Scratch and stash, woo-hoo factor included

  • Sun May 9th, 2010 11:03pm
  • News

By Kristi O’Harran, Herald Columnist

Yes, that was me at the Lottery office in Everett.

I won! I won!

I’ve been to the money shop at Silver Lake — twice — in 14 days. If you win more than $600 on a game, you go to a state location for the payout rather than back to the point of purchase.

Two weeks ago I bought a $10 “7 Times the Money” scratch ticket at Fred Meyer in Mill Creek. I was sitting at my desk at work, scratching the silver lining off tickets, and I uncovered the numeral “7.”

That meant I won whatever prize amount was below the “7.” Lo and behold, it said I won $1,000.

There was no screaming.

Shock.

Silly me, I scratched further, hoping to reveal a couple more zeros.

My friends, Jim and Kay Daniels of Everett, won $3.25 million in 1987 in the state Lottery. Jim and Kay played darts with our crowd when she worked at a video store, and Jim, a former King County police officer, was a garbage collector.

I’ll never forget when they banked their dough, they only got $200 cash back.

They were wise with their windfall.

I decided to secretly hide my money in my account at Northwest Plus Credit Union. I’ve always wanted cash ready to tap (“Ta da”) in case of a leak in the roof, blown transmission or dead dishwasher.

I took a photocopy of the $1,000 ticket for old-time’s sake. The clerk noticed my Lottery check when I handed her the deposit.

She gushed a bit and it was fun.

My silence lasted three days. I told my husband, Chuck, the fab news, and he was fine it was tucked away.

I’ve been playing state games since they began in 1982 and my biggest prior win was $100.

When I was a little girl, I read “Mama’s Bank Account” by Kathryn Forbes. Whenever her Norwegian family faced tough times, Mama asked if there was any way to solve the problem without dipping into her bank account.

The family always pulled together to save the day.

Everyone should have a secret stash. Something no one can touch. My mom and dad keep stashes from one another. I’ve told my daughter to start one even though times are tight raising a young family.

Goofball Chuck likes to tell me how much is in his stash. I always try to stop him. That isn’t the point of hiding money. Your amount should be your private secret.

Last Monday, I bought scratch tickets at Albertsons in Everett. I looked at push buttons on the dispensary machine, was tempted to buy another “7 Times the Money” ticket, but I hesitated because I had already taken a chunk out of that bucket.

I should not buy that type again.

But sweet thoughts about revealing $1,000 made me press the button under “7 Times the Money.”

Before work at my desk, I rubbed the ticket. I uncovered a “win” spot and stopped. The directions said you get seven times the amount under a “win” note.

I bet it was going to show a dollar or two. Even that would be nice. I put my special lottery coin under the “win” word and carved off the silver layer.

It read “$100.” I read it again. I reread the directions. For gosh sakes I had won another $700 — two weeks after winning $1,000— on the same type of ticket.

I immediately called Chuck and we giggled and giggled at my luck. This time I took him to the lottery office to get my check. The nice lady there remembered me from two weeks earlier.

“We often get repeat winners,” she said, declining to share her name.

The teller at my credit union was aghast when I took in $700. She remembered my $1,000 Lottery check.

I’ve been told that at income tax time next year, I can produce $1,700 worth of losing scratch tickets to counterbalance $1,700 the IRS knows about.

No problem.

Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451, oharran@heraldnet.com.