The Golden Ticket

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Art Credit : Graphic Design by Bari Demers and background format by Enchanted

They say when you dream about winning the lottery, it’s essential to go buy some lottery tickets right away. After all – it’s your Golden Ticket to satisfy all your dreams.  If you have the gift of remembering all your dreams (like I do) it’s probably a good idea to write down your experience.

The Golden Ticket

Throughout my latest dream, my world was centred around me as if I was carrying a GoPro. Maybe it’s my inner wish list to get a GoPro this Christmas – who knows?

It was a regular day of the week, neither summer nor winter. Can’t remember purchasing the actual ticket, but I do remember checking the numbers. They say I’m a little OCD ( Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), meaning I’ll check and re-check things, constantly cleaning and wash my hands in fear of contamination and keeping to a strict pattern.

My actions in my dream weren’t any different. Having this ritual of checking the lottery tickets only on Sunday, allowed me to dream as long as possible throughout the week, because we all know it’s extremely lucky to win any lottery. But, this particular time, I noticed the numbers matched. My heart began racing, rechecking it over and over again. This must be triggered from the anxiety of knowing retirement is around the corner, with very little funds to support it. Whatever the reason, the drawn out actions meant I was indeed sceptical.

Knowingly it was impossible to verify on Sunday, I patiently waited for Monday morning. The routine of getting ready in the morning seemed to take forever. As a matter of fact, I can’t stand routines. Finally! Heading out the door, it was a mad race to Sobeys, where I bought it. It never occurred to me to just head straight to the regional lottery centre.

Oh no, the ritual is vitally clear – remember, this is a dream, after all.

First, check the ticket to see what the scanner would say. Then head to the nearest lottery centre, after verification. With that clear mission at hand, my mind quickly zeroed in, onto the lottery scanner. It was like ‘Mission Impossible’, calculating a clear path to the series of problems I must complete. There it was, the little black lottery box, looking at me. Nervously reaching for my wallet ( as if everyone in the store was watching) I slowly pulled out the lottery ticket. Placing it exactly on the red light, it seemed like hours had passed as I patiently wait for the results. Suddenly I noticed a girl across the desk appear, looking at me with an interesting curiosity.

“Oh my!” she said,” I’ve never seen anyone here win so big before.”

The red numbers flashed across the screen. It reads “5 MILLION”. Well, in real life, the scanners don’t work that way. They give out a series of zeros. However, in my dream the 5 MILLION flashed on and off, sounding off “ WOOH, WOOH!” Here, in Canada it actually does make that sound.

Within seconds, shoppers came running up to the desk, wondering what all the excitement was. Everyone started clapping as if I was some kind of celebrity.

It’s then my dream took on another side. POOF! Suddenly I’m in a mall looking for the lottery centre – Go figure ! Heading to the mall’s directional guide I couldn’t pinpoint where the lottery centre was. Evidentially, I had no choice but to ask someone – It’s a man thing. Approaching a single mother of two kids, with the baby in the stroller, and the other child around two years old, holding her mom’s hand. It must of been winter because they wore winter jackets, mitts and toques ( that’s a warm cotton hat, here in Canada 🇨🇦). She looks at me confused, as if I asked her the most secret of all secrets.

She said,” Don’t you know? Well…it’s not on the second floor. You must exit the mall on the first floor, hang a left and head past the Wayne Gretzky statue.

My mind took in this information, calculating the path in my head. It dawned on me how strange that the lottery centre was beside the Wayne Gretzky statue. The only Wayne Gretzky statue I knew of was at the new Rogers Place arena, downtown Edmonton. The confusion is…I’m in Kelowna. I know the lottery centre in BC is in Kamloops – Go figure! Shrugging my shoulders I set out to follow her instructions exactly. Running down the escalator of WEM ( West Edmonton Mall), passing by the Santa Maria ship ( Yup! WEM has the exact replica of Christopher’s Columbus flag ship nestled in a manmade ocean, west end of the gigantic mall), I raced out the side doors, took an immediate left.

