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Tag: lottery

Lucky Lab doubles couple’s lottery winnings


A UK couple is £300,000 richer thanks to persistence, their Labrador retriever and a little luck.

Make that a lot of luck.

Jane and Alan Slater, of the Isle of Wight, had been playing the EuroMillions Lottery for 20 years — always the same numbers.

On Sept. 29, Mr. Slater, a customer relations manager for a ferry company, got home from work, checked the winning numbers and saw that they had matched all five of them. The payout was about £150,000.

A few gleeful days later, they took their dogs, Ruby and Kai, for a walk. Getting back in the car, Ruby bumped into a catalogue, causing a slip of paper inside of it to come out and float to the ground.

?????????????????????“I really can’t explain the way this piece of paper floated, it was like you see in slow motion in films, as though someone wanted me to notice it,” Mrs. Slater, 59, said. “I immediately reached down and picked up the slip of paper which turned out to be a lottery ticket.”

For the same drawing.

At first, Mrs. Slater thought Mr. Slater might have taken the winning ticket she had bought to work to show friends, and then left it in the car. She was a little upset about that on the ride home.

When they got home, and found the original winning ticket, they figured out what happened.

Mr. Slater, 65, not realizing his wife had bought a ticket, had bought one as well — for the same drawing, with the same numbers.

Suddenly they were not just £150,000 richer, but twice that.

“The ticket could so easily have disappeared in the rubbish when I tidied up the car, we couldn’t help feel that someone was looking down on us,” he is quoted as saying in an article in The Telegraph.

He said Ruby’s “discovery” came on her second birthday.

Now the couple is considering retiring a little earlier than they had planned, and holding a big family party.

“We are a very close family and the wins mean we will be able to help our two children in the future,” Mr. Slater said. “There will be a big family party later in the year and a few more treats for Ruby and Kai.”

(Photos from The Telegraph)

Pay toll or die

Since I was in elementary school, I’ve had trouble distinguishing New Hampshire from Vermont. I know one of them is fat at the bottom and skinny at the top and the other is skinny at the bottom and fat at the top. I know one is directly east of the other. I know one is the “Live Free or Die” state (though it has always struck me as a rather bold assertion, coming from a license plate).

But — even though I’ve been to both — I’ve never been quite postive which was which. They are easily confused, at least in my head.

Heading north on I-95, I hit New Hampshire — or was it Vermont? No, it was New Hampshire — and was surprised to find myself suddenly coming to a toll booth.

Had I more carefully checked my maps, I would have known, by the green coloring, that portions of I-95 were toll; but I didn’t, so it was a rude awakening — kind of like going to the library and, halfway through a book, being told you’re going to have to pay to read the ending.

On top of that, it struck me as strange. Wait a minute, I thought. Isn’t this the “Live Free or Die” state? Sure, I know that the “free” the slogan refers to is the type we all take for granted, as opposed to the type that I’m always on the lookout for. Still, the two have a lot in common, viewed in an historical perspective — for taxation, and avoiding unfair forms of it, was a big part of America becoming America. So either way, it seemed ironic.

Unless, of course, I had it backwards and Vermont is the live free or die state.

In any event, I forked over my $2 — it seeming a far better choice than dying — and drove on.

A bit later, I stopped in the lovely little town of Portsmouth, N.H., for a quick drive-through and a pack of cigarettes. At a Sunoco station, I noticed some homemade dog treats on the counter and asked if they were made locally.

“In Vermont,” the proprietor answered. “The upside down New Hampshire.”

That got me confused again, temporarily. “And which state am I in?” I asked.

“This is New Hampshire,” he said.

“And which one is the live free or die state?” I asked.

“We are,” he said.

“Is that still the slogan?” I asked.

“Well,” he said, “it depends how many more people from Mass. move up here. If that keeps happening we’ll just be dying.”

New Hampshire also uses I-95 to promote the sale of liquor in its state stores, and state lottery tickets.

In addition to exit signs for historical attractions, food, gas and lodging, New Hampshire prominently posts official signs on the Interstate for exits at which there are state liquor stores and state lottery outlets. It has yet to post signs for other vices — drug dealers, houses of prostitution, strip clubs and the like — but then again, it doesn’t run those operations.

We passed through but a sliver of New Hampshire, and will be visiting its northern reaches in another week or so, as Ace and I make our way back from the top of Maine. From previous visits, I know $2 was a small price to pay to see the White Mountains, in their full fall beauty, no less.

But I still have trouble with Vermont’s … I mean New Hamsphire’s … slogan. It strikes me as a little too drastic — a little too suicide bomber, a little too Toby Keith.

I think the slogan could use some editing. Here’s what I propose: “Live Free.”

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