Once upon a time I believe I may have mocked a certain husband for his online contest obsession. He was a sucker for any online contest that could result in free stuff. We were soon the proud owners of an autographed football from someone we had never heard of, an old man baseball cap with some insurance logo on it, and my personal favorite, the DVD Shiloh: a movie about a boy and his dog.
Fast forward to the past year or two. Ryan got his Sony Playstation from some deal he found online. It involved opening and spending money on a sony credit card, a bunch of rebates and in the end was only $40 or something (plus the cost of a new tv he insisted had to go with it, ahem...). I believe I may have also previously complained about my mortification that everywhere I went I had to present my Playstation credit card. Like when I was at a swanky spa with some friends and they had to hold our credit card on file and I bust out the Playstation card. Seriously? Everyone I gave that card to always looked at it and then looked up at me with a somewhat mystified look. Like beneath the mature mother-of-three-children facade was an obsessive gamer who just couldn't wait to get home and shove the kids aside for some Grand Theft Auto time. Ugh. And then when I realized all our earned points from spending money on the credit card were fueling Ryan's gaming habit rather than something useful like airline miles or cash back I said I was done with the Playstation card and I better see a new credit card in my wallet soon.
But not only that. He would come home from work, hardly utter a word to the family and park himself at the computer to start earning sony points doing their online contests. I'm sure that more than once, or perhaps a hundred times I may have complained that he was at it again. Get out here and help me with the kids, blah, blah, blah....
Well. A few months ago they randomly selected 33 people out of the thousands that do their online contests every day to compete in an online Jeopardy tournament. He was actually one of the 33. He was pretty excited to find out he'd answered every question right. And then disappointed to find out that so had some Jennifer Z. from Ohio, only she'd done it faster and was thus pronounced the winner. The winner had two days to fill out some papers and get them back in. She didn't do it.
And the title of the winner of the first quarter final fell to mine truly, Ryan Isom.
But then he had to wait around for the other quarter finals to finish. So about a week ago was the big final Jeopardy game. He missed two. I was worried - it didn't sound very promising to me. He said he'd bet a lot of points though and felt he had a pretty high score.
Today he finally got the call: HE WON! This was no Shiloh DVD, my friends. This time the prize was $5,000.
Except, because he was a Sony (Playstation) credit card holder, it was doubled to $10,000.
Yes. I repent. May I never stand in the way of your online contesting again. Or your Playstation credit cards.
Oh yes, and we also win a trip for two to see a Jeopardy taping in L.A. We're super excited about the big win. Especially since we've been looking at our finances for the upcoming year with a big question mark. So as excited as we are, I have to admit it was a little deflating to discuss the allocation for the 10K. We live off of absolutely everything we make here. (Remember how expensive Miami is? And how we pay probably two or three times to live in an apartment what you pay for a mortgage on a house? Yeah.) So we already spend everything we make. And this year Ryan's loans start coming due and as hard as he has tried, they can no longer be deferred. I asked how much. Over $7,000. Bummer. Plus take out a thousand for tithing, whatever for taxes, and there my friends goes the best darn prize we've ever won. I had such plans in my head for where I thought that $10,000 could go. But hey, at least those loan payments won't be coming out of our hide. :)
It was a pretty timely blessing though, I'll say. And a really nice bonus to people who have never in their lives received a dime of help from anyone during all these schooling years.
Moral of the story? Well, pay your tithing for starters. And then never, ever stand in the way of your husband's online contesting.