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Ritual de lo Addictual

February 25, 2014

I’ll admit it: I’ve been playing Albertson’s Monopoly in the hope of winning a million dollars. It started as a simple decision to switch grocery stores for the duration of the game; that way I wouldn’t be spending any extra money on what could well be a bust. From there it was an easy step to switching my normal products to brands that offered an extra ticket with their purchase. I knew they were getting me, but still…

Then, in a moment I can hardly describe as an epiphany, I walked into Albertson’s and saw their display of Top Ramen. The packets were on sale three for fifty cents, and you got an extra ticket with each one.  I immediately bought a case and walked out of the store with 27 tickets!

My game card was filling up. I had all but one of every small prize, and all but two of every large. A quick Google search confirmed that I was in the same boat as every other player across the country. That just meant I had to get the winning tickets before they did.

At four dollars a case, I could afford a lot of Top Ramen.

Somewhere in the back of my mind my college statistics teacher was screaming at me. How many Albertson’s stores are there across the country? How many tickets were printed? What are the chances your store got a single winning ticket at all?

I started going to the Albertson’s on 181st instead of Prescott. Once in a while. I needed two rare pieces to win the grand prize, and figured the chances of them landing at the same store were extremely small. And, on the way back from a birthday trip to Mt. Hood this weekend, I stopped at the branch in Gresham.

That was where I stood in line and watched the cashier count out three times as many tickets as I’d ever gotten for the lady in front of me.

Reality has set in. Every mark across this country wants to win a million dollars. Up to three of them might, in this contest. The rest of us are left with dashed hopes – and cases of Top Ramen.

I think I’ve finally found something to give to the panhandlers at the freeway entrance.

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