News broke earlier this week that an Owensboro, Kentucky woman snagged a pretty big Kentucky Lottery jackpot. And, she did it on a scratch-off ticket!

Brittany Matthews stopped by the Masonville Food Mart last Wednesday to grab a Diet Coke. While she was there, she also bought a $5 scratch-off ticket. That ticket won her a purse-shattering $100,000!

Brittany's story reminded me of Russell Turner's story from last year. Y'all remember what happened to him? Russell stopped by a convenient store in his hometown of Somerset, Kentucky and won even more money. He hit a $2,000,000 jackpot! On a scratch-off ticket!

There's no doubt their stories got me thinking and reminiscing. I realize that to win the lottery you need to actually play the lottery and I rarely do. Sure, when the Powerball jackpot climbs up over a half billion dollars, I'll grab a ten dollar bill or even a twenty and buy some Quick Picks down at the Marathon station. But, as a general rule, I am not much of a gambler. In fact, I actually get angry if I lose money. I'll spend it all day long, but I detest LOSING it.

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But, way back in April of 1989, the month the Kentucky Lottery official launched, I was in it to win it. Well, confession. My friend Jenny and I were in it together and we desperately wanted to win it because we were broke. I was a senior in high school and had basically blown through my allowance for the week. Jenny had graduated, but she was broke as hell too. So, on April 4th, the first day of scratch-off sales, we managed to scrounge up just enough money ($2 in change) to buy a lottery ticket from the Pantry convenient store that was just down from my house in Thruston out on Kentucky Highway 144.

At the time, there were only two games to choose from. One was called Beginner's Luck. It cost a dollar. The second was called Kentucky Derby Dreamstakes. It cost $2. That's the one we got.

Wouldn't you know? The first ticket we bought was a winner!  We won a whopping $20, which, back in 1989, was enough to pay for dinner and a movie.

Dan Dennis/Unsplash
Dan Dennis/Unsplash

I remember us driving down the road and yelling "PLAY THE LOTTERY!" at random people.

But, as promising as that first foray into the Kentucky Lottery was for me, I haven't squat since. And, I'll own my jealousy. I see stories like Brittany's and Russell's and I grow a little green with envy- for the amount of green they've won.

But, hey! I will always have my memories of the Pantry and scrounging coins out from underneath the seat of my Mercury Topaz and winning that $20, which took us all of about two hours of a movie to blow through. It wasn't quite 100K, but it sure seemed like it at the time.


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