I did not win last night’s $448 million Powerball lottery along with millions of dejected others across 43 states, one District of Columbia, and several Virgin Islands. Three people will be splitting the cake, two of the tickets were bought in New Jersey of all good places, and the other in Minnesota. It was the fourth-biggest payout ever.
If you’re into schadenfreude (and aren’t we all on days like today?), may I recommend a piece written for Bloomberg last winter by Tablet literary editor David Samuels about the very real curse of the large lotto winner. It may make you feel better. Also, Gawker summed up the unlikeliness of winning and the various ways the media are describing the unlikeliness of winning:
Here is a list of wild things that news organizations say are more likely than winning the Powerball:
Being hit by a bolt of lightning from the sky
Getting drafted to the NBA
Becoming a movie star
Being born with an extra finger
After the numbers were released and I knew I had lost, I decided to search for meaning. I looked up the winning numbers, which were 32 (the Powerball number) and then 5, 25, 30, 58, and 59. Then I called both my mother and my Tablet colleague Liel Leibovitz to help me make sense of the accompanying letters, which were: (59) לב (32) ה (5) כה (25) ל (30) נח (58) נט.
Put together as a sentence, here’s what we came up with:
לב הכהל נח נט
Which (roughly) translates to: “Heart of the audience rests against tank missiles.” The last word “נט” is an IDF acronym for Neged Tankim (h/t Noah Karesh).
Sometimes, even when you lose the lottery, you win.