My favorite new hobby is to play the Litter Lottery. It’s just like the normal lottery except you don’t gamble anything to play and everybody wins… so maybe it’s not really like the normal lottery at all???
I live just outside of downtown Nashville in an area called East Nashville. It’s an urban/suburban mix and with that comes a lot of litter. We are constantly having to clean up bottles, cans, urban tumbleweeds (plastic bags) and other various trash out of our yard when it inevitably blows in. It’s a frustrating but generally accepted part of living where we live.
Over the years I have noticed that fairly often I will find lottery tickets thrown on the ground. I find them in parking lots when running to the store, on the side of the street while taking walks, and sometimes they’ll even blow right up to my front door along with the other trash. I used to just ignore them but recently I discovered the Play It Again feature on scratch off tickets issued by the Tennessee Lottery. Every losing scratch off ticket has a second chance to win cash just by registering the ticket online. So now when I see a discarded ticket I pick it up, register it and then throw it out. Worst case scenario, I’ve helped to clean up the neighborhood that I love just a tiny bit. Best case scenario, I win money! Win-Win!!! Entering the tickets requires that you scratch off the area around a barcode or ten digit code on the front of the ticket so I even get that tactile experience to enjoy too.
Often the tickets I find have been sitting out in the elements for a while and are wet or otherwise damaged. The wet tickets I allow to dry as much as possible before trying to scratch off the registration info but sometimes the paper backing has succumbed to the moisture and it rips apart. It’s just part of the territory. At this point I have done this enough that I can pretty much recognize the unusable tickets before even picking them up… but as this has become my “thing” I still make sure to at least pick them up and properly discard of them.
I’m sure you’re wondering “but how many lottery tickets could you really possibly find”. The answer is probably more than you think. I’ve been keeping track the past few days and thought this was pretty interesting…
Day 1: Walk around neighborhood 11 tickets
Day 2: Walk around neighborhood 7 tickets, Grocery Store Parking Lot 2 tickets
Day 3: Walk around neighborhood 5 tickets, found on the road next to the house at the end of the day 6 tickets
And I’m not actively seeking them either. These are the tickets I find going about my normal day to day activities. So yeah, pretty crazy. If you’re over 18, live in Tennessee and aren’t afraid of looking like a lunatic walking around picking up trash you should play the Litter Lottery too!