WALLY'S WORLD: So where's my good luck?

You may not know Ann and Toby Larson unless you spend an occasional afternoon haunting the Lee lounge, in which case you probably know them quite well. And, if that’s the case, you might have played the pull tabs with them. Or joined them in the football pool. Perhaps the state lottery?

You see, the Larsons are gamblin’ fools. At least that’s what some lounge regulars tell me.

In fact, relative to most people, I suppose that’s an accurate tag. According to Ann, she and Toby spend between $800 and $1,000 each month at the Muckleshoot casino and perhaps another $240 on the state lottery. Figure the math. That’s $12,000 a year, give or take a thousand. Over 10 years, we’re talking a little money.

Of course, they’ve also won a few nickels; here a $1,000, there a $1,000 and then a few hundred more. During 10 years, perhaps they’ve won half of their investment so, for purposes of this silly, little column, let’s say they’ve lost $50,000 in the past 10 years.

On occasion, Ann was a bit concerned about this, but she shrugged it off.

“We enjoy gambling,” she consoled herself. “Other people spend just as much on sporting events or traveling or porn or whatever their thing might be.”

Though you always hear about someone who wins the mother lode, Ann never expected to hit a major jackpot and make a full recovery. But then, to resort to cliches, never say never. She had just as much a chance as anyone else.

Alas, just last October she nailed one of the Muckleshoot machines for $36,835. Needless to say, that was a welcomed little reprieve, even though the government sliced $9,200 off the top.

Yet, just in case you haven’t heard – in which case, you ain’t heard nothing yet – last month Ann hit the state hit-five lottery for $170,000! Holy smokes! Talk about a mother lode! This time the government took $50,000 but still, no matter how you slice it, the Larsons were suddenly way ahead of the game.

It was Ann’s ticket that won, not Toby’s. So, if for some reason he hasn’t been treating her right in the past, you can damn well bet your last chip he’s treating her very well now.

They gave some money to their children, several thousand more will go for home improvements and Toby needs a new riding lawnmower because the old push machine craps him out after one swipe across the front yard. They’re also planning a trip to several regional casinos and maybe even a spin down to Las Vegas.

“It would be nice to win a little money,” Toby says with a playful smirk.

Yeah, well, like they say, the Larsons are gamblin’ fools. I just wish some of the foolishness would rub off on me.

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