June 27, 2013

Would You keep Writing If You Won Half A Billion Dollars?

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine 

Confession time...I only buy a lottery ticket if the amount of winnings is truly obscene. Yes, I know the odds of winning are not in my favor, but it is fun to have a ticket, and before the announcement of the winning numbers, I can play-out all the "what if" scenarios in my head. 

The latest winner of the largest single winner lottery jackpot in history has come forward. Zephyrhills, Florida,  a small town with a population of 13,300, was all a buzz with who might be a new millionaire. News paparazzi  camped out trying to scope out townsfolk  who didn't show up for work and may be the winners. 

Gloria C. MacKenzie, 84, purchased the only winning ticket at a supermarket. She was the sole winner of the $590 million Powerball jackpot. She is the biggest, single lottery winner of all time. 

Her story is most interesting, a widow with four grown children. Prior to this turn of events, she lived in a small, tin-roof house overlooking a cow pasture. Originally from Maine, she retired to Florida about ten years ago with her husband, Ralph, who passed away in 2005.

Her winning ticket is thanks to a friendly lottery ticket purchaser with Southern manners, who allowed MacKenzie to get in front of her and buy the winning ticket. Mindy Crandell, 34, allowed the winner MacKenzie in front of her. She advised she is happy for MacKenzie and not resentful that she came so close to winning the jackpot herself. In an interview she stated, “I’m not upset. If it was meant to be, it would’ve happened for us. Maybe there’s something for us down the road.”

The winner made careful plans before coming forward to claim her winnings and was accompanied by two attorneys when she claimed her prize. Smart woman!

Mary Higgins Clark writes a mystery series about a former cleaning lady, Alvirah, who wins the lottery. She is married to the devoted Willy. As a lottery winner, she solves mystery adventures that are only possible because she has the money to travel to the various destinations and locales. Alvirah, makes her first appearance in "Weep No More, My Lady".  Followed by "The Body in the Closet", "Death on the Cape", "The Lottery Winner" and " Bye, Baby Bunting."

Does this give you any ideas to develop into a story for your next book?

My real question to y'all is, if you purchased a winning lottery ticket of this magnitude would you still write? If your answer is yes, definitely then you are a true writer. So keep up the hard work of getting your words on paper. You have the heart and soul of a writer when winning a lottery would not change the fact that you would continue to write.

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