Scratch Party

By: Peggy Willms


(3 min. read)

You may have never read one thing I have written until today. It was the title that grabbed you, wasn’t it? Well, you might be slightly disappointed because this isn’t likely about what you suspected.

My sister and her boyfriend have been visiting us from Colorado. Both of them are worker bees who pound out the 9-5 or 9-9 or call-ins, day in and day out. They had purchased their plane tickets and planned to visit us a year ago, but Hurricane Ian had other plans, so they had to cancel.

We walked the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel this week to discover Mother Nature’s playground will never be quite the same. The hurricane not only wiped out the homes and businesses, but it also destroyed acres of trees and beachlines, as you can guess 156 m.p.h. would. Sanibel is known for being the seashell capital of the world. I have been sifting through Nature’s wonders on that beach for 13 years and have never ever walked away with only a few jingles. The shells were beaten up and spread like crushed-up walnuts smashed into the cream cheese frosting on a carrot cake. My sister consistently responded to the damage on our coast: “That’s sad.”

But we know how to appreciate life and fill a room with laughter anywhere we go, so our adventure continued, whether buying fudge at Fisherman’s Village or sifting through baby toys for our grandchildren. We know how to appreciate a damn good salad and how to make partying fun without alcohol, cigarettes, or blaring jukeboxes. I know… I know… you might find us b-o-r-i-n-g! What did we all enjoy the most? I mean, other than fun in the sun… come on, you can guess… keep trying…

You nailed it… we had a ton of scratch parties.

Dana and I don’t buy scratch tickets. Sure, he might have stuck one in my birthday card a few years ago, but the finger-cramping, wrist-contorting exercise isn’t something we do regularly. I didn’t know how or where to buy them. Machines? Scratch ticket machines?

In 1974, John Koza and Dan Bower used Massachusetts as a guinea pig. Instant Game tickets, with a top prize of $10,000, produced the state few people can pronounce (mass-a-choo-sits) a whopping $2.7 million in the first week of sales. The take-a-ticket frenzy generates $75 billion per year.[1]

With nickel in hand, because apparently, they are the best—big and soft edges (lord), we spent several afternoons on the lanai, under the umbrella, drinking zero sugar root beer and sharing our answers to, “What are you going to do with the millions you win today?” 

Dusty scraps cover the table from Game of Life, $150,000 a Year for Life, Monopoly, Gold Rush, $2 million Cashword, and more. Not only was this world foreign to me, but so was the app you can use to determine if your card is a winner or loser. You heard me. There is a phone app where you hover over the ticket’s barcode, and it makes sure you aren’t about to throw away a million-dollar crossword in a dumpster outside of 7-11.  

How did we do? We are still down about 40% from our initial investment, but Bobby says that is pretty good. After each batch, we invest our profits into more tickets. Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

I am sure we will do it again today. It is Bobby’s birthday and our anniversary: carrot cake, a Ginger Ale, and a scratch ticket party. Want to join us?




Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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