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Jessie: In New Hampshire, until school finally gets out for the year!

lotto-484801_1920I spent several days last week with friends and over dinner one evening the conversation turned to the topic of luck. My friends each mentioned that they usually play the lottery when the prize grew to mind-boggling levels. They were incredulous when I said that I never  buy a ticket myself. They wanted to know why it was that I never took a chance and invested a mere dollar for a shot at the enormous prize.

I replied that wasn’t the way luck seems to show up in my life. While I think of myself as a very lucky person raffles, lotteries and prizes awarded for being the correct caller to a radio show are not where my good fortune ever seems to appear. The conversation moved on but I continued to mull the notion of luck over again and again.

I realized with suprise that I believe my luck might be finite and that I daren’t squander it on things I’ve never shown an aptitude for in the past. Bargains are my strength. Perhaps it is genetic or maybe it is the result of being raised in a part of the world that values thrift. Whatever the reason, I have been blessed with the knack of finding just what I want at a price I am delighted to pay.

Startlingly good deals on everything from cashmere sweaters, to knitting needles to real estate appear in my orbit in a pleasing and predictable way. I realised I am almost afraid to ask for more by stopping in at the local convenience store for a lottery ticket. Somewhere in the back of my mind lurks the shadowy belief that the universe will withold its generosity if I exhibit such greed.

I’ve also been incredibly fortunate in my family, my friends, my colleagues and my readers. I feel luckier than I can say to have so much love and support and fun in my life and can’t imagine risking such blessings.

Perhaps it is silly to believe in luck at all. Surely it is superstitious to think that I am an important enough entitiy to be under such cosmic scrutiny. Still, I find I am happy to pass up the purchase of a scratch ticket if it means I can keep receiving all the bounty I have thus far. My life is more than lucky enough already!

Readers, do you believe in luck? If so, in which ways are you lucky? One lucky Murder Flies The Coopcommenter will receive an advanced reading copy of my upcoming Beryl and Edwina mystery, Murder Flies the Coop!

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76 Thoughts

  1. If I say I feel lucky, will that jinx my chance to win your book? I’m not particularly lucky at winning things, but I feel very lucky in life in general. I’ve had an amazing life and though much of it I owe to working for it, I also know I’ve been fortunate in so many ways that I can only call it luck.

    Would it help to say I chose your first Beryl and Edwina for our cozy book club discussion in September?

  2. Yes, I believe in luck. I don’t believe luck runs out for a person though. And yet, I never play the lottery either. I guess in my case I just have too many other things I’d rather spend my dollars on!

  3. That’s a take on luck I’ve never thought of, Jessie, but it makes sense. And you’re wise not to squander the blessings you already have!

  4. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it is hard to say whether you’ve won or lost.

  5. I buy the occasional lottery ticket. I find I often say I’m so lucky when talking about getting published. My husband always corrects me and says, “No. You work really hard.” But a tad bit of luck entered in the first time being ready for it is on me. (Why is that so hard to say?”

      1. I agree on that definition of luck. Some people work really hard and still don’t achieve their goals, because the opportunities never line up.

        I play a minimal amount on the lottery, because you can’t win if you don’t play, but I am very realistic about the odds of winning. Instead, I look at it as a small additional investment in our public schools.

  6. Really interesting thought about luck being finite. I don’t buy lottery tickets, but randomly think I have as good a chance as any in winning today, kwim!?

    1. I am sure that you do. I expect that my expectations are the finite problem for me, not the reality of universal law. Hope you win if you purchase a ticket!

  7. I’m afraid I’m one of those “lucky” people who often wins stuff. If there’s a drawing at an event,usually for a gift basket or a box of candy or a bottle of wine, I’m surprised when I DON’T win! Though the prizes are usually small , I once won a brand new automobile, and another time I won a trip to the Virgin Islands! My favorite prize ever was a week at a spa! LIke Sherry, I feel that I’m lucky about being published too. I do work hard, but the luck seems to be with landing the work on the right desk on the right day! (I buy three $1 Lotto tickets a week and the state of Florida is way ahead of me on that game!. Rarely buy a scratch-off, but once won $400 on a $1 one!)

  8. I have been very lucky and fortunate in my friends and family. To me that is the best luck of all!

  9. I’ve been thinking a lot.about the blessings in my life lately, which are many and include The Wickeds. This post makes me think about luck, and I’m not sure I believe in it either. To an extent we make our own luck by being prepared when an opportunity comes up. That said, i occassionly play the lottery, and call to.Lady Luck then. Great post, complicated topic!

  10. I don’t buy lottery tickets. Any more.

    In about 1983 or thereabouts, Ohio had a then-record pot of $24 million, just after they switched from a five-digit jackpot to a six-digit one. My husband and I got all excited and decided to buy a ticket. A single ticket. We came up with our number based on dates, like our birthdays, etc. (Which now I can’t remember.) Then Steve went off to purchase the ticket.

    The day of the drawing we turned on the TV and glued ourselves in front of it with ticket in hand. Then watched as number after number matched our ticket. Until the last one, which was different.

