Winning the Lottery

Gayle_Cheyenne bookstoreThis post by Gayle M. Irwin

Someone won Saturday’s Powerball lottery drawing – one ticket holder scooped up more than 400 million dollars. News flash – it wasn’t me!

However, I did purchase three tickets and last week I purchased one. I didn’t win anything last week but this week I got $4.00, winning back the money I put in ($2.00) – my husband and my father each also kicked in $2.00 so we could buy a total of three tickets. I will share the $4.00 winnings with my family members who helped buy tickets – it’s only fair.

Wyoming is new to the Powerball, joining the multi-million-dollar, multi-state lottery a few years ago; prior to that, Wyoming residents traveled to neighboring states, like Colorado and Montana, to purchase lottery tickets. I would often buy a ticket or two when living in and later visiting Montana.wyolotto-ticket

I think many people dream of “hitting the jackpot,” of being that multi-million-dollar winner. Have you ever thought about what you’d do if you won the Powerball lottery, and if so, what would that be? I know I have, and still do. I wonder what that person in Tennessee who won on Saturday will do with all that dough? Had I been the fortunate person, here’s a short list of what I’d do in addition to paying off debt, including the mortgage:

  1. Create an animal sanctuary with no euthanasia (except for extreme conditions, such as medical reasons) – similar to Best Friends in Utah and Luvable Dog Rescue in Oregon.
  2. Donate significantly to combat human trafficking, particularly to A-21 Campaign and Shared Hope International.
  3. Assistance to Elder Care organizations like Meals on Wheels.
  4. Contribute to the development of water wells in third world countries so villages can have clean water.
  5. Set up endowments to food banks, rescue missions, and animal shelters in communities where I’ve lived.
  6. Donate to child health care facilities like Jude, and Native American missions like St. Joseph’s Indian School.

money-and-peopleSome of this I already do, on a very small financial scale –how much more good I could do if I’d have won $400 million on Saturday!

For myself, in addition to creating the sanctuary, I’d quit my day job, buy land, and put a home on that property that has a front porch on which I could sit and quietly enjoy my surroundings – and finally finish that darned novel (no, Novel Writing Month hasn’t gone well for me this year!)

Thanksgiving has come and gone. I had a lovely week: time with my pets at home, sharing dinner with a dear friend, delivering books to new friends, then heading up to Montana to spend Thanksgiving with my parents and having a booksigning on Friday night in the community where, in essence, the book writing began due to Sage’s adoption from a rescue organization in that town back in 2001. Pets, book sales, friends, family, great weather, beautiful scenery – life can’t get much better than that. Oh, money is good – it’s necessary, and if one has a lot of it, a lot of good can be done. But, good can still be done without much money: compassion, kindness, nature, loved ones, talent, sharing – those and more are good gifts.

gayle-and-mom-and-dadPerhaps I’ve won the lottery after all. I may not have a boatload of money to hand out or to put into retirement, but I do have a boatload of blessings.

How about you? For what are you grateful? With whom can you share your talents, your treasures, your time? I think those are good questions for all of us, especially with the holiday season upon us. We all have blessings, we all have gifts, we all have time – let’s share of ourselves, spreading the wealth of compassion, kindness, time, treasure, talent.


Gayle with book buyerGayle M. Irwin is a freelance writer, book author, and blogger who enjoys sharing about the pet-human bond. She writes inspirational pet stories for children and adults, creating her own books as well as being a contributing writer to several Chicken Soup for the Soul collections and to Sundown Press’ July release Pawprints on My Heart. Gayle also speaks in libraries, visits classrooms, and conducts presentations for faith-based and civic organizations. She has a two new books this fall, including a short story collection called Tail Tales and a humorous children’s cat book called BobCat Goes to School. Learn more at

bookcover_tail-tales_front-cover   bobcat-front-cover



14 thoughts on “Winning the Lottery

  1. All thoughts that I have had as far as having blessings, wishing to win the lottery, what to do with it, etc. I wouldn’t put it in all the same places you would, but some of them, and some in other non-profits I support. As well as family. But we do have other blessings to share and time is definitely a blessing to share with those who are shut in due to age or illness especially. Here’s hoping you win one of these times! You are a very generous person and would use it wisely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a fun post to create, Neva, especially considering I’ve played the lottery and dreamed of winning then to hear someone “got it all” on Saturday (but it wasn’t me – LOL). Yes, we all have blessings, whether it’s financial or not, and this is a good time of the year to be mindful of what we have and to share with others. Thanks for the read and lovely comments.


