Against The Odds

While we don’t seek to actively avoid it, gambling isn’t something we normally encourage in this house: It just doesn’t come up. Still, our hand was kind of forced this week when a letter from a distant family member arrived with a $1 Scratchie for each of my little darlings.

“If someone wins, how about you all share?” suggested Tracey as the kids sat down around the dining table with their ticket and a ten cent piece.

There were some vague consensual mutters but all the attention was on the possible fortunes in their hands.

“What will you all do with the money if you win?” Tracey asked them, and thinks she heard the word Minecraft and something about lollies. Sadly, the phrase ‘buy Dad beer’ didn’t come up.

They scratched and they scratched and they scratched and soon….

“Nothing,” said Miss9. Then she ‘helped’ Miss3 with hers. “Nothing,” she said again.

But then there was some excitement from the other side of the table.

“I won!” yelled Miss9.

“Good stuff,” said Tracey.

She looked over her daughter’s shoulder.

“Umm….no, you didn’t.”

“Yeah, I did,” insisted Miss9. “I’ve got two tens and two fives. Five plus five equals ten, so I’ve got three tens. I won!”

“It does! That’s great!” said Master8, while Miss3 did a little jig.

“No, I’m sorry,” Tracey informed them. “You need three exactly the same.”

“Like this?” beamed Miss6.

“Good work,” Tracey said. “You won a little bit of money.”

Master8 was checking out the winning ticket too and totally incredulous of his mother’s laid back attitude to the win.

“Mum!” he cried. “Do you even know how much money $25,000 is?!”

Tracey looked at the ticket again, just to reassure herself her daughter had in fact won, not $25,000, but $5. The next thirty seconds was spent convincing the poor little guy you didn’t win the top prize if you matched three numbers.

Not that he would have seen much of it.

“It’s mine!” yelled Miss3, snatching the ticket and running away, followed quickly by her siblings. Meaning, because of gambling, at the tender age of six, she had her first run in with the mob.

“I wonder what the kids would have wanted to buy if they won twenty five grand,” Tracey chuckled later when she retold the story to me.

“A new car,” I said hopefully.

She doesn’t like my odds.

When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’

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  • At the newsagency grabbing a paper when my two children, then 4 and 7 saw the scratchies and begged me to buy one, since they’d seen the ads on TV. I got a $2 scratchy and they took turns carefully scratching a bit each until it was all scratched off and we had won nothing. “Well that was a big waste of time” said Miss4. “Yeah”, said Master7, “We should have just spent $2 on lollies.” Cost $2. Didn’t have to say a word. Both have continued to have a healthy disrespect for gambling. I don’t know what would have happened if we’d won something!

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