Five Lottery Tickets
Otur looked at the sky as she sighed. It was one of those
sad, gray days.
"Don't wanna do your homework?" Otur's owner,
"It's a duty," the Green Gelert replied monotonously.
"Cheer up. We'll go and have a feast in the Soup
Kitchen, okay?" Eleana poked at her depressed pet.
"Why are we so poor?" Otur suddenly asked. It
was an impulse, but a cold feeling washed over her immediately after she had
questioned. It wasn't going to be good.
"B-because we are..." Eleana said slowly and
stared into the Gelert's big eyes. "But that doesn't matter! Just cheer up!"
"Couldn't help noticing," Otur shrugged. "I mean,
all my friends have better stuff than I-" The Gelert stopped as she saw Eleana's
"I'm sorry," the Gelert said and hugged her owner
"You're right, Otur. I guess we're poor because
I'm an incompetent owner..."
"Oh no! Not at all!" the pet burst out, dragging
her owner off.
"Where are we going?" Eleana asked, confused.
"To the Soup Kitchen, of course!" Otur shouted
"But you said you didn't want to..." The girl
followed her pet obediently. "And we forgot to buy the weekly lottery ticket!"
she added, taking out a small bag of Neopoints.
"Here you are. One Neopian Lottery ticket," the
Wocky in the stand said, handing a slip of paper to Eleana.
"Why do we always do this?" Otur asked. She had
heard the story at least a hundred times, but it always made her owner happy
to tell it.
"Well, first of all we do it because it's a Thursday.
You were born on a Thursday, so that's why it's on those days. Second... It's
random. Maybe someday we'll win!" Eleana said optimistically.
"The short version, eh?" the Gelert commented.
"Gotta fill in those numbers..." her owner mumbled
as she scribbled on the ticket.
"Hurry! The Soup Faerie won't like it if we come
late!" Otur poked Eleana.
"Stop poking me. Okay, now I'm all done."
"Good luck!" the Wocky said as owner and pet
left the stall.
"One soup for your pet, right?" the Soup Faerie
asked kindly. Eleana nodded as her pet quickly finished the soup.
"My, we're hungry today, aren't we?" the Faerie
said with a smile as she refilled the bowl. "There's always enough, so eat your
As Otur sipped on her fifth bowl of asparagus
soup, she heard some of the other pets in the Kitchen mutter.
"Look.... There she is again..." a small Korbat
"Yeah. What a freeloader, eating here every single
day," the pet beside the Korbat muttered as they glared.
Otur shuddered. The soup suddenly lost all taste.
"Why are we so poor?" she wondered, then remembered Eleana's reply. "Well, Eleana's
the best! So there!" she thought proudly as she scoffed at those pets. Money
didn't really matter. "But it'd be nice with a million or two... I wish we'd
win the lottery sometime!"
"Done yet?" Eleana poked her daydreaming pet.
"You'll have to do your homework anyway."
"I'm done," Otur replied, handing over the bowl
to the Soup Faerie. "Thank you very much. It was delicious!"
"You're welcome," the Faerie replied, and lowered
her voice, "I'm sorry about the gossip, though."
"It's okay," the Gelert lied.
"Otur! Let's go!" her owner nudged her. When
she saw that Otur seemed to want to talk more, she whispered to her pet. "I'll
go ahead. Just come home before dark, okay?"
The pet nodded, and Eleana left the Kitchen.
"Does this happen every day?" Otur asked the
Faerie. The Soup Faerie said a small 'yes'.
No matter how much Otur would bug her, it was
obvious that the Soup Faerie wouldn't say anymore. The pet remembered to not
be too much of a bother, since the Faerie might not want to give soup to a pet
"Be home before dark, okay?" The words rang in
her ears as Otur waved goodbye and ran outside. To her horror, the sun was setting.
Great. It would be another lecture of being on time by Eleana waiting at home.
She ran her hardest on all four, trying to catch
up with the sun. The Gelert saw something sticking out of the ground but ignored
it. Suddenly she fell on the ground as a small piece of paper flew into the
air. It was tossing around in the wind and all wet.
Otur glared angrily at the paper. It was that
stupid, slippery paper's fault that she wouldn't get home in time. In her anger,
the Gelert grabbed it and looked at it.
"NEOPIAN LOTTERY TICKET," it said on the piece.
Otur gasped, then looked around. She knew she had to be honest and return it
to whoever that had lost it.
"Hello? Anyone lost a ticket?" Otur called out.
A creepy echo came back. "Good, no one," she said out loud. The Gelert battle
with her conscience for a second; but clutched the ticket tightly as she ran
"I would've been late anyway... And why waste
a perfectly good ticket?" the pet thought as she hurried home.
