Sam Johnson was a lucky guy. He thought this as he straitened his tie in the bathroom mirror at work. He was handsome, still young, and had good health. He had a great job where he could slack off when he wanted. He had a beautiful wife who did not know he was cheating on her with an old school chum. So far, the kids were healthy and smart and did not take up much of his free time. His wife Glenda did most of the child care.
He headed out to lunch, after the bathroom, with his coworker Grey to their favorite Chinese restaurant. Lunch was Mongolian beef, sizzling rice soup, and hot tea.
“The only thing I might want is more money,” he said this aloud to his friend, a man who worked far harder than Sam did.
“If you stayed late and worked some overtime, the boss might promote you, and then you would have more money,” Grey told Sam.
“No, I mean significant money. Money to do anything I have ever wanted,” Sam said. “Why can’t I have that?”
Grey said nothing, but they stopped on the way back from lunch to get lottery tickets because Sam’s fortune had said, “You need not worry about your future.” Sam was superstitious and played the numbers that were on the bottom of the fortune: 1-9-35-18-52-40. They were for a multi-state drawing that night.
When the late news came on, Sam was still up, having just gotten home from a “late meeting,” or at least that’s what he told his wife. Glenda was happy to have him home. The kids were in bed. Sam’s life was perfect, he thought again, except for the lack of extravagant spending he could do, if he won the lottery.
On the late news, Sam watched the numbers on the screen. There they were: 1-9-35-18-52-40. “I won, Glenda, I won!”
You mean “we won, right, Sam?” Glenda asked.
“Sure, whatever you say.”
The next day, he didn’t go in to work. He made an appointment with his state lottery commission to pick up his check. A few days later, he and Glenda went to pick up the money from the commission office. Glenda had the check in her purse after the short ceremony.
Overcome with the multi-million dollar check, Sam wished he had already divorced Glenda, who would really hold him back from his new lifestyle. She was a little thicker around the middle since the kids were born. Those kids, well, he didn’t really know them, now did he? They would hold him back, too.
Those were Sam’s thoughts before he stepped off the curb and was mowed down by a hit and run driver. Glenda had been trying to warn him to not step off the curb, but at that moment he was hit, his inner eye was thinking of blond bombshells, gold watches, and his new Porsche. He never saw the car coming.He had tuned out his wife’s voice, as he had done many times before.
One last thing occurred to him, as he lost consciousness: The fortune had said, “You need not worry about your future.” The irony of it made an impression on him, but it was too late to matter.
On the other hand, Glenda and his children had a very nice future without Sam, living a life of ease. Glenda even remarried later to Grey, who had always thought Sam was a lucky man for having found her. Grey kept his job. Glenda loved having him watch the kids and take them to ball practices and dance recitals. She never had to worry about her future again.