BY EWALT AINSWORTH                 03 30 2012

Friday will go down as the most luckiest day in the world for somebody, anybody but not everybody.  The New York lottery system is sponsoring the most expensive and incentive-filled game in the history of the lottery project…US 500,000.00.  And with that comes some behavioral issues among our people and some others.

Patrick, a compatriot, some years ago was visiting during the Easter season his adult children who had moved into the home purchased by his ex-wife and current husband.  The current husband, who is a personal friend, tried to be courteous, cordial and cooperative while the ex husband visited.  In addition to cooking some snapper curry and wild rice, the two scampered off quietly to the neighborhood lottery store.  The husband used the curriculum vitae of the ex to select tickets and gave him a bundle as a gift.  One of the bundled tickets yielded a significant amount of money and with that the visiting boo cancelled his visit and headed for the hills without sharing.  A decade has past and neither the ex wife, current husband or immediate past and visiting husband, have spoke n to each other.  As a matter of fact, the women died shortly after and rumors have it that “the low down dirty dog” might have started her demise.  That’s how I buy it and so a sell it.         

Last week in New Jersey there was a case where five co-workers pooled and bought a bundle of tickets.  The purchaser, who in addition to buying the bundles, won US24 million dollars.  She claims she bought it separate and apart from the bundle.  The forensics of this case reveal that the winning ticket was bought at a later time but at the same place by the purchaser.  The on-deck cameras and credit card activity also suggest and authenticate the same.  The co-workers are still pursuing the case because the credit card used for the purchase was owned jointly by the group.

This case has prompted in-house rules when buying tickets between and among families, co-workers and friends.  It demands signatures from all participants and a photocopy of all tickets purchased and re-distributed.  All purchases must be on approved instruments like cards and money orders to avoid the aforementioned problems.

Massa-Hogg is a Buxton man who migrated to London in the 60s and after he retired in the 80s, settled in East Orange NJ.  Some years ago before his demise, he took  a vacation trip to Guyana and played the local lottery, winning more than ten million towels.  He never came back to the States.  His estate is in court because his domestic partner feels she is entitled to some of the winnings in GT.  My understanding is that the house he constructed somewhere in Durban backlands, is on property she owns but his adult children, have installed themselves and they do not seem to want to move anytime soon.

The winter of 2008 I spent Boxing Day with one of the Moses’ brothers from Buxton in Toronto.  While there I was introduced to a young man whose last home address was 339 East St in Georgetown.  The man had won a couple million Lunies (CDN$) and was sitting tight.  When we met, he had already drawn down and monetized his winnings by only buying himself a pocket television set.  The rest he invested.  I am really, really curious to meet him now to see how he is faring.

And there is another Buxton man, Mr. Cromwell, nephew of teacher Jimmy.  He bought mini buses after a massive win in Toronto.

A Linden man also won in Ottawa that I know on a personal level, he won two decades ago and did not resign or retire.  He is not as aggressive as he used to be after the winning and his wife would tell you “he own fought gonna wake he up.”

Money is not money.  As a Guyanese community, we have won millions and in the process, our moral compass is challenged.  To pause for this clause is both symbolic and essential.  Money does very little for us unless we have that discipline to maintain our senses and sensibilities,  Winning a million or two for some is a global triumph; for others a tragedy.  Massa after his winnings accepted his name as Massa Hogg because he hogged it all without reaching back and out.  Take warning chemists and druggists.


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