By: Isla Patrick
About two weeks ago, my phone decided I was an extreme gambling addict. I could not open any social media app without it bombarding me with live footage of Americans just like myself spending upwards of 5,000 dollars on scratchers alone. Soon enough, I found myself embroiled in the world of gambling influencers who have drama amongst themselves rivaling that of Trisha Paytas and Ethan Klein. One scratcher accused her gambling colleague of lying about her winnings. The accused refuted her accuser on a competing livestream, where I, alongside a dozen other gambling enthusiasts, sat in the crossfire of the comment section. As you can imagine, I became totally and completely hooked. The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, so here I go: my name is Isla Patrick, and I am addicted to watching middle-aged women from the Southeastern United States spend their entire paychecks on those one-dollar scratchers with the frogs on them.
Truth be told, my journey with scratchers started way before two weeks ago. When my brother turned 18 six months ago, nothing could keep us from the CA Lottery machine in Safeway. We deduced that the best scratchers are the cheapest ones on the bottom shelf of the machine that boast a “grand prize” of less than 50 dollars. For us, it’s not about the money. It’s about scratching away at a piece of rainbow cardboard just because it’s something to do. It’s also a little bit about the money. And a little bit about the happy, happy frogs that console you when you realize you paid a whole dollar just to lose (what even are the odds of that?).
Not that I lose often! On Sept. 8, I realized that I am probably the best scratcher in the world. I bought four one-dollar “Bee Lucky” scratchers to celebrate my 18th birthday (and by that I absolutely do not mean my 17th birthday because I very legally bought those scratchers and am of legal age to buy scratchers because I am 18 and definitely not 17 and definitely would not lie about my age in my high school publication). My internal monologue became extremely southern, just like the accents of my similarly afflicted online gambling peers, as I scratched away at the honey-themed card. I won ten whole dollars — plus another free “Bee Lucky” card. This just goes to show that gambling is a good way to spend your money because you will very likely win, despite what you may have heard from those against making big bucks.
As I leave my dear readers, I would like to instill one final point for those who are interested in getting involved with the single most effective money-making strategy: 100 percent of gambling addicts quit before they strike it rich.