Betting on the Lottery of Today

Betting on the Lottery of Today

Today I tried entering the National Theatre’s $25 lottery twice. Once at 12pm and then again at 6pm. Both times I walked away empty handed, which kind of sucked, but I didn’t need to see the show.

If I really wanted to see the show, I could’ve just bit the bullet and bought the cheapest available tickets, which were $48. It was totally within reach.

But what I was really craving was 1) space, 2) the ability to let go of keeping time, and 3) sparks of inspiration.  I entered the lottery, but actually bet on the possibility for a serendipitous day.


During the 6 hours that I waited in between both lotteries, I encountered 9 reasons why the day was just what I needed:

  1. Walked in the rain.
  2. Spoke with an older man who was very hard of hearing, named Tim. We spoke about musicals we’ve seen on Broadway in NYC which reminded me of my affinity for NYC… and for home.
  3. Read The Economist in one of the National Gallery of Art’s serene Garden Courts.
  4. Spent an hour reading children’s books in the National Gallery of Art shop. Sitting on a miniature stool meant for small children, I became captivated by books meant for children 10 and under. It was interesting to see how big, complex, and controversial topics or influential figures were simplified for a younger audience.
  5. Sat down for an impromptu modern dance performance in an art exhibit. I’m starting to appreciate/tolerate modern art a little bit more.
  6. Listened to Batalá Washington, an all-women Afro-Brazilian band that plays Samba-Reggae rhythms, perform an exuberant performance outside.
  7. Witnessed someone collapse in the Kogod Courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery. The EMTs arrived quickly, but the whole time, I was struck by someone clasping their face who kept saying , “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do”. All I could think about was health insurance and coverage. Who pays for this?
  8. Watched young kids take prom pictures in the Kogo Courtyard. Everyone looked so youthful and strutted around with so much purpose. Personally, I would’ve taken pictures in the National Gallery of Art — the setting is much grander.
  9. Paused near the a tarp pulled tightly over a body resting on a park bench. It had been raining non-stop for the past 5 days. This person must have been very wet, soggy, humid, and obviously… anonymous.

Despite not winning the lottery,  I’m extremely grateful for how the day unfolded. With no where in particular to be, I walked at my own pace and paid no attention to the time of day. By the time I went home, I felt rejuvenated, inspired, and humbled.

This was exactly the kind of day I needed.

How do you like to recharge?

Where do you find inspiration?