Conservation of Luck

October 5th, 2007 by Potato

I believe (or used to believe) in a fundamental conservation of luck, or karma, or ka, or whatever you want to call it. It’s a belief that stems partly from my physicist nature: we have a conservation law for almost everything else, so why not luck? It also helped me get through tough times, by focusing on the good things that balance it all out (or to make myself sure that they must be coming soon).

It’s this irrational belief that leads me to do silly things like buy lottery tickets after a run of bad luck, or on exam day, in the hopes that either I’d do well on the exam or win enough money that it wouldn’t matter. So after my recent run of bad luck (culminating with the break-in), I bought a lottery ticket. Well, three, to be precise. And they’ve changed the way they used to work. There used to be a small code hidden beneath the scratch-off area that wasn’t part of the game, and that code would contain some symbols that would help you see if you won or lost fairly quickly. A losing ticket had, somewhere, two characters that looked like down-pointing arrows or triangles. Winning tickets had arrows pointing up, or A’s with accents, or other characters depending on how much you won. Now there are no such clues, so I’ve been relentlessly checking these tickets to see if I missed something, hoping that the lack of “down arrows” indicates that I did win and just missed scratching somewhere. Finally, I sent Wayfare off with the ticket to the store to have them check it with the barcode reader thingy just to be absolutely sure, and she confirmed that they’ve stopped printing them with those symbols.

Oh, and speaking of the break-in, the London Police sent us a victim’s package of some sort in the mail. I haven’t had time to fully read through it yet, but it consists of a few pamphlets and a large book on how to cope with the feelings of being violated, and how to secure our home to prevent future break-ins. It’s kind of a nice touch, though I don’t think anything in there is going to be new to me.

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