Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
October 2022
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Lotto Fever

Lotteries, and the people who play them, are an interesting study. There are lots of players who are superstitious and won’t ever consider playing the number thirteen.  And there are others who insist on playing the number thirteen all the time.  Lots of people, for example, play their kids’ birthdays.  Some strategists will play only numbers over 31, hoping to share with as few others as possible if and when they win, right, because there are no birthdays beyond the 31st of a month. Some people play every week and my friend Gaetanno is no exception.

Now, Gaetanno lives in Italy, and he plays the lotto every week, and the lotto in Italy is a little different than ours.  It has sixty numbers and they pick five, and you must pick all five to win. Five out of sixty, not really good odds but that’s what it is.

Anyway, I’m out one day with Gaetanno driving around in his car and he’s listening to his favorite radio station, mostly because he likes the music but also because the station will broadcast the winning numbers.  Not live from the lottery headquarters or anything like that, but whenever they have a minute or two between songs or when they remember to do it, they’ll announce the numbers.

Anyway, here we are driving along and the announcer begins to read the winning numbers.  After the first winning number is announced, Gaetanno begins screaming, blowing his horn, shouting out, “O vento, o vento, I won, I won!” and weaving in and out of traffic, and he hadn’t even heard the other four numbers.

The question is: why doesn’t he need to hear the other numbers to be read? How does he know that he won?  He’s heard one number, and he’s convinced he’s won the lottery.

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3 guesses to Lotto Fever


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  • Metal Warrior

    He chose the numbers 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60.
    The lowest number is usually read first, so 56 was read out first.
    Seeing as there are no lower numbers, all had to be higher, so he knew he had won.

  • Metal Warrior

    He chose the number 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60.
    The radio DJ read out the lowest winning number first.
    This number was 56, so all other numbers had to be higher, so he knew he had won.

  • Dude

    Metal Warrior you nailed it.

    The number chosen was “56.” His numbers were 56, 57, 58, 59 and 60. Gaetanno knew that the numbers were always read consecutively from lowest to highest, so if 56 was the first number read than the other four picks must follow.

    You are today’s winner, today’s winner.