Not anything that goes with -witted. Like half- or slow- or dim-.
There is the slightest possibility that I might be a criminal. I hope not. But signs point to a problem. At the very least, I might be an accomplice! I don't know. That's the thing. Mayhap I am, and mayhap I ain't. Genius likes to use that word. I think because he read or heard it in from old Mother Abigail, in the book or movie The Stand.
I didn't set out to become a criminal on Friday. That was just an unhappy accident. Maybe. I'm still not sure. We'll know by the time I get done writing this. I won't leave you hangin'.
Here's the deal. Friday afternoon, I grabbed my phone to scan my scratchers. I do that to make sure I don't miss a winner. There's an app for Missoui Lottery that will tell you how much your ticket wins, or it will say, "Sorry. Not a winner. Thanks for playing." Not in words, of course. You have to read it off your phone screen.
Anyhoo...I had a ticket like this:
That's a new one. Unscratched. Which turned out to be a loser, but the one I was checking on Friday had a dollar-bill symbol, which means AUTOMATIC WINNER, and under it was $5. So I was expecting the app to show me "Congratulations, you have won $5." Or maybe more, if I'd missed a number. Which never happens, but I'm
However...that is NOT the message I got, but rather one that said, "This ticket can not be scanned. Check with a Missouri Lottery office." Or something pretty close to that. I didn't want to write it down, because it made me feel like a criminal. Okay. That wasn't my FIRST thought. At first, I thought maybe it was a problem with the app. So I restarted it. Nope. Same message. Then I thought maybe the ticket was too old now, and looked up that game, but it is still in play, not even the 6-month warning that it's ending.
Huh. Could it be a big winner? Nope. I scoured those 15 numbers, and none matched. Only my one little symbol that clearly showed a $5 win.
OH NO! What if MOLOTTERY thought I stole that ticket? I didn't! But maybe they have a safeguard in place in case people steal them in a robbery. Or clerks give them away without scanning. Like how those Devil's Playground gift cards are no good if you don't pay and have them activated. Sweet Gummi Mary! Was Mrs. HM headed for the Big House? For the hoosegow? For Crossbars Hilton?
I got to thinking about when I bought it. I put an initial on the back of all my scratchers, so I can remember where they came from. In case I get a good winner, I don't want to buy that same ticket at the same place until a new roll is put out. In this case, I had cashed in a $100 winner, plus a $10 and $5 winner. I knew the kid working the counter at Waterside Mart. He's a former student. Flaming red hair. No mistaking who he is. I'd told him, "I'm going to take $100 back, and give you a five-dollar bill, and get four tickets." So, you see, I was applying the $10 and $5 winners to my purchase of $20, and giving him a five-dollar bill to complete it. He nodded. He was always good at math.
WHAT IF...Red had forgotten to scan in that fourth ticket? He had checked the winners in the winner-scanner, and printed the ticket that they need to give the winnings back. I know he scanned my new tickets into the register. But he might have forgotten that one. He'd taken the five-dollar bill and put it in the register. Oh, no! I didn't want HIM to get in trouble!
I told Farmer H, and we couldn't figure out any reason other than the ticket didn't get rung up at the register. The bar code looked fine. Not ripped or scratched. I had already decided that if a store wouldn't cash it for me, I was just going to forget it. It was $5. Not worth a drive to the city to the lottery office. Not worth a college kid losing his job over. Not worth ME being accused of stealing it!!!
Saturday, I took that ticket to The Gas Station Chicken Store. My favorite clerk was working. The little Asian dude. That made me feel like I was in good hands. He knows his lottery. He's been there the second-longest of all the clerks.
"I have a mystery for you! I don't know if this ticket is good. It clearly shows a $5 winner, but when I scan it on my phone app, it tells me to take it to a lottery office, that it can't be scanned."
"Huh. Let's see..."
He scanned it on their machine. I saw a box with words come up, but I couldn't see that far to read it.
"If it's not good, I'll just take it back and forget it..."
"Oh...it's good. But it didn't come from here."
"I know. It came from Waterside Mart." I started explaining my theory about the ticket not being scanned. "I don't want that kid to get in any trouble."
"Well, he wouldn't get in trouble for that. It's not about scanning in the ticket. The ROLL of tickets wasn't activated. So I can pay you the five dollars. Whoever put out the new roll of tickets is the one they'd want to talk to."
Looks like Mrs. HM is NOT a criminal or an accomplice after all. Good thing. I don't believe Farmer H would bake me a cake with a file in it to bring me on visiting day. The closest I might get would be a Twinkie with fingernail clippers.