A man plays the lottery every week hoping to get the top price, but when he does, life takes away the one thing that matters most and shows him the hardest lesson of all.
Everyone has dreamt of winning the lottery at some point, and Patrick had bought a ticket every week for as long as he can remember. It became more than just a hobby or habit at some point. He knew that someday, God will hear his prayers.
When he married Lily, she was amused by his hobby and even bought him several tickets to increase the odds. However, their financial situation took a hit after their twin daughters were born. Children are pretty expensive, and they only had average jobs.
Patrick worked as a security guard at the local convenience store, while Lily was a janitor at the school. Regardless, they were still pretty happy as a family, and they would gather every Sunday to see the lottery numbers.
Man is praying | Source: Shutterstock
They never won anything, but it was still fun to play until their economy turned more difficult. Every day, Lily worried about their household. The kids turned 10 years old, and they both wanted to participate in extracurricular activities that they couldn’t afford.
One lottery ticket doesn’t set them back, but Patrick had started buying five or more each week. They could definitely enroll the girls in a few after-school activities by saving a few bucks.
“Honey, I think it’s time to limit the number of tickets you buy every week,” Lily said to Patrick after the girls had gone to bed.
“Come on, Lily. The tickets are not worth that much,” he replied.
Couple talking | Source: Pexels
“Years ago, you only bought one or two each week. But now, it’s more, and that’s money we could really use right now. Anna wants to play soccer, and Erica wants to join the chess club,” Lily explained.
“Are they too expensive?” Patrick asked.
“No, that’s the point. Both activities are not that expensive, and we could pay for them if we limit the lottery tickets. It’s the only thing we can cut back on right now,” she added, enthusiastic that Patrick was getting her point.
“Lily, but we might win a huge prize one day, and then we won’t ever have to worry about money,” he said.
A couple staring at each other by the window | Source: Pexels
“Honey, the chances of that happening are almost zero. No one ever wins. That’s why these lotteries accumulate so much money,” she tried to reason.
“Maybe I can look for a second job. I just have a feeling that this is my year. It will happen, Lily, trust me!” Patrick finished and walked away to their bedroom.
Lily sighed. Patrick was a good man, but his lottery obsession was too much. But she decided to leave it at that. Maybe they could cut back on something else to pay for the girls’ activities.
A woman smiling at a smiling man beside her. | Source: Pexels
A few months went by, and Patrick never got a second job. But Lily worked extra time to get the girls what they wanted while he continued to spend money on lottery tickets.
She was getting tired of him ignoring her struggle but didn’t have the energy to fight with him at the end of her additional shifts. The girls were happy, and that’s all that mattered in her book.
On Sunday, while Lily was preparing lunch and the girls played in their rooms, Patrick suddenly yelled, “Yes! I knew it would happen! I told you, Lily!”
A man smiling while seated by the kitchen counter. | Source: Pexels
“What’s going on? Don’t yell so loud,” she said, approaching the living room where her husband was jumping around.
“Look! I won! I mean, we won! It’s a million dollars, baby!” Patrick said.
“That’s impossible. You’re lying!” Lily said, shocked.
“Look at the screen and my ticket!” Patrick continued and showed her. It was true. The ticket showed the same numbers. It was unbelievable!
The following day, Patrick went to claim the prize, and they gave him the money. After paying taxes on their winnings, they decided to buy things they could never afford before. The girls got new clothes, and they even moved to a new house.
Happy to have won | Source: Pexels
They also bought two dream cars and had tons of money left for their children’s college. It was a dream come true for their family. But they never imagined what would happen next.
Patrick was at home with his daughters one day while Lily went to the supermarket. She decided to drive a little faster since there was no one nearby. Suddenly, the brakes didn’t work, and Lily lost complete control of the vehicle.
After speeding for a few miles, the car crashed into a light pole. Luckily, a passerby called 911, and she was rushed to the hospital. But Lily did not survive the surgery.
A smashed hood of a car. | Source: Pexels
A few months later, they heard the car brand recalled those cars for faults in their brake system. But that news would not soothe the pain of their family. The girls were inconsolable. Patrick had no idea what to do now or how to make them smile again.
“I wish we had never won all that money. It was all that stupid car’s fault,” Anna said one day at the dinner table.
“I want my mom back,” Erica replied and looked at her father with tears in her eyes.
“I know, babies. I want that so much too. I never imagined this would happen. I’m so sorry,” Patrick said, knowing his words were not enough. Instead of watching the lottery show on Sundays, he attended church, hoping to talk to God.
Pleading at church | Source: Pexels
“Lord, I’m sorry for the times I ignored my wife. If I knew she was the price to pay for all that money, I would’ve never bought that ticket,” he pleaded. "Please, take all that money and give me my wife back."
That was an impossible request, but Patrick never again bought a lottery ticket.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Money doesn’t matter. Everyone dreams of having a luxurious life, but they should know that it’s not the most important part of living.
2. Family comes first. No matter what happens in life, always put your family before anything else. They matter more than any amount of cash.
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