The Count Your Blessings Contest – Longmont Times-Call

Ralph Josephson

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) organizes a tournament tour every year. Top venues include the Masters Tournament, Open Championship, PGA Championship and US Open. The scholarships range from $3.7 million to $20 million. There are approximately 25 million recreational golfers in the United States, 80 million worldwide. Only 29,000 are professional golf members of the PGA. Among these, the prima-elite manage to participate in PGA tournaments. In 2022, 50 players have been selected to play the last 36 holes of the Masters Tournament. They consumed fairway links like sandwiches under “par”. Bogies, hooks, slices in the rough, water obstacles and sand traps are birds of prey on which birds and eagles fly. Sometimes a golf ball wobbles on the top of a cup. The width of a cat’s whiskers on a 150-acre golf course can determine who wears the green jacket. Winnings are determined by a percentage of the purse. In 2022, the masters tournament purse was $15 million. Scottie Scheffler won 18% of the purse, or $2.7 million. Runner-up Rory McIlroy took home 10.9% of the purse, or $1.08 million, which cost Rory $1.62 million.

Both the Amateur Betting Association (ABA, not to be confused with the American Bar Association) and the Amateur Sweepstakes Association (ASA, not to be confused with the American Society of Anesthesiology) attract millions of everyday people pursuing chemistry of the 21st century. They believe that the base metal of chance can be converted into gold. Contest entries, lottery tickets, casinos and sports betting proliferate. Players are mesmerized by the musical lyrics of “Luck Be a Lady” by Frank Loesser, only to discover that Lady Luck can be a wanderer. Reading the cards face up, the odds of winning the Powerball are one in 292.2 million. The Publishers Clearing House (PCH) contest spins lures with the glitzy bait of a glittering $15 million, racking up $7,000 a week for life. Following an initial registration, a series of entry verifications are required to maintain eligibility to remain in the contest. Players are tricked into believing that their chances of winning the grand prize increase if they encounter continuous and repeating eligibility hurdles. Each stage contains promotions for magazine subscriptions and sundries. Although the contest makes it clear that no purchase is necessary to improve the odds of winning, PCH is betting Doubtful Thomases will swallow the buying bait, hook, line and sinker, making purchases in the process of road in order to improve the chances of winning. The lure of dirty profit obscures the reality that the odds of winning the top prize in the PCH competition are one in 6.2 billion. Putting this into a statistical perspective, the odds of winning the PGA Masters Tournament and Powerball simultaneously are greater than winning the PCH Sweepstakes.

Another example of “winning” is the huge recoveries touted by personal injury lawyers. The financial windfall of a catastrophic injury also revolves around a wheel of luck. There must be huge liability insurance or coverage for uninsured motorists. Money cannot germinate without fertile soil. No age-old currency can compensate for limbs unable to walk the aisle of life, a spirit shrouded in a cloud of pain.

The Count Your Blessings (CYB) contest offers a cornucopia of fortune, including family and intimate love, the miracle of a newborn baby, loyal friendships, health, freedom from pain and disability. Also included is a nation that places civil rights on the highest pedestal, that holds freedom of speech inalienable and of religion as sacred, that is not reduced to rubble in defense of its independence. It culminates in the accumulation of the plethora of priceless blessings reaped over a lifetime. They are not attained by professional athletics or reserved for an elite aristocracy of gamblers, nor are they a draw harboring deceptively improbable odds of winning. They exceed the aggregation of all gifts and gifts combined. They are open to all as a birthright. The odds of winning the CYB contest are higher than winning the PCH contest are low. To win the CYB contest, one only needs to appreciate the multi-faceted treasure of his blessings. They are not gilded by wealth or tarnished by poverty, not vulnerable to monetary depression or inflation.

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