I was lying in the sun on Port Beach when my dripping wet four-year-old pointed at the sky and asked, “what does that say, Mum?”
I sat up and tried to adjust my eyes to the glare of the white sand and the sparkling sea. She was pointing to a small plane with a sign streaming from its tail, flapping in the wind like a giant kite tail. The sign was facing out toward Rottnest and I couldn’t make out what it said. Sienna plonked down in the sand, her curiosity piqued.
The plane made a wide arc above the City of Fremantle and curved back toward us. Now the sign was facing the shoreline as the plane made its way up the coast to Joondalup.
‘40 MILLION MEGA DRAW’ I read aloud to Sienna, explaining that it was an ad for Lotto. She was satisfied with my answer and ran back to the ocean. I continued to watch the plane, while an idea formed. Leigh and I had been discussing how we would clear the credit card, and try to save a little money in 2018. Four kids and a decade of me staying at home, we were feeling the pinch.
Me: “God, is this a sign? Should I get a lotto ticket?”
Also Me: “Don’t be ridiculous. Every person up the coast can see this sign. It’s literally a sign. It’s not a sign from God.”
Me, again: “Yes. I suppose you’re right. Does God even approve of Lotto? Prolly not.”
Also Me: “But then again, you really don’t come to the beach much, do you? Maybe God brought you here to see the sign. Maybe He wants you to buy the Lotto ticket.”
Me, again: “You make a good point, brain. I’m sure I could honour God with 40 million dollars.”
LATER THAT DAY…
Me to Leigh: “I think we should buy a lotto ticket…”
EVEN LATER THAT DAY…
Me to the cashier at the Lucky Charm Newsagent in my suburb: “Err, hi. I’ve never bought a lotto ticket before. Can you please organise that for me?”
*Cashier gets ticket.*
Me: “So when I win, how will I know?”
The cashier gives me a registration form and explains how to check the numbers.
I leave the newsagent $9.80 poorer.
IN THE CAR ON THE WAY HOME FROM THE NEWSAGENCY we discuss:
How much we will give our family.
Which Christian organisations we will tithe to.
Whether the organisations would accept Lotto money, and would it be best just not to tell them where it came from.
How I will keep it a secret and remain anonymous.
Buying a Kia with electric doors, leather interior and a sunroof.
The best age for the kids to have access to a trust fund.
If we bought the kids a house each, would we buy them in the same neighbourhood?
Finding a tailor to make me many perfectly fitting maxi dresses.
Whether our marriage will be negatively affected by the money.
And I also prayed that we would win.
I tried not to think about the fact that in a short 28 hours, I was to become a multi-millionaire.
The next day came and I checked the Lotto. Three numbers but no supplementary. Nothing won.
“Oh,” I said to Leigh, my brow furrowed in indignation.
He just laughed.
Later I noticed the Verse of the Day on my bible app:
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NIV
God had spoken. Be content with what you have, Yvette.
In a small twist, I later discovered that a Division One winner of the 40 MILLION MEGA DRAW had purchased their ticket at the Lucky Charm Newsagency in my suburb.
I’m casually looking out for a woman wearing many fine new maxi dresses. Maybe she drives a brand new all-leather Kia with electric doors and a sunroof.