    We were so disappointed. And I–who never throws anything away–dropped the ticket in the trash.

    A few days later we learned that our five matching numbers would have won us a payout of $100,000 or thereabout. Not $24 million, but a potful of money to newlyweds who were both self-employed.

    I’m philosophical about it now, and know that our lives would have been changed in a lot of ways if we’d collected that money, probably some of them not as positive. But oh, how that hurt.

  11. I, too, have never bought a lottery ticket. I think it’s from the values instilled in me to work hard and earn what you want. To achieve in this world is not a matter of luck, but hard work. If you’ve had to scrap to make ends meet and count all the pennies hoping to find one or two to make it, then you, like me, seem to be less apt to toss money to the wind like with lottery tickets. I know some win and go on to great things, but there are too many stories of folks winning those lotteries and then finding out that money doesn’t bring happiness ending up worse off than they were before a few years down the road.

    From someone that knows, maybe on a smaller scale, money definitely does not bring happiness. Money doesn’t buy love or friends (not REAL friends). It won’t bring back a loved one you’ve lost and won’t make the grief go away. It may buy a big house, cars and other worldly things but honest if you don’t work for them to appreciate them their meaning and joy isn’t near the same.

    We all think we are lucky at times whether it’s that coin we found or landing that new job, but I feel it’s more of our destiny – a matter of being where we are suppose to be doing what we are suppose to be doing at that particular time.

    Yes, I am very blessed in my life. I have an amazing husband, the retirement home of my dreams and enough money to not have to count pennies as often as I once did, but I don’t look at it as luck but rather listening to my heart in telling me what my God wants me to do and then following through with the effort and work to achieve it.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of “Murder Flies the Coop”. I’d love to read about the adventures of Beryl and Edwina.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  12. I don’t play the lottery because the great support it was supposed to be for schools never happened. But I have a lucky life with great husband, kids, and grandkids. I’m also a cancer and stroke survivor, and that’s enough luck for anyone!

  13. I feel that I have been pretty lucky in life in general, with a great family and good friends. But when it comes to any game of chance, which the lottery is, I am certainly not lucky! My daughter is most of the time, and I have friends who seem to win things often, but that is never me!

  14. For the longest time, the only thing I’d ever won was a lamp in a raffle. Then I finally won James Taylor tickets – that was lucky! That was back in 1996 – I had a drought up until last November when I won on my first spin of a slot machine – $402. I want to say I don’t believe in luck, only chances, but I am forever crossing my fingers over this or that, so apparently I do!! I hope I’m lucky enough to win your book.

  15. Tried to post this once before, but it vanished.

    I don’t play the lottery. Any more.

    In about 1983 Ohio’s lottery went from five digits to six, and the jackpot zoomed up to a record, at that time, of $24 million. We got all excited and decided to buy A ticket. We agonized over the numbers, and finally came up with a combination of digits that somehow included important dates.

    The night of the drawing we were glued in front of the TV, ticket in hand, watching the numbers match ours, one by one. Until the last, which was different. I was so disappointed that I uncharacteristically pitched the ticket into the trash.

    The garbage got collected before we realized that our five numbers would have netted us some $100,000. Which, while not $24 million, would still have been a significant amount for two self-employed newlyweds.

    I often think of how different our lives would be now, if we had collected that money. In many ways, I’m sure it would be as much of a detriment to our happiness as otherwise.

    1. omg, I’m dying for you, Karen. I don’t think I’d ever be able to get over that. I’m glad you have a better perspective on it!

      1. Well, what choice did we have, Korina?

        One thing we would have done was to travel to England later that year. I ended up getting pregnant just after Thanksgiving, but we might not have had our amazing daughter, if we’d gotten the overseas travel bug at that time. I’m not sure how our marriage would have gone, either, if we had not had to pull together so well back then.

        But I am a great believer in the “things happen for a reason” school of thought. Who are we to say this was not the best ending for the story?

    2. I love this story and your attitude so much. When you frame that lost lottery ticket as a question of “would I rather have $100K or my daughter,” how can you not be grateful for how everything turned out?

  16. In the words of the Roman philosopher Seneca, I believe “Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity.”

    But if the universe wants to throw a winning scratch-off ticket my way (I get them infrequently as gifts), I won’t turn it away. 🙂

  17. I’m lucky at winning little things, although I’m not sure if it’s luck or persistence. My husband buys lottery tickets, but we never win anything. I am “lucky” enough to be blessed with said husband and family. Thank you for the chance to win.

  18. My husband used to have the convenience store association as a client and they had access to a study that said, basically, people “play their dreams.” So if four figures is a life changing amount for you, you play the daily number. If five figures is, you play scratch tickets, and so on. People in really wealthy suburbs wouldn’t buy until the prize was into the hundreds of millions. A life changing amount.

    Perhaps there is no amount that would change your life in such a positive way that you would buy that ticket. Though you do miss all those arguments with your husband about what you’re going to do with your (entirely imaginary) money. They are very enlightening.

    1. Interesting perspective, Barb.

      My mother used to play bingo, and once won $400. This was in about 1971 or ’72, when that was more than she brought home for a month of fulltime office work. It was indeed a life changing amount for her.

