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Saturday, June 07, 2008

IN IT TO WIN IT

Family, friends, assembled members of the press… I thank you for gathering here on this warm spring day when you could be doing so many other things. But given the historic events of this past week, I felt I needed to finally let all of you know what my future plans are.

As you know, last Wednesday afternoon, I purchased a $1 ticket for that evening’s Powerball lottery drawing. I chose the numbers 1-5-16-20 and 25. My Powerball number was 13. Some say that’s unlucky, but I have never been driven by focus groups.

The numbers drawn for the 15 million dollar jackpot were 3-9-14-17 and 25. The Powerball was 8. These were the numbers Randall Spaulding of Ashdown, Iowa drew. But you haven’t been paying attention to him over these past few days. Instead, you’ve been obsessed with me, and my reaction to Wednesday’s drawing.

These have not been an easy four days, but after consulting with my attorneys, my family, and the Multi-State Lottery Association, I have decided to respect the results of the Wednesday drawing and I now agree that the 15 million dollars should be paid to Mr. Spaulding.

Many supporters of mine will no doubt find his unfair. After all, I did choose the number 25. Twenty-five is a prime number, and in the drawing it occupies the important spot just after the “and.” Clearly that’s the kind of thing that should be considered when handing out the prize. Yes, the rules state that the person who chooses all the right numbers wins the prize. But I don’t think the people who made up the rules really foresaw this situation.

Furthermore, Mr. Spaulding is old aid frail and says he wants to blow a bunch of the money on a round the world cruise. I've got a few more years left to enjoy he cash and would find much more responsible things to do with the money. I've got a great idea about settng up a college savings account for my kids. But, again, I now realize tha Mr. Spaulding won fair and square and now truly believe he should be awarded the money. (Someone really should check up on him later this year and make sure he pays his taxes on his winnings. I've heard members of his church don't "believe" in taxes... that's just something I heard. It could be wrong... forget you ever heard it.)

So what’s next for me? I’m still looking at my future options, but there’s a good chance that Mr. Spaulding and I will reach an agreement soon, and he will help pay off most if not all of my gambling debts. Considering the harm he caused me by actually winning the lottery, it seems like the least he could do.

Thank you for bearing with me as I made my decision over the past few days. I never expected I’d be in this situation, and there really isn’t a precedent for this kind of thing… no example I could take from people who came before me. Please stay in touch and head on over to my website and make a donation if you can. I’ve got my eye on some of those new Rubik’s Cube scrachers.

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