The night of the first lottery I was with a gal pal in Shawnee Town south of campus, babysitting for some married friends of hers. We poured some drinks from the bottle of whiskey I had brought along and turned on the tube to watch the drawing. My birthdate is November 3 and sure enough, early November dates were unusually prevalent in the first 20 or so draws.

I freaked…it looked really bad. I turned off the TV and finished off the whiskey (mostly by myself as my partner had to be alert for the kids) and stumbled back to my apartment on nearby Shawnee Place.

I greeted the next morning with a world-class hangover, opened a breakfast beer, grabbed the Lexington Herald-Leader and sat at the kitchen table. I bypassed the lottery story itself and went straight to the "box score" of the draws. If memory serves, the draws were ranked in three columns in ascending order. My shaking finger started with No. 1 and slowly slid down the the list. There was a whimper with every November date appearing, but November 3 did not show up in the first column of about 125 dates.

Okay, I thought, there’s still hope and my finger started down the second column, a little faster than before. About halfway through the column my day started to improve–still no November 3. By the end of the second column–about 250 dates–I was becoming giddy.

Finally, in the third column I found November 3…No. 348! I just sat and stared. I couldn’t believe it…I had won the most important lottery of my life.

On to the Paddock!