middle Minnesota Weekly Winner Lottery. Congratulations to you and your family! What do you plan to do with your winnings?”

“Um, I don’t know—yet—hold on. Honey, what’re we going to do with the money?”

“Are you kidding? Between the taxes we’ll have to pay and the fee the bank will charge to keep it, we’ll probably blow it all in six months.”

“Mr. Lambert, are you ready to accept your lottery winnings?”

“Uh, yeah, well, sure—maybe. Hold on. Hon, should we just forget about it?”

“Are you crazy?”

“But you said—”

“Never mind what I said.”

“Mr. Lambert?”


“Your lottery winnings, sir, how would you like that sent to you?”

“How do you usually send it?”

“The preferred method is direct deposit. What bank do you use?”

“Uh, hold on. Hello, hon?  He wants to know the name of our bank so they can send the money. Should I tell him?”

“Is this some kind of scam?”

“I don’t know, it sounds kosher.”

“Hello? Mr. Lambert?”

“I gotta talk to him, honey—hold on. Hello, Mister? How else can we get the money?”

“You can pick it up at our office and get your photo taken with your check.”

“Hang on. Honey, do we want our picture taken with the check?”

“Yeah, that’s all we need—people recognizing us, stopping us on the street, telling us all their sob stories. C’mon, get real.”

“Hello, Mister?”

“Yes, Mr. Lambert?”

“Okay, we want the money, but we don’t want it sent to our bank and we don’t want our picture taken at your office. Any other options?”

“We can Fed Ex it to you, if you prefer.”

“Wait a sec. Honey, how about if they Fed Ex it to us?”

“That’s overnight, right?”

“I guess—hold on. Mister, is that overnight?”

“We can do that.”

“Yeah, Hon, they can overnight it.”

“Wait a minute, isn’t tomorrow the day we take the kids to your mother’s?”

“Uh, yeah—why?”

“Well, I don’t want a check sitting outside our front door while we’re gone.”

“Okay, so what should I tell him?”

“What do you think? He’s got to come up with another way.”

“Hello, Mister?”

“Yes, Mr. Lambert?”

“Listen, I don’t know how we’re going to do this. We don’t want to go through the bank, and we don’t want any publicity photos. And my mother will make our lives miserable if she doesn’t see the kids tomorrow. So why don’t we just save a lot of grief and forget the whole thing.”

“Good choice, Mr. Lambert. With the economy in turmoil, we really don’t have the money to give you anyway. Goodbye.”