I hate Ernie Pullen. I even hate Bonne Terre, Mo. Never met him. Never been there. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that Pullen, 57, has won the damn lottery — twice. Now, if I already had won the lottery and made that crucial decision about cash or annuity, it would be one thing. But I have never hit it big. All right, I won $1,000 one time. Big deal.
I have been buying lottery tickets since Maine started selling them, which I estimate at 25 years ago. If memory serves (it rarely does) we all bought Megabucks tickets on the premier night when we were skiing in North Conway. Tickets in hand, we watched the televised drawing, chanting “Money! Money! Money!”
Didn’t work then. Doesn’t work now.
Let’s say it has been 25 years. I would guess that I averaged at least $2 a week in tickets. According to my Roslindale High School math that would add up to $2,600. (I am sure I have spent much more than that.)
A wise man once said. “The lottery is a tax on the stupid.”
Not only did Ernie-boy win the lottery twice, he won it twice this year.
The odds had been computed as one in 1.36 million when Ernie scratched off his “100 Million Dollar Blockbuster” ticket in June. All right, he did not win the $100 million, but he did pocket $1 million.
Ernie is like me. Even if I won the lottery, I would keep buying tickets because you never have enough. Not really. I want to have more money than John Wallace and Al Ockenfels, so I can lord it over them. Plus, I want to see the look on Gary Fowlie’s face when I show up with the winning ticket at his Overpriced Emporium in Camden.
Our boy Ernie kept buying the tickets and on Sept. 17, he doubled his winnings to $2 million.
That’s just not fair.
“That was his second time winning,” said (obvious alias) Misty Eye, store manager of the Miller’s Quick Shop that sold Pullen the prizewinner. “He acted like it was no big deal.”
Pullen could not be reached for comment, but lottery officials said he told them he had had a dream that he won the lottery and considers himself “a lucky guy.”
Pullen opted to take a lump sum cash payment worth $1.3 million before taxes after his latest win. He plans to use some of the money to fix up his house.
Just think of what I could do to Cobb Manor with $1.3 million. First would be the swimming pool to see if my ex-children would ever visit. Then there would be a new private apartment in the barn to keep me away from the riff-raff. The apartment would have a deck overlooking the pool, naturally.
The mud driveway would finally be tarred and a new BMW Series 5 would be sitting there. Black, with driving lights. I would drive by Bob Besaw’s house twice a day, beeping the horn just to rub it in. I believe Besaw’s chariot is a lowly Series 3 Beemer.
There would be a new BMW motorcycle in the barn. Naturally, I would never ride it. It would just sit, shiny and new beside the unused kayaks, canoes and bicycles.
I would keep Cobb Manor just because Grinch-mean John Wallace once predicted I would never stay in “that dump” if I won the lottery. But of course, I would also get a place on the ocean on Sanibel Island. It would be so nice that it would be a daily struggle to leave to see the (third-place) Red Sox at spring training over in Fort Myers.
I would have a four-bedroom, waterfront place on Sanibel and have an open house for all my friends. I might even invite Ernie Pullen, just to compare notes.
But not John Wallace.