  19. I believe in luck to an extent … like others have said I win little things occasionally but have never bought a lottery ticket. I’m not sure why … I guess I just think there’s not much of a chance of me winning so I don’t want to spend the money on the ticket? Thanks for the chance to win!

  20. If I’m supposed to win the lottery, I will stumble over the winning ticket without having to buy it.

    Not that this doesn’t stop me from dreaming of winning, especially on a Monday morning when I want to go back to sleep instead of out the door to work.

  21. I believe, and I think that is all that it takes for some people, to just believe. When my daughter was a student at UVM she studied Philosophy, actually got her degree in it. She came home one semester and told me all about “manifest destiny” and how I could “manifest myself a closer parking space” when shopping in the cold Maine winters. I tried it, and wouldn’t you know it, I think it worked. I don’t remember often to “manifest good luck”, I like to be surprised by life, but when I really concentrate and try it for something like a parking space, it usually works. Is it the Universe working with me? Or is it luck? Not sure, but it is fun to speculate! On a different note, my daughter is the moderator of a local book club at the Foss Mansion in Auburn. Last fall we all read one of Barbara Ross’s books as our monthly selection, and most of us enjoyed it. I am thinking of suggesting Murder in an English Village for this fall, (we meet September to May). I personally loved it and I think our “Wine and Words” friends might also.

    1. My husband does that with parking spaces and openings at toll booths. It works well for him! Thanks so much for you kind words about my work! I would love to know if you choose my book for your group. I could run up and meet with you if your group would like for me to do so! I love visiting book clubs!

    2. I’m so glad “most of you” enjoyed my book. LOL.

      I heartily recommend Murder in an English Village for your book club. I loved it!

      1. Personally I love your books Barbara. Some people aren’t into Cozy mysteries, as I am sure you know, but I would say 90 % of our book club loved Clammed Up. Some ladies even did what I did and bought the entire series to read, kindle or PB. I am ‘of an age’ to have enjoyed over 5000 books, easy, maybe twice that number. From Carolyn Keene in the 60’s to Rosemary Rogers, etal , in the 70’s, my tastes have evolved. These days I fluctuate between Cozies, murder mysteries from Kathy Reichs amd Partricia Cornwell, and paranormal mysteries from authors like Ilona Andresws, Karen Marie Moning and Dakota Cassidy. Books are my addiction, I still own many after reading them, and my kindle is full! I love the new authors I m being introduced to with the newsletter, please keep writing and taking us to new places.

  22. Like you, I’m not one who wins when there’s a door prize or raffle, though I do enter, in the spirit of fundraising for a good cause. My luck is more along the lines of being able to find exactly the right example or quotation when I need it — really a much more useful form! I don’t play the lottery but my cousin won a big (life-changing) amount in the NY State lottery. Sensibly, he’s not changed his life much. He took his dad on a big trip, and he and his family moved to a nicer house — that’s about it. I imagine he probably gives more to his church than he did before. Otherwise… the same guy, just grateful. I think that’s probably a good response to good luck!

  23. Here is a famous quote to live by, “Good Luck is just hard work in disguise!”

  24. Lady Luck always seems to surprise me with something nice whenever I am a little down or just need a pick me up!

  25. I have been lucky winning many free books from favorite authors and a few other prizes but I don’t play the lottery either no reason why but the odds seem so high.

  26. I do believe in luck as in good luck and bad luck. I also believe many instances of luck have more to do with common sense. For instance, you could win a prize but only if you actually entered the contest. Thank you for the opportunity for some good luck!

  27. I believe in blessings more than luck.. hopefully, I’ll be blessed and win the advanced copy!

  28. Never thought about it! I don’t think I’m lottery lucky, but I am chance lucky. If I find myself delayed there is usually a reason and I’ve avoided an awful fate. If I miss a flight, it generally ends up getting diverted and delayed or turned back. That kind of thing, but lottery lucky…I may be with you, Jessie and happy with the luck I have!

  29. I think luck is all about the good energy you put out there and how positive you are and how you accept challenges.

  30. I never bought a lottery ticket until a few years before I retired. I was hoping to win and retire earlier but I didn’t so had to wait to get health insurance. Our lottery supports free bus service for seniors so I can ride intown to see my friends once a week or so for free. I won’t do the parking garages. I have won books and a few other things over the years.

  31. I do believe in luck. Or fate or whatever. I like your luck of bargains. I do play lottery because you never know. My luck is finding money in pay phones or vending machines or those change into paper money in grocery stores. It’s never a lot, but it does add up. Goes into my daughter’s college fund.

  32. I think it depends on how you define luck. You can be lucky in your personal life but not in other aspects of life. I also believe there are ups and downs in life and the same with luck.

  33. I am not sure if I believe in luck, but I do things that are intended to help. You know find and save 4 leaf clovers, touch a button when I see a pig. Mostly I give my 4 leaf clovers to my family and feel like by sharing them to get them good luck, I get some residual good luck, lol. I love every series you write. Cannot wait for the release of this one. kayt18(at) comcast (dot) net

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