Sorry Gang-We Might Not Win The Lottery Tonight

mellencampAnd there's winners, and there's losers

But they ain't no big deal.

John Mellencamp-1983

Hail, Hail, the Labs all in!  Who wouldn't want to grab a shot at the billion dollar Powerball prize. So for the third time in the last week we have all ponied up our two dollars, and now we all have a share of 20 tickets, and a shot at early retirement. Well, OK, it wouldn't be THAT early a retirement for me. But sadly, I think we will all be here tomorrow, making slides, spinning test tubes, peering through microscopes. It's not just that the odds are against us. The odds are against everyone. No, what my lab mates failed to consider is that having me buy in lowers the groups chances even more.

Let me count the things I lose at. We can start with every lottery ticket I have ever bought. Whether it was a computer quick pick or a carefully thought out series of choices involving birthdays, anniversaries and number of children, I rarely match more than two of the winning numbers. Not even enough to win my money back. Horse racing? The annual "Day at the Race Track" sponsored by my old hospital? I might as well have torn up my dollar bills. My horses all trailed the field. Barb could do better just picking the winners by the horse's name. After all, she KNEW Barbaro was going to win the Kentucky Derby in 2006. Why didn't we bet on that one?

I have lost every basketball game I have played in the last 20 years, a majority of tennis matches, and innumerable games of Password. Fantasy football? Hah! If I remember to make my picks, I get them all wrong and end up at the bottom. Except in leagues where the worst player gets a prize. Then I am sure to finish second to last. Add It's Academic (Sullivan High School, Class of '72) and Jeopardy (Alex Trebeck, 1989) to my litany of losses, and a pretty impressive portfolio can be created.

Have I won anything? I had a pretty good winning streak on the late Roy Leonard's radio show back in the '80's. I specialized in answering questions about rock music that most of his 80 year old listeners weren't up on. With that demographic, I had plenty of time to be the 8th caller with the right answer. And come to think of it, I did win four Board of Education elections. I was unopposed every time, but somewhere I am sure a Mickey Mouse write in campaign has triumphed over an overconfident candidate, so I consider my wons hard fought ones. Finally there have been two NCAA March Madness brackets that I have cashed in on (Kentucky, 1978 AND Kentucky, 2012. Go Cats!) Hey, maybe I am not such a loser after all. Fellow labbies, we are going to win!

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