  2. I feel so blessed every day that I’m not sure winning the lottery would change, but of course, I do think about it and occasionally I even buy a ticket. I love your list of “helping” with the money if you were lucky enough to win it. I’ve thought about that too and have my own favorite list of people and organizations I would help. This was the perfect post for the Thanksgiving – Christmas season, Gayle. Let’s hope that the person who won this fantastic jackpot will use some of it for good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are all blessed with things, time, and talent, and yes, it’s wonderful to share — and would be even more splendid if that big jackpot hit one of us. But, in the meantime, as we’ve noted, this is a great time of year to be mindful of the blessings we do have and to share what we can with others who aren’t as fortunate. Thanks for the read and comments, Linda, and I hope you enjoy a delightful holiday season!


  3. The lottery is my husband’s retirement plan. So far it’s not working out very well, but like you I have won the lottery in so many ways. Right now I am listening to the wind chimes, and enjoying the soft warm breeze, it touches my soul. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those special moments are precious and are blessings of themselves, Cher’ley — so glad you have that lovely place in Florida to enjoy, especially during this time of year. Yep, I’ve spent the jackpot a million times over, but, alas, it hasn’t been mine to dole out yet. But, I do what I can when I can and am making plans for 2017 to hopefully have less debt and more to put into retirement and non-profits. Only God knows what will happen in the coming months and years, but doing my part with what He’s given me is also a blessing — and a responsibility. Thanks for reading and commenting and yes, being with my parents was/is a big blessing.


  4. What a fabulous post. Your thoughts and mine are on the same frequency. We all are winners when we look at the big picture. Thanks for the reminder. Doris


  5. Sharon’s dream is to win the lottery. The dream’s been around for nearly 20 years — and it’s still just a dream. I’ve never bought a lottery ticket. I don’t have luck. Sharon and I and some other friends use to play D&D back in the 1980s in Central Florida. One time my character was trying to navigate his way along a rooftop. I had to roll a 20-sided die to see how he did. Only a 1 would see him die. Guess what I rolled? Had to create a new character. Lol.


  6. Our equivalent is the Euromillions, I suppose, and the UK National Lottery options but I’ve rarely bought a ticket over the decades of them running. If I won a shipload, I have absolutely no idea what I’d do with it but being a natural canny Scot I guess it would stay safely in a bank until I worked that out! One can dream of new things and being generous but as you write, a little kindness rather than money can go a longer way.


  7. I think I better start playing the lottery here. Winning would be amazing. I could do so much to help my community and set up housing for those without, and put money into drug and alcohol rehabilitation, with my goal set to create happiness with less poverty.
    It would be something. Maybe one day!


  8. If I won the lottery I would need to hide half of it before hubby got a chance to spend it all. Once that was done I think a leave of absence from work would be in order along with a multi month road trip. Given the time I would do something special to help preserve every location I visited. Yes money would help preserve many natural locations, however time can be just as important. Having the ability to help with trail and landscape maintenance working on repairs to office space or informational displays, contacting the powers that be and enlighten them to the importance of wild spaces, the list goes on and on. Okay so maybe I need to put some of these things on my to do list for 2017, even if I don’t hit the lottery.


  9. Great post, Gayle. I think you’re very rich with love and life. But yes, it’d be great to win the lottery, right? I’ve never played and am not a gambler at all (never even gambled once when I was in Vegas two months ago). I bought a lottery ticket once for my ex-husband at his request and had no idea what I was doing.


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