What’s Luck Got to Do with It?

Posted on July 22, 2011

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Obviously inspiration for the title came from a song title. I’ll let you figure that one out on your own though. : )

I’ve been thinking about the idea of luck. Many people have told me I’m so lucky. After all, I’ve won front row tickets to see Wicked four times (my name pulled twice, my sister’s name pulled twice). I won theater tickets to see The Adjustment Bureau by simply emailing a radio station. I won Matt Morrison tickets over the radio. And so it goes. Sounds like I’m pretty good at getting my name pulled, right?

Maybe I didn’t mention the other times I tried to win Wicked tickets. For example, one of the worst experiences I EVER had in Chicago was when I went downtown with a friend in hopes of getting one of our names pulled. We did not, in fact, get chosen, and aimlessly wandered the streets of Chicago, rode the free trolley to Navy Pier and back, and ate McDonald’s. We even missed our train to head home, and spent another miserable hour waiting at the station.

I remember getting to see The Adjustment Bureau for free. Another trip downtown. Another wait in line. Another parking meter to fill – twice. Another meal out where we overspent. And by the time the movie ended, my friend and I both agreed the movie was a bit of a let down.

I think about the Matt Morrison concert. About how he canceled his Chicago show, and the only thing the radio station offered me in return was a “prize package” consisting of two chapsticks, a cup with their name on it, and a recycle bag.

Perhaps my luck wasn’t so lucky in those scenarios.

I mentioned in a previous post that at my second Josh Groban concert (within a five year time period), I sat in the second row (where I paid a buttload of money) to sit next to a woman and her daughter who had been to 31 of his concerts, 27 of which were from the front row. They had walked in late since they were the recipients of winning Meet and Greet passes that only a lucky few win per show. I was stunned at how these women were fortunate enough to not only be able to afford so many concerts from such an incredible view that was pricey to pay just once for, but to also win special passes!

How is it that some people seem to have all the money or the connections necessary to do some of the coolest things? Really, it isn’t luck at all for them. It’s what I said – money and connections. Dictionary.com defines the word luck as “good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance.” So was it luck that gave these women “good fortune and advantage”? I doubt it. It certainly wasn’t “chance” that made these women put up their cold, hard cash for tickets to way too many Josh Groban concerts, nor was it good fortune that they happened to know somebody on the inside. But perhaps it was chance that the woman next to me informed me that he would be signing autographs by his tour bus following the concert, and that without that information, I never would have been able to see him close up and get his autograph.

People use their money and their connections in relationship to what they like to do, who they like to see, what they have to have. I suppose luck latches on only to those of us who are originally without “good fortune” or “advantage.” Despite the circumstances, luck doesn’t choose whether or not I will like the movie I have won tickets to see, or whether or not the artist to whose concert I have won tickets will suddenly decide to cancel his concert. Perhaps the other shade of luck is the surprise in which the normal, ordinary circumstances that we take for granted, shows itself. Or maybe now I’ve wandered into the territory of defining fate and chance and God’s will. I don’t know. What I do know is that when luck comes, it’s when we least expect it.

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