no $400 million cigar.


By almost Emmet

So near. Yet so far.

We are loitering in fashionable Spring Hill, Florida trying to catch up with the Red Sox spring training games. Naturally, we buy every lottery ticket known to man so we do not have to return to the frozen landscape that is Maine. Poor Denise, abandoned in Belfast by Waldo Walt, had to use the ice scraper to wend her way to the shovel last week.

Wednesday morning brought the news that the winning ticket in the $400 Mega Millions lottery had been sold “somewhere in Florida” according to the television news teaser.

It could have been me!

Right. Eventually, it was reported that the ticket winner was sold in Merritt Island (never heard of it) across the state near Cape Canaveral.


It was later reported that another winner was sold “somewhere in Maryland.”

Curses. Foiled again.

Daughter Bridget texted immediately to see if her inheritance had actually gone above zero. I assured her that she would have known the instant that I won and the financial future of her glorious children would have been insured. She could have gone ahead with that porch project.

Let’s see. That $400 million would have dipped to $200 million with the cash option. (How many years do I have left?) That unmentionable, unknown person in Maryland would have chopped the prize to a lousy $100 million. I think taxes would have taken 30 percent, so we are already down to a measly $70 million, if I won.

The very first project would have been paying off outstanding mortgages on Cobb Manor, and “that land” in Royal Highlands, Florida. That was the swamp land that I bought at the height of the land boom in 2004. That was the swampland which dropped to 10 percent of the purchase price before I got home to Camden. Some theorize that it was not Wall Street, but me who caused the caused the real estate collapse, single-handedly.

I object, your honor.

Let’s just say that I could have bought a new Porsche with that Royal Highlands money.

A measly $70 million would not have gone far. I would have to give Blue Eyes at least $10 million for putting up with me for 30 long years. That would just about cover it.

That historical lust for Sanibel land would have been scratched with a waterfront condo big enough for many visitors. Naturally I would have purchased multiple season tickets for the nearby Red Sox. (Actually, I could afford a much better circle of friends.) A suitable mansion would have been purchased in Ballyvourney, Ireland, close to The Mills pub, where my relatives have been imbibing for more than 100 years.

I would have to give a million to my sister Elinor who has saved my life on numerous occasions. She once prayed for me when I ran away from home in a stolen (brand new) dump truck.

Another million would have been earmarked for Mark and Jane, our hosts in orangeland. They have done so much for so many people that a million would just bring them back even. They not only dug up a kayak for use on the Weeki Wachee River, but a truck to ferry it around.

Naturally, each of the three daughters would get a cool million, if they agreed to call, text and visit at least once a year.

I would have assumed the staggering cost of building front and rear steps for David Grima’s house, just to avoid the traditional falls by his (few) friends.

John Purcell has allowed the use of his Charleston manse for almost 20 years. I would have given him a million, if he promised to drop his right wing ways and root for the Red Sox instead of the (ptui) Yankees.

I would not have given Jefferson Phil a damned thing, since his house is paid for and he already has Gwen. Plus, he has that multi-million investment in the Jefferson Investment Club.

If that hadn’t eaten up that $70 (pretend) million, I would have bought a lobster boat and keep fishing until it was all gone.

Foiled again.