8thdayfiction

…and on the 8th day, micro fiction was published on some dude's blog.

Tonight’s Powerball

“…and tonight’s numbers are: seventeen…thirty…four…one-point-seven-seven-two-four-five-three-eight-five-one…twenty-three…aaand, tonight’s Powerball…the empty set.”

Bob sat there staring at his ticket as the announcer signed off and wished everyone good luck.

He felt his chest tighten. Those were HIS numbers–ALL of them.

Well, actually, those should have been his numbers. They were the numbers he was going to play: 17, 30, 4, 1.772453851, 23, and {} for the Powerball.

The numbers he actually played were: 17, 30, 4, 16, 23, and 8 for the Powerball. He substituted the 16 and the 8 at the last minute because he didn’t want a hassle telling the clerk he wanted to play the square root of pi rounded to the nearest billionth for one of his numbers and the empty set for the Powerball. He was afraid the guy would think he was a math nerd. Or, conversely, that the clerk would correct him, telling him that 1.772453851 is the approximate square root of pi rounded to the nearest billionth because pi is an irrational number so its square root cannot be calculated exactly.

As if he didn’t know that.

Bob had also been in a hurry that day and there had been, like, three people in line behind him at the ticket counter and he hadn’t wanted to wait for the clerk to figure out how to enter 1.772453851 and {} into the machine, so he went against his instinct and chose 16 and 8 instead, the day and month of his birthday.

Which meant he had matched four of the five white balls and no Powerball, and that was good for $100.00.

But $100.00, while better than nothing, was no Jackpot and Bob knew it. He tucked his ticket back into his wallet, clicked off the TV, and went to bed.

He didn’t sleep well that night. He kept thinking about what he would do with his $100.00. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, Bob decided he’d use the money to get himself drunk enough to forget that his self-consciousness and impatience had cost him $45,999,900.00.

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