I tell people that I have the best job in the world and part of it being so awesome is that oftentimes I get to go out and talk to the public about a variety of topics, not just sports.
In all the Powerball madness, the bosses asked me to go out and show people buying tickets and the overall frenzy that is going on now with the jackpot up to 1.5 billion.
But, this happened on January the 6th, when it was at 500 million. I was at a gas station in town doing live reports for channel 4 and in between segments, this guys walks up to me and this is, to the best of my ability to remember, our conversation. He was about mid-fifties, jeans, hat, scraggly beard, and a McCloud jacket. (If you don’t remember the TV show McCloud, I am sorry.)
“Hey man, you the TV guy?”
Standing with mic in my hand and shirt that says, ‘WSMV.’ “Yes sir, how are you?”
“You playing Powerball?”
“Yes sir, every week. You?”
“Let me tell you something. Listen closely.” He was already a foot away from my face.
“If you win, here is what you do. You leave town. Leave. Don’t tell a soul. Just leave. Check into a hotel. Give them a fake name and pay with cash. When they ask your name, say, it doesn’t matter.”
“Is that Italian?” I replied. He didn’t either understand the joke or thought it wasn’t funny. I am going with the first one on this.
“Take your ticket to a bank. I don’t give a damn, what bank, just take it to one. Sign it and put it in the safe deposit box. Don’t tell a soul that it is worth anything. When they ask why you are putting a powerball ticket in there, you tell them it is none of their G.D. business. You got me on this?”
“Umm, sure. Can I ask you a quick question?”
“Make it quick.”
“Have you ever won the Powerball or anything?”
“I have not so when you have the ticket in the box, you don’t go back for a week. Set up camp in whatever town you are in and talk to no one. After the first week, go check on the ticket every other day but do not fall into a routine. Do not do that.”
“Well, if you go every other day, is that not a routine?”
“I said every other day, are you listening at all?”
“Sure man, what is next?”
“Where was I? Oh yes, after you know who your friends are, go flag down a cop in this town. Tell him you have the ticket and have him drive you to wherever you get your money. Some bank or store, hell I don’t know.”
He pats me on the back and walks off, only to return 15 seconds later.
“Hey, you and me? We never talked.”
And y’all, never read this.