Saturday, January 7, 2012


PowerBall without the PowerPlay
posted by Melissa Baumgart
Here's a lesson for you.  When you play Powerball, always play the power play.  Always.  It could mean the difference between winning only $3.00 and winning a whopping $12.00!  Yes, sadly this happened to me.  Imagine my dismay when I saw "Winner $12.00" on the screen when I checked my tickets online, only to see that I had not played the power play.  That's the last time that will happen.  Well, once I figure out how to actually play the power play on the machine I bought my tickets from.

I also entered more sweepstakes online.  I entered to win the same trip to Palm Springs that Amy did, as well as multiple shopping sprees and various little prizes like books and kitchen gadgets.  There's a sort of thrill for me at first, like I am throwing caution to the wind and doing the unthinkable...sending my info into the ether waves for all to find, anything could happen, don't people warn about doing this kind of thing?  It feels risky and promising, hopeful even.  I have these moments where I picture myself winning, holding or using the prize, walking around in my new dream home on Provo River in Utah, depositing a big check (yes, I picture the one that's actual size is bigger than my body) into my local credit union.

Then at some point all that imaginary fervor gets wiped away by obsessive key clacking and google searching.  Entering the same info over and over, I start to feel like a junkie, like some lonely person sitting in front of a computer screen all day, unkept and smelly.  Thankfully, given the fact that I have school at 8am every day, a family to take care of and more school to attend throughout the day, this is not my life.  But I do wonder if there are people out there doing this all day.  And what's more?  Do they win?

Does anyone win?  Is this some wild goose chase?  I mean you should see some of these sites loaded with lists of sweepstakes to enter, they do not look reputable.  If I can pass that judgement to an internet site, the way you would to a brick and mortar business.  I try to keep my entries to places I have heard of, or people I my good friends Oprah and Rachel Ray, HGTV, The Food Channel.

So, after a week of online sweepstakes and lottery play, I am heading into something more hands-on.  I am going to go and play Bingo!  I remember playing Bingo when I was younger, and for the life of me, I can't remember where.  But I am sure that in the Ohio Valley there is no shortage of Bingo games to be found.  I do remember in college, going home with a girlfriend to her family's home in WV, and her Mom took us to play Bingo.  At first, I thought it couldn't be more lame...a weekend night spent in a Bingo hall with all these old ladies?  I was used to clubs and dancing, looking for guys to hook-up with.  Wasn't going to happen here.  But I did win some nominal amount that felt larger than life at the time.  And I ended up having a great night, despite my judgements going in.

Also, Healthival is still going strong.  I feel great.  Walking is good medicine, quiet and filled with thought.  I like to take note of what I choose to think about, and shift that pattern when necessary.  Driving doesn't offer that same opportunity, too many distractions and things to pay attention to outside of yourself.  I don't miss wheat, dairy or sugar.  But after a harrowing day with the Worker Retraining office at my school, I did kinda miss the alcohol, and on a Friday night.

Coupons are a challenge.  As I mentioned before, they tend to be for processed foods, of which I try to avoid as much as possible.  I am still working on how to save money on whole, healthy foods, and will keep you updated as to how that unfolds.


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