Lucky Powerball Birthday

birthday lottery

So, followers of this blog shouldn’t be expecting super-cool birthday presents this year. I did not win the Powerball lottery. Shucks.

But, I did see the familiar theme in the coverage following several jackpot wins — playing family birthdays!

Mavis L. Wancyzk bought a total of five tickets. For three of them she selected the numbers and the other two were computer generated. It was a combination of family birthdays and her “magic number” (4) that netted her a $758.7 million win, though.

The Chicopee, MA, immediately quit her hospital job (after 32 years) and claimed a lump sum payment of $480 million, or $336 million after taxes. It’s the largest grand prize won by a single lottery ticket in U.S. history.

Wancyzk wasn’t the only one to see a big win. There are 40 tickets worth $1 million or more, and an additional $135 million in prize money will go to 9.4 million other ticket buyers who didn’t win the jackpot

Big Win Birthdays

One of the other winners was in North Carolina. Barbara Graves’ take is a pittance compared to Wancyzk’s; but would any of us really complain about a $200,000 award?

birthday lottery

Graves picked her own numbers to win, again using birthdays. “I use my birthday, my kids’ birthday, and my granddaughters’ birthday,” she told the NC lottery’s press office.

Doing so saw her beating odds of 913,129 to win a post-tax haul of $138,915. “I was shaking and crying. I must checked my ticket a hundred times,” she said. Her big plans for the moolah? Buying a silver metallic Honda Accord.

Of course, many of those of us who did not win — not even one number?! — probably also played birthday numbers. Thus, I can’t really argue that playing birthdays is the guarantee of a golden ticket — statisticians could probably even tell us how unlikely it is. Yet, it does at least make me a little happier to know that the formula for these others’ success involved birthdays.

Birthday present of flights for life!

Here’s a birthday perk you don’t run into often — free travel on board a certain airline after you’re born on the actual airplane!

birthday perk

Photo credit: ashokboghani via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Baby Christoph was recently awarded free travel on Spirit Air — on his birthday — for the rest of his life. This after his Mom gave birth on a flight destined for Dallas from Fort Lauderdale. Mom Cristina apparently went into labor after 30 minutes of travel. A nurse and pediatrician on board helped with the delivery as the flight was diverted to New Orleans.

Jet Airways of India offered a lifetime of free travel to a baby born at 35,000 feet on a flight from Saudi Arabia to Kochi in India. Mom Cicymol Jose was 30 weeks pregnant when she went into labor in the air, with only the assistance of a trained paramedic who was on board.

In April, too, a baby girl was born on a Turkish Air flight at 42,000 feet!

Not worth it

I’ve mentioned before that I love to travel, and am a big fan of the Destination Birthday trend, but being born on board an airplane is too high a price for the free plane tickets. At least for the Mom it is — she’s not getting any bonus airfare but she’s the one panicked and panting and giving birth to her baby surrounded by strangers. Ugh!

At least she gets a great story to share when she lands; and great fodder for future guilt trips for the kiddo.

Birthday Wishes Come True

birthday wishes come true

Image source: thedrive.com

 

What would be your biggest, bestest wish for a birthday present or surprise? Today, writing this, I’d say a trip to Iceland. Having just heard all about the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa from a friend, I want to experience this wonder of the world myself.

An 83-year-old gentleman was more interested in cars than travel, though. His main birthday wish was to ride in a Lamborghini Gallardo. The elderly resident of a Shelby, North Carolina retirement home had asked for a Lambo at his 82nd birthday. That was out of the price range, but the thoughtful activities director provided him with a scale model as a substitute.

Lambo in the flesh…or metal.

Then, come this year’s birthday, and Donald Hambright was already joking about having put too many miles on the Lambo in the last year and needing a replacement. Jessica Hickson put out a call on Facebook to see if anyone she knew had a way to make it possible for him to see a real Lambo live.

A local car dealership decided to help out and arranged for a black 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder to be available at the assisted living facility on Hambright’s 83rd birthday. They even took the birthday boy for a spin.

“It was like being in an airplane. Such a roar. It took my breath away,” Hambright told his local newspaper.

When a birthday takes your breath away, you know you are having a good one. Plus, this story proves it’s never too late to see your dreams come true!

Maybe at 84 he can visit the Lamborghini museum — it looks like a pretty sweet place to go. Plus, it’s in Italy. He could have a little birthday gelato too!

birthday wishes come true

Your Contractual Birthday Obligations

A 17-year-old recently aimed to use her birthday to get two special requests granted. She wrote up a Birthday Contract (even with nifty calligraphy for the title) stating; “It is hereby stated as in this letter you MUST agree to any TWO of my requests no matter how selfish they may be. After all, it’s my BIRTHDAY.”

birthday contract

She also required her parents to sign again under the penalty addendum (man, I wish she’d used that word), stating the consequences of contract violation:

birthday contract

This bold one-page statement of demands finished with the note: “Good parents never back out from their promise (especially on birthdays) [Universal Law].”