"Guess what?" Eleana asked when Otur skidded
into the room.
"What?" the Gelert panted heavily.
"You're 2 seconds early," her owner pointed at
"Geez. I ran all the way home as fast as I could..."
Otur grumbled, then thought, "Well, I was on time!"
"What's that?" Eleana pointed at the ticket.
"Oh, just a little something I found on the way
home," the Gelert said casually.
"Neopian Lottery Ticket. Numbers..." her owner
read out loud and stopped suddenly. "Otur, you found a lottery ticket?"
The pet nodded. "I slipped on it and fell on
the cold, hard ground," she said dramatically, "But this wonderful ticket was
"Very funny," Eleana muttered dryly.
"Do you think we'll win?" Otur wondered out loud.
"Well, we have two tickets this time..." the
girl trailed off as she watched her pet drift off to a faraway land again. "I
wonder what she thinks of..."
"We'll get up in the morning and check, right?"
Otur said cheerfully.
"What are you doing this early in the morning?"
Eleana yawned, looking at her pet. Otur was staring at the alarm clock.
"Lottery... must win lottery..." the tired pet
"You're hopeless," Eleana complained.
"Only one minute until they announce who wins
the lottery!" Otur suddenly raised her voice, then fell back to counting down.
"Do you really think we'll win?" Eleana asked
"We've bought so many times... It's only fair!"
the pet burst out, then continued her countdown, "thirty seconds..."
"It was all for fun! Please Otur, don't take
it so seriously!" Eleana begged her pet.
"Can't help it. This is the excited feeling I
get every Friday morning..." the Gelert said. "Ten seconds..."
"Wait! You're waiting for the Neopian Times,
aren't you?" Eleana burst out suddenly. "There's a slip announcing the winner."
"That's right. Three..."
"Two..." Otur smiled as she heard her owner joining
"One...." Two voices in unison, waiting impatiently...
"It's here!" Otur shouted as she ran to get the
paper. After a few grunts, a dirty little Gelert entered the room.
"What happened?" Eleana asked.
"Had to retrieve it from a gutter... Very bad
luck." Otur unfolded the paper. Eleana picked up the little slip that fell on
"Here! Here are the winning numbers!" Eleana
shouted excitedly as she waved the paper around.
"Let me see!" the Gelert snatched the paper and
read the numbers quietly for herself.
"Well, it wasn't our numbers..." Eleana said
quietly. "But there's always next time!"
"It is! We've won!" Otur shouted as she pointed
towards the lottery ticket.
"You... You don't mean the one you found last
night?" Eleana was shocked.
"Yes! It's that one!" the Gelert was shaking
"We're millionaires!" her owner shouted.
They grabbed each other's hands and started to
dance in the NeoHome, not caring for anything. After all, a million was a million!
Otur went around the house; searching for good clothing to wear to the party
they'd throw after they had gotten all that NP.
After five minutes the two of them had calmed
down. Otur was grinning foolishly as Eleana looked doubtful.
"Do you really think that we won?" Eleana asked.
Just as she said that, someone knocked.
"Please come in!" Otur shouted happily.
A small Usul entered and handed over a slip of
paper. Eleana took it and read out loud.
"We are sorry for the mistake of the Neopian
Lottery. In our haste to get it out, the last two numbers were switched with
each other. We apologize for the inconvenience. Here are the correct..." the
owner stopped as she saw her pet running out of the room.
"What... what happened?" the Usul asked, quite
"Well, those were the winning numbers," Eleana
pointed towards the scruffy ticket that Otur had found, then ran after her pet.
"Hmm... Too bad. I'll have to make a call to
the office," the Usul mumbled.
"Otur! Please, show yourself!" Eleana pleaded
desperately as she searched for her pet. Finally she found the Gelert under
a big tree, sobbing her heart out.
"Five minutes' happiness... All that gone..."
"I know you're sad, but that was just a lottery
ticket. It's more probable that you'll get struck by lightning than to win the
jackpot," Eleana tried to comfort her sad pet.
"Let's just go home, okay?" Eleana took Otur's
paw, but the little Gelert shook herself free.
"I'll never play that stupid lottery ever again!"
she yelled in frustration. Slowly, the Gelert turned to her owner and said,
"You go home first."
Eleana realized it was best so, and left her
"Um... Miss Eleana?" the Usul asked when the
owner entered the NeoHome.
"Yes?" Eleana replied.
"I'm sorry about the mistake. Consider this a
booby prize." The Usul pointed to a big, brown package and left the room.
Eleana opened the box. Inside was a check of
1000 Neopoints and five lottery tickets, plus a hand-written note. It said,