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Judy Spooner: Throwing all caution to the wind, I'll indulge

I had to drive to Roseville this week. I could have stopped off at HarMar Mall, but I passed it up to get to the Minnesota Lottery Office because I won more than $1,000 on a scratch-off game.

I'm not much of a gambler. I can have fun at a casino, but I only spend $20 and I'm done. If I win more than $5 on a slot machine, I cash it in. Management is not looking for more customers like me.

For one thing, I don't understand slot machine games. I once pressed a button by mistake and doubled, or something else, and wham, I was busted.

I'm an amateur when it comes to gambling. I buy $3 crossword scratch-offs. I won't take a chance on any of the other games. It takes awhile to work a crossword ticket. I have fun and lose my money at a much slower pace than with other scratch-offs.

Getting a winning ticket came Sunday evening after I played a round of golf with husband Gary at Mississippi Dunes. It's one of the most beautiful courses I've ever played, and I played the best game I've ever played there.

I was on a roll and didn't know it.

After I realized I had won a large amount, I thought about what I could do with my winnings. I could afford to indulge myself.

I could go to the grocery store and buy four 12-packs of Diet Lime Coke without a coupon. I know I can get one from the ads at the checkout. But what the heck, I can afford it.

Every time I go to Bath and Body Works in Woodbury, I get carried away with the buy-three-and-get-one-free sales. After I get the tab at the register, I tell myself that if I keep on saving money, I'll be broke.

This week, I can take advantage of the sales, smile at the woman behind the register and cheerfully hand her my debit card.

This is heady stuff.

If I want to, I can go through Walgreens drug store's vitamin aisle and buy all the buy-one, get-one-free supplements I can get into the shopping basket.

I think I'll go to the car wash. No, not the ones at gas convenience stores, I'll go to the big car wash and order the best package they offer.

At one of our local department stores, there are a lot of good buys, but I have trouble keeping track of my possible savings if I get 30 percent off, get a scratch-off ticket at the register and decide to use my charge card. I take a deep breath as the clerk runs my bargain through the register.

This week, I'll casually stroll to the register and calmly wait for the total.

I bought a Gold Card for $20 to support the Park High School football team. After flashing it at a local gas station, I get five cents off per gallon. This week, I can leave it in my billfold without a care.

With a little effort, I could be a major contributor to President Barack Obama's economic stimulus program.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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