On occasion, I’m very lucky.
(I once won a car without even entering the contest—but that’s a story for another day.)
My first memorable lucky moment occurred in the summer of 1973. I was 14 years old, busily packing for our two-week family getaway to San Juan Capistrano when I heard the DJ put the word out: “Caller number seven will win the new Eagles ‘Desperado’ album.” I sprinted out of my orange- and yellow-colored room with its matching shag rug and dialed in. Thrillingly, I won—and even got to hear my name announced on the radio.
Some 30-plus years later, I was working as a copywriter for United Way of King County. It was time for the nonprofit’s annual employees’ “Winter Event” (aka “holiday party” for those of you who aren’t over-the-top with your political correctness). The party included lunch, recognition awards and the chance to win a handful of enticing themed gift baskets and donated merchandise.
The coveted grand prize was two VIP passes to a Seahawks playoff game with all the expected perks—a “backstage tour,” walking through the tunnel where the players emerge for games, hanging on the sidelines while the players warmed up, chitchatting with various “muckety mucks” and then enjoying a bounteous feast, open bar and bird’s-eye view of the game from the comfortably well-appointed VIP lounge.
Although I was surrounded by colleagues who were rabid fans, I—the person who really loves going out when Seahawks games are on to enjoy crowd- and traffic-free shopping and errand-running—won.
I have to admit I felt a bit guilty—but figured I had won fair and square. I was actually going to give the passes to my football-loving sister, then ultimately decided finally to go with my absolutely delighted boyfriend.
Several years ago, that same boyfriend and I sang a morning karaoke duet of “We Are the Champions” during a contest on a local a.m. sports station. We were so bad (but also so ballsy, unique and the only listeners who did a duet) that we scored two great seats to a Mariners game. Again, I personally had no interest in going but was proud to have won. The b.f. happily invited a friend and had a blast.
I often win tickets courtesy of 90.3 KEXP, the absolute best station on the planet. (Check it out if you haven’t yet discovered it.) I have to admit I have it on pretty much all day which increases my odds, but still—I’m always thrilled when I score wins and get to see artists I love for free.
Last week, on the first day of March, I’m immensely happy to report that my lucky streak returned. I had gotten a pedicure midday and decided to go with a shade of green polish since St. Patrick’s Day is fast-approaching.
As I headed out with my beautifully painted toes, rocking my favorite pair of Birkenstocks (freezing winter Seattle weather be damned!), I heard a ding.
I got into my car and glanced at my phone. It was the daily text message from the Hamilton app. I’d downloaded it in February and had been “throwing my hat in the ring” each day for a chance at their daily lottery for the Seattle shows.
Every morning, I’d enter and the next day hear that I wasn’t a winner. But I kept on keeping on. On this lucky first day of March, the message was different. “Winner!” it proclaimed.
I was floored—and thoroughly thrilled. I immediately responded, purchased two tickets at $10 each and called my daughter, Gabriella, to see if she would be my date.
We headed out the next evening and arrived a few minutes before the 8 p.m. showtime. As we walked towards the Paramount box office, we both marveled at my luck and were feeling super-grateful to be going to the show of the year. “We’ll probably be in the last row, but who cares? This is going to be epic,” I exclaimed. She concurred.
I picked up the tickets and we hurried inside with Gabriella leading the way. We headed down the aisle, unsure of exactly where our seats were. It seemed to me that she was going the wrong way—towards the stage. I prepared to turn around and head to the “nosebleed” section when she figured out that in fact she was headed in the right direction. We kept going…and going—until we arrived at “Row A,” seats 3 and 4. WE WERE IN THE FIRST ROW, FRONT AND CENTER!
We looked at each other, completely stunned and absolutely amazed. We had the best seats in the house.
The show started a few minutes later, and we spent the next several hours completely under the “Hamilton” spell. During intermission, Gabriella quipped that “we’re so close we’re getting hit by Aaron Burr’s spit.”
It’s been several days now, and we’re both still trying to process it all. What a night! What an absolute delight to be within feet of unbridled talent and magnificence on such a grand scale.
(Gabriella, we were in the room when it happened—and will forever have our memories of a magical evening when we were so absolutely lucky to be alive!)