At moments like this, my thoughts inevitably turn to Martin Lawrence.
This is odd because there are few celebrities who come to mind less often (Carson Daly would be one). But there is a scene in the movie Boomerang, while during a seemingly harmless game of billiards, Martinís character Tyler enlightens his fellow pool players that the table and its occupants are racist physical metaphors, depicting the power struggle between those responsible for the proliferation of White Manís Burden, and those at the other end of The Manís global night stick.
For the uninitiated, this is how it works. The green covering on the tableís surface represents Godís Green Earth, and the que ball, logically, represents whitey. The goal in this game of life is to knock all the other colored balls off the table, or earth, as it were. First starts the elimination of the yellows, the reds, the purples (I guess whitey hates gay folks too, except for J. Edgar Hoover), until, at the end game, the target is set firmly on the one ball different than all others; the 8 ball, which is, of course, all black. Well, except for a small little white dot with the number 8 in the middle, that is. But that could represent something that Iíd rather not get into, and in any event, itís irrelevant for the purposes of my soon-to-be proposed conspiracy theory.
And everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, even if they claim to hate conspiracy theories and those who promote them. Theyíre fun - in much the same way that dreaming about what you would do with $300 million in Lotto winnings is fun - which brings us to the point at hand.
The Lotto is fixed.
There, I said it. Itís a sham. Itís rigged. The outcome is predetermined.
How, you may ask?
Well, I never let a little thing like a logical explanation get in the way of a good conspiracy theory. Rationality may make for a more robust fantasy, but it isnít essential. After all, the purpose of inventing demonic scams to explain how the Freemasons keep the common man down is all about providing an outlet for bitter resentment. And a little thing like logic could get in the way of such daydreams. What fun would that be?
So let me ask you this: have you ever seen a black man play Lotto? Unless you live anywhere other than Idaho or Vermont, then you have. But have you ever seen a black man win the Lotto? Thinking back to all the hard hitting stories on the local news regarding Lotto winners, it occurred to me that I could not remember one person of color holding an enormous fake check, all smiles, with flashbulbs flickering and reporters asking such insightful questions as ďWill you still keep your same job?Ē (Inexplicably, some people have answer ĎYesí to that question). The winner always seems to be someone whose likeness may have, at one time, graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post Ė and usually old enough to remember turning a crank to make a phone call or start their car. Donít you think some young fellow with brown skin would win the BIG prize every so often? Not the ten grand, chump change prize, but the one with nine digits.
Of course, honkeys play Lotto too. Hell, yours truly, whoís white like Gwyneth Paltrow is white (but not as whinny), plunked down a Jackson during this last round of the Powerball, in hopes that whatever was left after Uncle Sam gathers his take would leave me with enough money to solve all my problems and allow me to have sex with two women at the same time (Lord knows that ainít happening without some serious scratch).
But alas, it was not meant to be. In fact, I am convinced that I am the only person in America with at least a $20 purchase who did not have one frickiní number match any of my quick picks. Not one.
Soon, after the shock dissipated of not having my 1 in 146,497,092 odds pay off in fabulous wealth, I resigned myself to the fact that working for a living would continue as before. The Lotto exited my consciousness. Then intervened the local news, whose intrepid reporters had the novel idea of camping out in front of the DC Lotto office to do their story, and hey, who knows, maybe the big winners would come walking through the door to claim their prize.
Much to my surprise, that is what occurred, or almost.
In walks Ė you guessed it Ė some old white guy. But not just any old white guy; a United States Senator from a state with no income tax! Who is already a millionaire! And Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee no less. ACK!
Itís rigged, I tell you, rigged.
Has there ever been a less palatable lotto winner than Senator Judd Gregg, republican from New Hampshire? I mean youíve got to be kidding me here. Okay, so he didnít win the big one, just a measly $853,492. But how in the world, with the income disparity widening like the San Andreas Fault during the apocalypse, and hurricane victims wallowing in muck and mire of the toxic mud flats formerly known as New Orleans, does God allow a Senator from the Granite State to boost his already sizeable portfolio without hardly lifting his scratching finger?
Of course, the good Senator is going to donate his winnings to the hurricane victims Ö right? Right? Please tell me heís doing something charitable with his windfall. Oh, but no. It was reported on the aforementioned news broadcast that the good Senator will Ė get this Ė renovate his house with his spoils. I guess he plans on sprucing up the mansion in which he currently lives, not the mansion in which he lived while serving as governor from 1989 - 1993. To be fair, Senator Gregg did say that he might donate some of the winnings to the Hugh Gregg Foundation, named after his dad, who was NHís governor for a stint in the mid 1950s.
Itís a rough life, huh, Senator Gregg?
Of all the people to win from a Lottery ticket purchased in Washington, DC, it had to be him. Two-thirds of the town is black, and the big winner is Joe Cracker, who doesnít even live here.
You see, we donít seem to ever get big Lotto winners in DC. Itís always some small town like Fond Du Lac Wisconsin; Scott Depot, West Virginia; or Star, Idaho. When the store where the tickets was purchased is shown on TV, it looks like the general store in that quaint little resort town that you visited as a boy Ė some bucolic dream where grandma sells her apple pie and the price of aspirin hasnít changed in thirty years - Americana at itís finest. Never do you see a photo of a liquor store on Georgia Avenue, where, I am convinced, millions are spent on Lotto tickets each year. Odds are a nine-figure millionaire would be chosen from such a store at some point.
Donít ask me how ďtheyĒ gerrymander the drawing, but it canít be that hard, can it?
The process seems legitimate enough, and a big show is made to promote the legality of the process. An official of some sort, presumably uncorrupted and usually pretty hot, presides over a sealed Plexiglas container with a bunch of ping-pong balls bouncing off each other like electrons in a Nitrogen atom. An opening is created and one of the balls pops into a tube, and viola, you have your number. Iím no expert on air flow in relation to ping-pong balls, and I am sure that some sort of auditing is done, considering the amount of money is a stake, but how hard would it be to ensure that certain numbers get picked over others?
After all, the Lotto committee already knows where the winning tickets were purchased once the winning numbers are announced, long before the new millionaire steps forward. So that means they must have access to the numbers and where they were purchased, even before the drawing occurs. They could then pick a town with a 99.9 percent Caucasoid population and then choose the store in said pastoral location that looks like Uncle Tomís Cabin (whoops Ė wrong physical metaphor) and there you have it Ė your Powerball winning Lotto ticket. Once the winning numbers had been decided on, then the corresponding ping-pong balls get magnetized to pop through the chute. Or they could, after speaking to the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, pick specific numbers. And then, the CIA plants someone on the grassy knoll to doctor the photographs after the moon landing is faked and then the head of the Lotto commission who was in Skull and Bones with George Bush consults with the Pope, and then Ö
Okay, maybe not.
But maybe. After all, did you notice what color those ping pong balls are?
Evan Redmon is an assistant editor for a scientific journal. He has lived in Washington, DC for most of his life, with seven years of college down the drain in Madison, WI and four and a half years of doing nothing in particular in Boulder, CO. He has visited 39 of the 50 states in the Union (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.