On not winning the lottery

I regret to announce that I did not win the lottery. I am firmly convinced that I would make an awesome eccentric millionaire. To give an example, one idea I had was that I would set up a foundation called (say) Our Alien Overlords, and sponsor PBS shows and museum exhibits. Imagine how awesome it would be to hear “This episode of NOVA was sponsored by Our Alien Overlords”, or to be at a museum and read “This Exhibit Was Funded by A Donation From Our Alien Overlords”.

Luck (Part 2), in which I actually win something

I’m too mathematically minded to gamble in Vegas, but I still find myself thinking that I’ve been unlucky when it comes to winning contests and prize draws. Rudyard Kipling would say that I won God’s lottery, but somehow that’s small consolation. The feeling of unluckiness started in childhood. My cousin managed to win money on the Premium Bonds several times (as I recall), but I never did. I continued to enter pretty much any free contest I encountered, year after year, even if it meant actually reading the junk mail sent to me by Reader’s Digest.

Luck (Part 1), or TMI

“Uncle Joe” once said: A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. I’m not entirely sure what he meant, and it’s possible that it lost something in translation. I take it to mean that we are more affected by one death we are personally involved in, than a million we know little about. I’ll admit that when I read about many strangers dying in some distant land, it’s a lot less upsetting than hearing about a single person dying whom I happen to have met; even if the victim is someone I only met a couple of times, their tragic death will still make me pause to re-evaluate things.