Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Lottery

We get such a kick out of our friend Merlin. She has been telling us some interesting stories about her dreams and the lottery. It seems that she will often have a dream about numbers. The other night she dreamed of the numbers 14 and 41. Now, that sounds kind of weird in and of itself, I mean, who dreams about numbers? But the stranger part is that she will wake up, still thinking about those numbers, and one of her friends will call asking if she's had any dreams.

I need to explain (no doubt poorly) about the lottery on Roatan. There is a twice daily lottery and then a weekly lottery. They are different from any in the U.S. that I know of (I don't play so I'm no expert) in that you can pick your number and it can be just a two digit number. Also, any number of people can choose the same number and if it is a winner, each one receives a full share, you don't split the winnings. Also, you can spend as much as you want on your lottery ticket, and the more you pay, the more you can win (or lose). The pay out for the daily lotteries is 60 to 1, for the weekly lottery it is 150 to 1. The lottery machines are all over the place, even in some of the small pulperias (tiny convenience stores), making it convenient for you to play (sort of like Las Vegas!).

This is where Merlin's friends come in. They frequently call and ask if she's had any dreams. If it's for the larger weekly lottery, they will often pay her a cut in exchange for her "tip", the number she saw in her dream. Now, this does sounds far fetched, but she's amazingly correct, which is why her friends call. The first weekend that we were here, she and her friends won a pretty large amount. She used her winnings to pay for their new wrought iron fence from the road up to the new hilltop house, a distance of several hundred feet. Sometimes, she'll just save the money from smaller winnings and use it for eating out. She even treated us to a lunch out that first week.

We think she's one of those rare people who are just incredibly perceptive as she often "predicts" or just knows that something is going to happen or someone is in trouble. She has told us about several dreams she's had in the past about someone dying shortly before the person did. She describes it as "just a feeling". Dreaming about numbers is apparently an extension of that ability. Without a dream, she will never bet on anything.

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