121. The Lottery Ticket

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An 85-year-old woman in Tennessee named Astrid became a multimillionaire overnight after winning a $500 million lottery jackpot. However, her road to richness was not all completely smooth. Her story reminds us that in order to win the lottery, there are two crucial requirements. The first and most obvious necessity is a lot of luck. The second requirement is just as important, but much less often mentioned -- getting organized.

Astrid's story began when getting in line for a lottery ticket at her local supermarket. The woman ahead of her decided to let her cut in front of her to pay. This woman was also planning on buying a lottery ticket. Had she not given Astrid her spot in the line, the lottery money would have been hers!

On the day that the winners were announced, Astrid realized she had won, she could not contain her excitement. She danced with joy all around her house and jumped on the phone to tell her closest relatives what had just happened. The next morning Astrid woke up and prepared to go claim her prize money, but suddenly realized that she could not remember where she had placed her ticket. Given that her memory was no longer as sharp as it used to be, she searched and searched around her messy house for hours to no avail. She had absolutely no recollection of where she might have stored or dropped the ticket.

Astrid had been given thirty days to claim her prize, or else it would be canceled. For 27 days, her schedule was dedicated to searching every surface and square foot of her house for the missing ticket. With only three days left, she decided to finally call her daughters for help. She had been too embarrassed to call them from the beginning because her house was so messy, but now had no other choice. Figuring that helping their mother find the ticket would probably secure at least an extra million dollars to them, all three of Astrid's daughters immediately sped over to her house.

Within the first half hour of searching, the youngest of her daughters hollered, "I found it!" It turned out Astrid had left it in a dish cabinet. "Oh, thank you, daughter!" Astrid cried. "I owe you so much!" Her daughter's smile glistened with pride as her two sisters scowled at her from the next room.

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