Being the winner of an $18 million jackpot was the fantasy of thousands of people who trekked to liquor, drug and convenience stores throughout the state this week to buy Lotto tickets. But only Jeffrey Kimble, a Westminster resident and principal at New Windsor Middle School, will live that fantasy. He held the winning numbers -- 11-26-30-32-41-48 -- and for the next 20 years he will receive a check for some $900,000 (before taxes).
Yesterday, something other than crime, celebrity gossip and even the streaking Orioles dominated conversations in Maryland. office water coolers, lunch counters and kitchen tables, people from the poor to the not-quite-rich-enough engaged in daydreaming. "If I had won . . ." came the common refrain. People boasted they would take early retirements and big vacations, buy houses, big cars, big boats, maybe even give a few bucks to family and friends.
Just as John Barrisford Tipton, the mysterious benefactor in the old television series, "The Millionaire," used to solve families' problems each week by giving a big unsolicited check, regular players of the lottery believe that winning the jackpot will ensure a life of bliss. If there's anything we've learned from looking back at past winners, it's that many did not find Nirvana on earth. Still, we all get vicarious pleasure in thinking about the fortune of winners such as Mr. Kimble wll receive.