From the Editor’s Files: Scrambling to find lost cash – and a lottery ticket

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Sometimes the end of the day is not the best time to try to find something that you’ve lost.
You’re tired. You’re not the sharpest crayon left in the box. But dang it…you know that the lost item made it home with you, and you’re determined to find it.
Sometimes, the sheer value of what’s lost determines just how hard – and what time of day – you look for something. In my case, what was missing was kind of important: it was one of my money pouches for work.
And yes, it had money in it. I had been out all afternoon last Wednesday doing rounds for our weekly newspaper, and this particular money bag had the cash from Haysville rounds in it.
And, I had purchased a lottery ticket at the end of my rounds, and had nonchalantly stuffed it into the money bag, as well.
About 10 p.m. that night, as I was getting ready for bed and making a pile of things to take to the office the next morning, I couldn’t find the Haysville money bag. Drats!
After searching the house and coming up empty handed, I really had to start re-tracing my steps.
I remembered collecting the rounds cash from Jump Start in Haysville, my last stop of the day. I remembered the spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a lottery ticket while I was there, and pulling a few bucks out of my pocket. And, I remembered stuffing the lottery ticket into my money bag for safe keeping.
Finally, I remembered tossing the money bag onto the pile of recycle papers in the back seat of my car.
Ohhhhhhh…wait a minute. Recycle papers got me thinking in a whole new direction.
That evening, I had cleaned up the kitchen counter and had grabbed some papers to recycle. Then I took the recycling bag out to the car for transport to the recycling bin at the office.
Under the glow of a street light Kim and I pawed through that bag, hoping to spy my missing money pouch.
No go. Back inside, I called Jump Start, and they even offered to review the camera footage from earlier in the day when I was there. Still, my gut said the money bag had made it home with me, and maybe I needed to check the recycling bag one more time.
My mind started working up scenarios about a money bag left on a convenience store counter. I could have easily replaced the cash, but what if – a few days later – it was announced that someone had won the lottery jackpot from the Haysville Jump Start.
I would have always known that was my ticket
Back under the street light, I continued pawing through the recycle bag. This time I noticed a batch of newspapers with a rubber band around them, and sure enough, tucked inside that pile of papers, was the missing money bag.
I was grateful to have it back in my possession, and grateful that I hadn’t lost the cash…or the lottery ticket.
Of course, when I checked the lottery ticket a few days later, the ticket reader said “Not a Winner.” I just smiled and tore up the ticket.
I knew that actually, I was a winner. I had found my missing money bag, and its contents, all which could have ended up in a recycling plant.
And, I got closure on my lottery ticket. Otherwise I could have lost a lot of sleep over that situation.