Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How to lose the lottery... twice

A Dutch woman lost the National Postcode Lottery, and attempted to sue over it. Of course, the Dutch National Postcode Lottery draws postal codes at random, and awards the people who play the lottery with winnings, in this case close to 14 million euros. Unlike her neighbors, however, Helene De Gier didn't win a thin European dime. How could she have been left out of the winnings?

She didn't play the lottery.

When it came to her lawsuit, she lost again, even though she attempted to argue that not having won was contributing to mental duress. She was even having problems sending postal mail, being forced to relive her loss every time she wrote her postal code. Nevermind the audacity of the neighbors that did play, won, and celebrated by purchasing new cars or making improvements on their houses.

Ultimately, it's a good thing that the case was thrown out. If she'd won, then we could have seen a glut of new cases everywhere there's a lottery, as people who didn't play suddenly were confronted with mental anguish over the fact that they didn't pick those exact numbers. Nevermind the people who allowed the machine to select numbers for them. Obviously, it was rigged from the start, and they should be able to get damages from that snub. It could even go further, as people who never thought of auditioning for a reality show could find themselves trying to sue the television networks for not having been selected as the audience favorite.

Although, the thought of suing the networks for reality shows is an appealing one. Admittedly, we'd be suing to get the shows off of the air entirely, but it's still an interesting concept.

And we'd have a higher chance of succeeding than we would of winning the lottery. Which we don't play.

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