Playing Lotto - Part II

"In mid-late July of 2023, a couple of interesting scenarios presented themselves. As of July 24th when I wrote this, God hadn’t prompted me to buy a ticket in the last 17 draws in a row. My next ticket would be my 70th using the number 33, if that is what God prompted me to do. And thus, it was exactly nine weeks to the day since God had prompted me to buy a ticket on the day I wrote this. If He waited one more week, my 70th ticket using the number 33, would also be played exactly 70 days since my last ticket on May 24th! So that was an interesting scenario using the number 70, which has played a pivotal role in Israel’s history.

If God waited until July 31 to prompt me to buy my next ticket, the date of that draw would be August 2nd. August 2nd was an interesting date to me for a couple of reasons. First, it was Tu B’Av in the Jewish calendar – a day of love in modern Israel. Secondly, it was the day I was due to pick up a rental car in Jerusalem for an eight-day trip ending in Nazareth, concluding my 37-day journey which began on July 4th. Thirty-seven days, as I had discovered, is equivalent to exactly 888 hours, which is a number that many people associate with Jesus Christ, given that His Hebrew name in Greek adds up to the number 888. God had only added three dates to that trip, and August 2nd was the second of them.

That was the first scenario.

On July 17, I made another interesting discovery.

If God prompted me to buy my 70th ticket for the July 26 draw, it would be exactly 49 months to the day since setting my Elijah challenge, which is where I got my numbers to play Lotto with. It would also be the start of Tisha B’Av on the evening of July 26th, commemorating the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Temples in Jerusalem, amongst other things in Jewish history. It is considered one of the saddest days in Judaism.

The Powerball had jackpotted to $17 million, having not been struck for the last 7 draws in a row. The last time it was struck was on June 28th with a top prize of $33 million. The last time that exact amount of money had been won on Powerball was on September 28, 2013 – precisely 9 years and 9 months earlier. The winner on June 28th was the 9th person to win Powerball in 2023! So some interesting number coincidences there! In both draws the number 33 came up. In the June 28, 2023 draw, the first and highest number drawn was number 33. In the September 28, 2013 draw, the last number to come up was number 33. Each player walked away with over $33 million, made up of $33 million from Powerball, and a share of the regular Lotto division prizes.

The Lotto draw on July 26th would have a combined First Division prize of $18 million, made up of $17 million from Powerball, and $1 million from regular Lotto. If God prompted me to buy a ticket for this draw, then it would be the 18th draw since my last ticket on May 24th! The number 18 being an auspicious number in popular Jewish culture.

So that was the second scenario. Of course, it didn’t mean that God would honour any of them, or whether anything would happen on these dates, but they were just a couple of scenarios that presented themselves in mid-late July as it got further and further away from having played my last ticket. Only God knew the story that He was going to tell with this series of tickets, not me. I was just along for the ride, and trying to work it out as I went.

At this point in my life, I had run out of money 12 days earlier on July 12th, having spent the last 9 months living in hotels and motels trying to find permanent accommodation! I spent the first two nights in my car, before managing to acquire some money to buy a tent and stay at a camping ground. However, it was the middle of winter in New Zealand, and not particularly warm or comfortable! The last room I stayed in checking out on July 12th was room 33, located at 70 Beach Road, Nelson – Tahuna Beach Holiday Park and Motel.

I spent two weeks living in my tent before another night in my car on July 28th, then back to a camping ground again for two nights. On July 31st, I hadn’t found anywhere else to stay for the night, and I thought I might have to spend another night in my car! I was dreading the prospect. Then, just after 5 p.m., about 25 minutes before sunset, God brought the Tahuna Beach motor camp to mind (where I had just checked out of earlier in the day), and prompted me to book a tent site. I booked it for three nights, and then promptly made my way to the camp, about five minutes drive away.

When I arrived, I decided to make use of their automated kiosk check-in facility for quick access to the campsite. I had stayed here before on three separate occasions in the last two weeks, staying on two different tent sites (#818 and #840). This time, I decided I would take whatever tent site they gave me, without changing it. The particular zone I was staying in had camp sites numbered from 700 to 841. Incredibly, when I completed the check-in process at the automated kiosk, it issued me with site #777! So that’s where I would be for the next three nights, checking out on August 3rd.

As it happened, God didn’t prompt me to buy a Lotto ticket for either the July 26th or August 2nd draw, so it remained to be seen when my 70th ticket would be purchased, and whether it would have any significance or not. As is often the case with God, He chooses times and dates that you are not looking at, rather than the ones you are, I guess to remain unpredictable and prove that He is the one behind something, and not us.
God likes to defy expectations, and confound the wisdom of the wise!

Update: August 5, 2023

On Saturday, August 5th, 75 days since God last inspired me to buy a Lotto ticket, He prompted me to buy a ticket for that night’s draw. This would be my 70th ticket using the number 33 (my original numbers). It would also be day 33 of my current trip had I gone on it, starting on the 4th of July in Auschwitz (American Independence Day). As it happened, it was exactly four years earlier on August 5th, 2019, that God first inspired me to visit Auschwitz. He didn’t prompt me to pick a date to visit it until five days later on August 10, which happened to be the 9th of Av in the Jewish calendar – the saddest day of their year, commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples. (It was observed one day later in 2019 due to it falling on the Sabbath Day). In fact, God inspired me to buy this ticket at 3:24 p.m., which is around the very time that He first gave me the idea to visit Auschwitz exactly four years earlier."


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