Currently, there are 1.4 billion reasons to try your luck at winning the colossal Powerball jackpot. Quitting your job, visions of traveling grandeur, and that scathing press conference where you roast anyone that has wronged you since the age of 7, all come to mind as immediate beniefts. But, you can’t win if you don’t play! So, here’s a warning to you newbies-you’re going to be exposed to a seedy underbelly of degenerate convienence store gamblers. Brace yourselves.
Sure, they may be the same hopeless souls you see at the casino, but at the gas station they’re exposed and out of their element. Normally, an ordinary citizen enters the local store with simple requests, “Pack of Marlboros”, “$20 on pump 6”, and “Why is there plastic on all the porno?”. All reasonable back and forths with the clerk.
But, on a day like this, you may not even see that eerie figure hovering near the end of the counter in the distance. Maybe he’s just trying to decide on Grizzly or Skoal. Better yet, who cares.
However, during powerball mania, there are lines. Oh, are there lines. If you want to be the bright cheery moron waving your tickets around and spraying your nauseous speak of “I played! I hope I win!”, you have to pay the price and wait your turn.
Although, you’re in the same store you always frequent, it’s different this time. Waiting in line, it’s hard to avoid them.Unsheltered, you can’t look away from them.
To the immediate side of the purchasing area, they stand peering at customers. They come in all different shapes and sizes. Dreaming for that big scratch off score and an existence that doesn’t involve being surrounded by marked up iPhone chargers, eyeglass repair kits, and 99 cent Cool Ranch Doritos.
There’s no perfect portrait of the gas station gambler, but I’ll give you mine. Unshaven, donning a weathered satin Yankees bullpen jacket, cigarette tucked behind the ear, and generic sneakers that were once white, but have been stained a shade of brown.
They speak in a different language mentioning “kickers” coupled with “backups” and “double backups”. Oh my! They gaze with hopeful wonderment at the endless opportunities within the cheap plastic display case that houses the scratch off games. “Gimme a Super Cashword and $1,000,000 Diamonds”. That sign you see that says “Don’t scratch on the table”, that sign was made specifically for the person you’re looking at.
These people aren’t bad people. They just think that getting rich involves gambling your life away with the scent of disel wafing throughout the air.
So, in closing, prepare, but respect the Gas Station gambler. He’s there just like you with a dollar and a dream. He’s just there more often.