In March 1984 I got my first job, at a bookstore in my hometown. In October 1985 California began to sell lottery scratch-off tickets. For the next 15 years I sold them on this job. For the last 11 years, as store manager, I also dealt with the ordering and returning side of things, via the paperwork. Until about a decade ago I also regularly bought tickets, occasionally winning fifty to $100, but never more.
I saw how the game evolved, the machines, the way the tickets were made, so as to prevent fraud, and how the game was played.
My fondest memories, however, involve the patrons of Willy’s Bar, next door. The place is a legend in Pomona, and I saw the same patrons day after day, for years, until our store closed in the mid-90’s, and I went to the Claremont store.