Friday night, I made two mistakes. Since I’m the backup goalie for the UR Men’s Ice Hockey team, I assumed I wasn’t going to play, so I ate a McDonald’s double cheeseburger, dollar menu fries and a dollar menu Coke less than an hour before the game. After wolfing down my meal in the parking lot so that my coach VJ wouldn’t see me, I went into the locker room, where the captain was collecting the $50 we owed him for 50/50 raffle tickets. My wallet was empty. So, with half an hour before warm-ups, I had to run to an ATM to get some cash. I paid for my tickets and wrote my name down on all ten of them, because I had no time to try to sell them to anyone else besides team members. I turned out to not be the only one who had not been a prominent sales man. The entire team had bought their tickets and then not sold them to anyone else as well.

After the second period, despite the excellent playing of our starting goalie Dinesh, it was obvious that we were significantly outmatched with the Mercyhurst Lakers. VJ told Dinesh he was done for the night and gave me the nod to start loosening up. I played about the best third period I could, given the dominance of Mercyhurst and the dollar menu meal lodged in my stomach. It wasn’t particularly pretty.

Meanwhile, the 50/50 raffle, which is usually done during intermission in the rink, was moved to the locker room after the game, since no one outside of the team held a ticket. As we took off our equipment, I joked with Dinesh that we should agree to split the pot if either of us won, thereby doubling our chances of winning at least something. We decided that if either of us did actually win, we would obviously declare the deal null and void on the spot and try to keep the money for ourselves. I won.

This was the second time I had ever won anything in my life. The only other thing was $60 on a scratch-off lottery ticket, I had gone in halfsies on it with my friend Eric, and we just used the money to buy a BB gun from Walmart. This was the real deal. The prize was $500, and I donated $100 back to the team, which left me with a roll of twenties totaling $400.

I’ve heard that lottery winners are no happier if not less happy – in the long run – with their newfound riches. The long run started about an hour later for me. I found myself sitting in my room, still smelling faintly like hockey equipment, debating what to do with it. I figured I’d need to save at least $200 for spending money for the rest of the semester, which left me with $200 to blow on anything I wanted. The trouble was, I couldn’t think of anything.

Rather than spend all $200 on one big item, I bought the following items – a new stylus for my record player, the “High Fidelity” DVD, $10 in scratch off tickets that won $4 back, a winter hat, an Iowa Hawkeyes baseball jersey that I only bought because it was cheap on eBay and seemed like a good idea at the time and a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts for my suitemates. After buying all this crap, I realized that none of it made me particularly excited. This, of course, doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for my new small fortune, or that I won’t come up with something really awesome to buy. But realistically, I’ll probably just fritter it away on beer, bowling and a couple more scratch-off tickets.

Voigt can be reached at

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