Suddenly – POOF! I’m front and centre looking at this massive architectural structure with a series of gradual steps leading to the top. There it was, another Wayne Gretzky statue, plated in gold – Go figure! I’m thinking to myself, Canadians sure do take their hockey legends seriously, like some sort of religious cult.

But wait a minute? I’m Canadian! Why don’t I think like that?

ANYWAY – It must of been a summer morning, because I noticed a bunch of people were spread out, sitting on the steps, waiting for the doors to open. Paying no attention to the crowd, my feet couldn’t carry me fast enough, as I pulled earnestly on the huge glass doors. Pulling on them again, harder this time, my body embraced the whole door, feet and all.

Someone in the crowd shouted,” It’s closed moron! It opens up at 9:00 am.”

I turned around, seeing I was the centre of attention. Some were smirking, while others rolled their eyes. But most seemed bored out-of-their-mind, impatiently waiting for this massive building to open. It’s then I noticed, everyone slowly got up. Turning to face the doors ( as if in slow motion) there was a business women opening the doors.

“Finally!” I thought.

Racing the crowd to be first in line, I hugged the counter in front of me. A girl in her twenties smiled and said,”Welcome to the Western Lottery Centre, how may I help you?”

My heart must of been pounding in my chest, as I could barely hear her. Looking around me, I whispered,”I think I won big on the lottery.”

The girl said,” Oh! Well…congratulations! Follow me to our private room, as we verify your winnings.”

Eagerly following her, it was then I noticed these two android guards on each side of me. Nervous, I asked,” Am I in trouble?”

The girl stopped and faced me, she said in a delightful voice,”Oh no! They’re here for your protection.”

Nodding in agreement, we all headed to an interrogation room. Two chairs and one table with handcuffs. OK – now I’m really nervous! We sit down facing each other, with both androids towering beside me. I jokingly say,” What’s the handcuffs for? Is this some kind of foreplay ?”

As the words left my mouth, it was clear no one was laughing. The girl cleared her throat disgusted, saying,” Shall we get down to it then? Show me your ticket please.”

Once again, my fumbling fingers pulled out the prize ticket. The now, big golden ticket… Yes! Exactly like the Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – Go figure! The girl took the ticket. From within the bottom of the desk, a special elite Red scanner moved up in place. It started to flash a red laser into my eyes, as she began her interrogation. She asked me a series of questions, such as,”Exactly where did you buy this ticket and most importantly WHEN?!” My squeaky little voice told her everything she wanted to know. She sits back, looking at me coldly, as if I gave the wrong information. No emotion whatsoever. Out of the blue she smiles and says,” Well now! Congratulations…,” Looking at her notes,” Bari is it ? You have just won 5 MILLION DOLLARS! How does that make you feel?”

Rubbing the sweat off my hands onto my jeans, I eagerly shook her hand saying,” It makes me feel like a million bucks!”

Apparently , she wasn’t impressed with my humour, rolling her eyes 👀 shaking her head. She said,” OK then. Follow me as we announce your winnings to the world.”

I said,” Excuse me for asking…but I don’t know your name?”

If her eyes could of killed, she rudely barked at me,”That SIR! Is none of your business!”

“Alrighty then..,” I thought,” It doesn’t really matter… ( grinning ear-to ear) I just won 5 MILLION DOLLARS! “

Walking through this narrow corridor, I had to pass, what seem like a thousand balloons. The passage reminded me of a corn maze. Finally, finding the right path, popping balloons along the way, I was overwhelmed by the huge room filled with tons of reporters, at least 200 TV cameras, glaring lights and other cameras flashing, blinding me as if I was a huge celebrity. Sitting quietly in front of the massive crowd, it was then I was grilled with a million questions.

It’s then I woke up, thinking I better go and buy a lottery ticket today!

By Bari Demers – screenwriter

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