The Lottery Ticket

Every Tuesday and Thursdays Sheryl took care of the elderly Richardson couple. The blonde would bathe them, cook their meals, and cleaned their townhouse. She enjoyed their company. Every Monday night, however, Mr. Richardson bought a lottery ticket.

Sheryl never believed in the lottery. She thought it was a waste of money. But he did it just the same, like clockwork, every Monday night.

“You know these lotteries are just a scam,”she told Jack Richardson while washing his balding gray hair. “The city of Dallas does it to make more money. No one every really wins them.”

“Well, dear, you never know when it just might happen,” Jack responded while pointing to a blue towel. Soap had gotten in his eye.

Tuesday night was the lottery drawing. The Richardsons always ate their dinner in front of the television on their television trays to see the news. During the 6:40 new break, Mary Decks appeared on their screen. She was the lottery announcer. Instantly recognizing the numbers she had called out, Jack stood up and began whooping.

“Betsy, you know what this means?” he said while looking over at his wife who was smiling and clasping her hands, “Now we can do all those things we’ve been talking about doing in the past few years.”

Jack walked into the kitchen to verify that he had the winning ticket. The lottery people only gave winners a three day grace period to prove that they held the winning numbers. Staring at the refrigerator, where he always pinned the ticket, he saw that the ticket was missing. Worried, they started searching for it Wednesday morning. Even his daughter and her family drove all the way from Carrollton to help them search for it. It was nowhere to be found.

“Dad,” his daughter said, “what about calling Sheryl? She knows this place better than any of us. Perhaps she moved it while cleaning up the house?”

Smiling, Jack replied, “Good idea,” as he rushed over to the telephone. Sheryl picked up just after the third ring.

“Hello,” she said in her sing-song voice.

“Sheryl, Jack Richardson calling.”

“Oh hiya Mr. Richardson. What can I do for you?”

“We have a problem here. Did you see Tuesday’s lottery ticket when you were here last,” he said after clearing his throat.

“Sure did,” Sheryl said. Jack relaxed a little. “I threw it away after cleaning up. Oh, I know it was the wrong thing to do, Mr. Richardson; but, I really hate seeing you waste your dollars on a pipe dream like the lottery.”

Jack couldn’t believe his ears, “You. Threw. It. Away,” was all he got out before collapsing to the floor.

His family gathered around him in disbelief. “Doesn’t she know it was the winning ticket,” his granddaughter Leslie said tears rolling down her cheeks.

Gazing at the little girl while cradling her dead father, Julie replied, “No sweetie. I guess she didn’t.’

“Hello are you still there,” echoed from the receiver.