Celia Rivenbark

From the Belle Tower | Powerball winners are a buzzkill

I’m not usually a lottery player but, naturally, I bought a few $3 Powerball tickets when the payout climbed to $1.6 billion.

In other words, I honestly believe that the lottery is a bad idea that exploits the poorest members of society and does immeasurable harm to their health and welfare until, well, it could help me get that house in Pacific Palisades next door to Sting and, ugh, Trudy.

I felt more than a little hypocritical greedily pocketing my tickets and skipping out of the Rite Aid, where I had cheerily assured all the clerks that I would share the winnings with them! Hahahaha. No, I wouldn’t.

I have a good friend who spends every odd-job extra dollar on the Pick 6, Screw Me Over 5, and other scratch-offs. For years, I’ve nagged him about wasting his money. But the lottery is the ultimate tease. Just when he got tired of losing, he won $100.

For a few days, I let myself dream about what I would do with the many millions I’d have after taxes. It seemed almost un-American not to. Besides the house in Pacific Palisades, I would do the usual helping out of the poor, donating to my church (but only if they renamed it to Celia United Methodist; let’s be real here); and all the other high-minded stuff but, well, I can tell you I’d never work another day of my life.

Which is why my jaw dropped to the floor when I heard real winners John and Lisa Robinson of Tennessee say, apparently serious, that after they deposited their lump-sum payout of $328 million (MILLION!!!) in the bank and paid some bills and donated to some charities, they’d be right back at work Monday morning.

Robinson, a warehouse supervisor, and his wife, Lisa, a medical office worker, said: “You just can’t sit down and …not do nothing anymore. How long are you going to last?”

Whaaaa???? Of course you can. In fact, you can lay on nice, soft, gently worn stacks of $1,000 bills if you like. How long can you last?

How about “forever” thanks to your very own cryonic cooling chamber?

The Robinsons said they’d probably pay off their mortgage and their daughter’s student loans and maybe buy their daughter a horse. I think they’re in shock. They don’t seem to realize they could buy every horse in the Kentucky Derby and the entire Churchill Downs complex.

If they’re not in shock, and they really did return to work Monday morning as planned, they should expect a roomful of co-workers who suddenly have very, very sick grandmas and the like. Oh, if only they could afford that (made-up-organ) surgery for Meemaw…

The Robinsons say they won’t buy a bigger house. Said Robinson: “Big houses are nice but also you gotta clean them.”

No. No, you don’t. You will never have to clean a toilet again. Why? Because you have $328 MILLION. Stop being such Powerball buzzkill. It ruins it for the rest of us.

Celia Rivenbark is the New York Times best-selling author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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