On Friday, I practically skipped into the Gas Station Chicken Store to cash in a $40 scratcher winner. Practically skipped, because waltzing is not my strong point, and practically, because I prefer to plod slow and steady these days, like an old plow horse. Even though I was in quite good spirits, having free money to cash in, and a 44 oz Diet Coke imminently in my future.
When I got to the counter with my magical elixir, I was the only customer. The Lady Owner was working, and I handed her my ticket. She stepped over to the machine that scans them.
"This might take a few minutes. We've been having trouble with it." She punched some stuff in. "Honey, come over and jiggle the wires for me." Her husband, the Man Owner, was stocking shelves. He came forward and jiggled the wires on the back of the screen, but nothing changed.
"That's okay. I'm not in any hurry. I'll go ahead and pick out my next tickets."
She had everything ready, but the ticket still hadn't scanned so she could get a receipt out of a connected thingy to staple to it. The state is very unforgiving about lottery fraud. Another customer had come in, and was standing at the side counter with a checkbook register open. I don't know if he was writing a check, or just writing down his amount for his gas.
"It's still trying to load." She looked at the new guy. "This will take a few minutes, sir. I'm waiting on it to scan this ticket, and then I'll be with you. We have a satellite up on the roof, and if there's a cloud in just the wrong position, it messes with our internet reception."
"On the roof of this building? I saw some guys up there working when I came in."
"RIGHT NOW? Up on THIS roof?" The Owner Lady seemed a bit frantic.
"Nah! I was just messin' with ya." That customer is lucky that Lady Owner was just relieved, and not mad.
"Heh, heh! Good one." I never saw that one coming. That guy would make a good poker player. He had me fished in, believing his words and facial expression.
"I'm sorry this is taking so long. It's been down for about the last 30 minutes."
"Oh! I didn't know it had been down that long. I don't have to wait. I have cash. I can just pay now, and bring that ticket back tomorrow. As long as it doesn't show up as already being paid then."
"No. It won't. See? The screen is still trying to load. I'd have to scan it again when it comes up."
I took her word for it, and paid cash. Of course when I went back Saturday, she wasn't working. Good news is...my $40 winner scanned just like normal. No problems whatsoever.
A happy ending after all.