As I was typing this, I was in the lottery room.
My father, who was watching from the window, told me that a man in a black robe was on the phone with a lottery official.
“The number has been changed, sir,” the official said, and I had to look up the number on my phone.
The man in the black robe had been there for an hour.
“Do you know who the person is?”
“No,” he said.
“What about the number?”
“What does it say?”
“I think it says: I think it’s a little bit more than $3 million.”
He then said that it was about three times what it should have been.
I told him I would call back.
“Well, we will call back,” he told me.
“But don’t call back unless you have proof that the person on the other end of the line was not a lottery worker.
And, if they are, you need to call them back.”
I called back, and it was a woman.
She had a clipboard and asked if I could fill out a form, saying that I had three days to answer it or she would not release my prize.
“I don’t have anything,” I said.
I was told that I would get a prize and I should call back as soon as possible.
My first attempt to call back went unanswered, and then I got another message.
I did, and the woman on the line said she was calling from a lottery office in Pennsylvania.
“How much do you want to bet on the lottery?”
I told her I had never bet before.
“OK, fine, you have to call me back when you have money,” she said.
But she did not give me a number for a casino that she had called.
“Can I ask you if I can give you my number?”
I said, to which she said, “Yes.”
She asked for my phone number.
“My number is in Pennsylvania.”
“But what is the state of Indiana?”
I was confused.
“We can’t release the number.”
She said, in a hushed voice, “It’s just a random number.”
I asked, “What if the lottery worker on the call is not an official lottery worker?”
“They will tell you when you call,” she replied.
“Are you sure?”
I finally got through to the person in the call center.
“It is not a random or any of that.
It is a number that you have, that has been given to you.”
She called back and said that the number had been changed.
“There was no person on that line, is that right?”
There was a person in this room who had to get the number changed.”
“OK,” she told me, “that was the last number we talked about.
Now, let’s talk about the numbers that were already posted on the website.”
She mentioned the number that was already posted, the one for Illinois.
I had not heard of Illinois.
She said it was on a website that was not yet up and that she would call it back, so I did.
I called the number, and she hung up.
I hung up again.
“So what does that number mean?”
I called her back.
This time she said that she could give me my prize, and when I called to get my prize back, she said the number was no longer available.
I waited a few minutes and called back.
The woman on line told me to contact the lottery office and to be sure to use my correct number.
I asked for a picture of the number and the clerk said she could not provide one because it had been moved.
I got a picture and said, I need to go see if there is anyone else who is getting their prize.
I started walking away from the casino.
“Who are you?”
I started calling back, but no one was answering.
I looked at the screen, and there was a red dot on the screen that said, The number has changed.
I said to myself, That is not good.
I walked toward the window.
The casino was empty.
I drove over to the other side of the street.
There were two empty houses on the street and a small group of people waiting to go inside.
They were all wearing white T-shirts.
They had no money.
One of them said to me, Are you going to get your prize?
“I looked back.
The other said, Do you think I have to give you your prize back?
I said no, I think you should get a picture.
I went to the window and took a picture, which was the picture of me.
Then I walked out of the casino, and my father came over to me.
I just told him what I had just heard