I just entered the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. I’ve never done anything like that before. I’m sure it signifies some ominous line that I’ve crossed, some dubious group that I’ve joined (namely: “the time’s running out and I’m not rich” crowd). But I’m going to postpone any philosophical musings for the time being. I just hope like hell that I win.
If you’ve ever actually torn open one of those envelopes—and I’m sure that few people who read a blog such as this one actually have—high-minded folks who’re interested in the arts and faith and the cross-section betwixt them—then let me tell you what it’s like (I’ll relate this in the fashion of a ten year-old boy who accidentally walked into the girl’s bathroom—a high school girl’s bathroom—and comes out with eyes full of stars and a heart full of tales from the undiscovered country from which he returns).
It’s not as easy as you think—to become a winner, that is. Sure, you can just return your entry in the enclosed envelope and be done with it. But there are all kinds of bonus prizes and award enhancements. If you find the place to put a series of stickers—on one of the twenty-five slips of paper that accompany the ballot—and if you play all the scratch-off games and tick-tack-toe games and assorted treasure hunt puzzles—you increase your chances to win five, ten, sometimes twenty-fold. This is serious business. The loaves and fishes are multiplied. Who can turn down a chance to maximize his winnings like that? It would be downright wrong.