Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Woo in my cookie

I opened my Chinese fortune cookie, and found the standard slip of paper with a "fortune" on one side and "lucky numbers" on the other.

I usually don't pay much attention to my "lucky numbers," but today I started to wonder:

How long are my lucky numbers lucky for exactly? Is there a "use by" date? A "best if used by" date? An expiration date? 

Are the numbers only "lucky" on the day the cookie was bought? Or the day the cookie is opened? Because I sometimes don't open and eat my fortune cookie on the same day I buy Chinese food, so I need to know!!!
Are my numbers lucky today only? Or do they carry over to the day I decide to do...something...with my lucky numbers?

And that "something" I choose to do with my numbers....are my lucky numbers lucky in any game I play using them? 

Can I use them for the Daily Lottery "Pick 3" or "Pick 4"?

I would assume not for the "Pick 3" because how would I know which three numbers out of the six different ones (0,1,2,3,4, and 5) in the six two-digit numbers are the right three to pick?

But I guess I could use two of the six two-digit numbers for the "Pick 4," but which ones?!

This is so complicated!

Since "Bonus Match 5" only uses numbers up to 39, only two of my numbers would be "lucky" if I played that game. But are the rest of the numbers not on the cookie's slip "unlucky"? And, if so, I guess I can't play "Bonus Match 5" either because I'd have to use unlucky numbers, and that probably wouldn't be lucky.

I guess I could use my "lucky" numbers to play "Powerball" and "Mega Millions." And those games have the really big payouts, so no complaint there. Hmm. I wonder if I can use the same "lucky" numbers twice, once for each game. Winning both "Powerball" and "Mega Millions" would, indeed, be lucky.

But wait! How lucky is "lucky"? I hope "lucky" means that all six numbers will result in my winning the really big umpteen-million dollar prize in at least one, if not both, of the games. I wouldn't consider it very "lucky" if I was only "lucky" enough to match one of the numbers drawn and win only $2 or $3. 

I wonder if these "lucky" numbers are only "lucky" in Maryland. Would they also be lucky in other states' lotteries too? 

Hey! I also wonder if they're also lucky in those Canadian and Irish Lotteries that I keep getting email about, telling me that I won, even though, honestly, I don't even remember entering them. Which kind makes me think that I must be very, very lucky even without my Chinese (are there any other kind?) fortune cookies "lucky numbers."

And what about lotteries that aren't quite, um, government-approved? I remember when I was a kid, my older family members would play "the numbers." But I wouldn't even know how to contact someone who knew someone who knew someone who might be a bookie. It's easier just to go to the liquor store and buy a "Powerball" or "Mega Millions" ticket there. And when I win, I won't have to get stressed worrying if "Bernie" was actually going to deliver all the millions I'd won.

I just thought of another potential complication: What if the Chinese lady at the checkout throws an extra fortune cookie in my bag since I'm such a valued customer?! And I end up with two sets of "lucky numbers"? Do I need to choose which set of "lucky numbers" to play? And if so, which one is the lucky set of "lucky numbers"? Or, do I play both sets of numbers? Because it seems to me that that will result in one of the sets of "lucky numbers" being unlucky, since only one set can win. Unless...well, clearly the solution is to use one set for "Powerball" and the other set for "Mega Millions." Problem solved. Silly me!

And--now my mind is swirling at the thought--what if I bought a whole bag of Chinese fortune cookies the next time I'm at the grocery?! And the bag had, like, 50 cookies in it, and they all had different "lucky numbers" inside?!

But just as I started to think that if I bought Chinese food at least once a week and played my "lucky numbers" weekly, I would be really really really rich. And I would quit my job. And I would let being really really rich change me, at least the part of me that gets tired of not being really really rich.

But I digress...

Just as I started planning to eat Chinese more often, I realized I am not the only person who eats Chinese food and gets fortune cookies with "lucky numbers" in them!! Zounds! Sometimes there's an entire line of people waiting to get Chinese food when I go to pick up mine!!

So, how does that work exactly? All those people with all those fortune cookies with all those "lucky numbers" inside?

All this wondering and thinking is giving me a headache. Or maybe my headache's from the MSG. I keep forgetting to tell them "no MSG" when I order.

There's no instruction manual that came with my cookie to explain any of this. Typical. I'm thinking that I'll google "fortune cookie lucky number" and "instructions" to see if I can find any helpful information. Maybe there's a Fortune Cookie Lucky Numbers: The Missing Manual or, more likely (because there's one for just about every possible subject), Fortune Cookie Lucky Numbers for Dummies. I just hope that when I do find the answers to my questions, I don't find out that my "lucky" numbers' luck has expired, and all I have left are "numbers."

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