I’m in a bad relationship.

With the lottery.

Let’s begin with my fantasies.

Not the ones about Bradley Cooper.

They’re mine alone.

But for a long time, I used to fantasize about winning the lottery, and the fantasies were detailed, elaborate, and, of course, catered.

I would imagine myself checking my lottery ticket, realizing it matched the winning numbers, then jumping up and down in my living room and inviting all my friends over, where I would split it with them and we would have a big party.

That’s the catered part.

Carbohydrates would be involved.

In the form of alcoholic beverages and every kind of pasta known to man.

Or woman.

And yes, I would share equally.

That’s how nice I am.

In my fantasies.

Anyway, even though I fantasized about winning the lottery, I never bought a ticket.

I’m pretty sure this hurts your chances.

I didn’t buy a ticket because I didn’t have time to stand in line, since I had to work. I told myself if I won the lottery, I would never have to work again, but even I knew the odds were low, so I continued not to play but also to fantasize about winning with catering.

It’s not that crazy, when you think about it.

By definition, a fantasy is something you never attain.

Like I don’t think Bradley Cooper is calling anytime soon.

I just have a really good imagination.

Really, really good.

Anyway, one day I decided to buy a lottery ticket as a logical first step to winning. That began the next stage of my dysfunctional relationship with the lottery, because I couldn’t figure out if I won. It’s really confusing on the website, and I ended up asking the guy at the counter, who was exasperated because I was the umpteenth middle-aged woman who asked him the same thing.

It’s harder to figure out if you won than to actually win.

Am I a winner?

Obviously not.


The other thing that happened when I was buying lottery tickets is that I would forget to watch the drawing or check the website. Mainly because I’d be working, which is ironic, I know. Then I’d remember three days later, or find the ticket in my wallet, or not check it altogether, which made me worried that I’d won the lottery but never checked the ticket and it got eaten by the dogs.

It was a fantasy, but a bad one.

Fantasies are supposed to make you feel better, not worse.

They keep you up at night, but in a good way.

So I stopped buying lottery tickets.

I didn’t want bad fantasies. I wanted to be myself again and fantasize about Bradley Cooper, who undoubtedly missed me.

Then this week, I saw an article about a woman who won the lottery but the email notification got stuck in her spam folder.

So you know what I did.

I opened my spam folder and got busy.

I checked my spam like crazy, even though I hadn’t played the lottery in some time, so I wouldn’t have gotten an email notification anyway.

Still you never know.

The odds of that happening are low, but we’re already talking lottery-odds, which qualify as are-you-frigging-kidding-me, statistically speaking.

That’s how good I am at math.

Just ask me anything about statistics.

The odds are either one in four, or are-you-frigging-kidding-me?

Then I saw an article about a man who won the lottery after he played the numbers he got in a fortune cookie.

You can’t make that up.

He won a fortune on a fortune cookie.

How does that even happen?

What are the odds?

I know the odds, and so do you:

The odds are are-you-frigging-kidding-me?

Meanwhile I never get numbers in my fortune cookies.

I get Hard work will ensure your success.

Anyway I’m trying not to think about the lottery again.

I can’t go back there.

I’ve left that relationship for good.

I will not backslide with the only ex worth my time.

It’s now my third divorce.

I’m free.

Look for Lisa’s new domestic thriller, “What Happened to the Bennetts,” coming March 29. Also, look for Lisa’s best-selling historical novel, “Eternal,” in paperback Feb. 1. Francesca’s critically acclaimed debut novel, “Ghosts of Harvard,” is now in paperback.