Imagine if you will an ordinary arborvitae tree. You know the kind they sell at Home Depot. They run about $40bucks or so. Now put that tree into a nice pot so it looks pretty. After that gather about 220 scratch off lottery tickets and pin them on the tree. You know making it look like a crazy money tree dripping with cash.

It’s shiny now. It has pizzazz. 

So here’s the story of the money tree. My mom went to a fundraiser. One of many she attends since she herself is a professional fundraiser. This one happened to have had a silent auction portion. Generally baskets of items, gift cards, event tickets are donated by businesses and charitable people to be auctioned off. Event goers buy tickets, put them in the matching bucket and hope to win that “prize”. At this event my mom decided since she was given her entry ticket gratis she would give back by buying a few auction tickets and making a donation to the cause. She threw her tickets in a couple different buckets and low and behold she won the money tree.

I can only imagine what the tree looked like in its entirety. We inherited the arborvitae and the nice pot and of course got to help scratch off the tickets to see if she was a big winner. When she arrived the tickets were all in a box and the tree looked like , well…a tree.

In the beginning of this scratching chore it was a bit overwhelming. 200+ tickets all screaming of potential jackpots. Win up to 12x, $500 a week for life, $2500 a week for life, $10k, $30k, $100k, $500k and literally everything in between. So what to scratch first? The little quick $1 match 3 like amounts?  What about the ones with lucky in the name? Horseshoes, clovers, 7’s, pots of gold. They all had different rules, OMG, when did a scratch off become such a time consuming event? There were $10 tickets that were bingo and crossword themed that took honestly almost 20 or more minutes to complete that were dud losers. Not even a dollar.

Through this whole thing I kept thinking I cannot believe people pay $5 or $10 for a scratch ticket to win nothing. I mean the odds absolutely suck people! 173 of the 221 tickets were losers. 

So here are some numbers for you. 221 tickets were purchased for somewhere around $550+.  It took 3 days to scratch and go through them and the take home? $217!  Not even half of the initial investment- ragardless that they were probably donated in various forms in the first place.

Now it was a win for my mom since she paid $10 or so for the auction raffle tickets. Clearly a worthwhile prize. And all the while scratching don’t think we weren’t hoping for a big win. How flipping cool that would have been right?

You hear about people hitting a big jackpot on a scratch ticket and honestly I hope it was random luck. I can see paying a buck or two for a chance but these tickets can get pricy and for mostly zero in return.

You have all been warned 😉 

Now I have to go rest my arm from all the scratching.

The aftermath