Don’t mess with Dad

Dad, however, found some wiggle room. Take another look at that contract violation section and you’ll see he wrote in a “0.” before the 5000 rupee fine. He brought her haul in Pakistani rupees down dramatically. In U.S. dollars this is the equivalent of $77 down to 77 cents (valued on the July day I’m writing this).

birthday contract

There was no place visible on the contract for the daughter — who apparently is interested in medicine more than law — to sign and bind the document. So, she appears to have been outsmarted. All this was shared via her amused brother on Twitter and then picked up in The Indian Express.

It’s an entertaining story, and of course I like best that this girl is not only smart but was looking forward to being spoiled on her birthday.

A Klingon Birthday

One of my writing gigs is to put together quizzes for heywise.com. Writing a foreign language one recently I thought I’d make a joke about Klingon. Well, joke’s on me apparently. There really is a Klingon vocabulary out there and available to the world. I ended up making Klingon a test question.

But, now I need to share with you my findings about Klingon birthdays!

A wiki “teaching Klingon to the galaxy” notes that “no known canon phrase to say Happy Birthday in Klingon. Nevertheless, the existing vocabulary makes it possible to translate the idea quite well.”

Apparently, the most common version is qoSlIj DatIvjaj, literally “May you enjoy your birthday.” Yet, some “people prefer to say this as a command: qoSlIj yItIv Enjoy your birthday.” After all, the Klingons are a pretty bossy race in the Star Trek universe — even I know that!

The site I found went on to share translations of the famous “Happy Birthday” song:

 

DuQuchmoHjaj qoSlIj. May your birthday cause you to be happy.
DuQuchmoHjaj qoSlIj. May your birthday cause you to be happy.
DaHjaj bIQuchjaj [name]. May you be happy today, [name]
DuQuchmoHjaj qoSlIj. May your birthday cause you to be happy.

Or:

qoSlIj DatIvqu’jaj. May you enjoy your birthday very much.
qoSlIj DatIvqu’jaj. May you enjoy your birthday very much.
qoSlIj DatIvjaj, [name] May you enjoy your birthday, [name].
qoSlIj DatIvqu’jaj. May you enjoy your birthday very much.

There’s another one about having a splendid birthday, but that seems to be taking it too far. I just don’t think “splendid” is a word the Klingons can relate to very well.

Even the Star Trek series didn’t translate Happy Birthday — instead heralding Worf with a Klingon version of For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow, which was met with his annoyed: “that is not a Klingon song!”

P.S. This blog is in honor of my older brother without whom I would likely have no idea at all about Klingon culture.

A Killer Crossfit Birthday

Men’s Health recently ran a story: “This 78-year-old’s birthday workout will wreck you.” I was wrecked just by the idea of working out on my 78th birthday.

I am someone who enjoys taking it easy on my birthday. Maybe I’ll walk the dog to the park. Or, since I am really enjoying cardio kickboxing class right now, I might do that class — maybe. If it didn’t interfere with my plans for lunch or seeing a movie matinee!

Thus, I can’t fathom each year having a set workout that gets more difficult as I age (and not just because my muscles are getting older too). But that’s exactly what Jacinto Bonilla does. For him, “birthdays are definitely not a day off from the gym.” Well, he is the so-called “grandfather of Crossfit,” so that makes some sense, but check out his reps.

birthday workout

Image Source: Men’s Health

Birthday Workout

Beginning on his 69th birthday, Bonilla created a workout that pushes him to do the number of repetitions of the exercise coinciding with his age. Yes, you read that correctly, he started this tradition at 69! On July 3rd, 2017 he turned 78 and so he did:

  • 78 double unders with a jump rope
  • 78 squats,
  • 78 push-ups
  • 78 pull-ups
  • 78 wall ball shots
  • 78 kettlebell swings
  • 78 deadlifts with a 90-pound weight
  • another round of those double unders (yeah, I didn’t know what those were either — apparently you make two passes per jump instead of just one).

The workout — now known as the Jacinto Storm — has spread worldwide among Crossfitters. Bonilla told those working with him this July in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen: “If you keep it up, you’ll be fine at 78, too.”

Still, even if I wanted to be that fit, I think I might save the Storm for the day after my birthday.

Birthday Extravagance or Frugality?

There are two sides of every coin — even a birthday one. In going through birthday themed news articles recently, I noticed one emphasizing frugality and another explaining birthday excess.

Since Carlie Faulk’s column for USA today is called Frugal Family, we can’t be surprised her message is to “make birthdays special, not expensive.”

She encourages a focus on experiences, noting “after years of planning in-depth activities for birthday parties, I finally realized that my kids were perfectly happy with free time to play with their friends. They didn’t need a lot of fancy, expensive activities to have fun….Give them a few resources, such as water balloons, basketballs, footballs or even chalk. Then step back and watch their imaginations work.”

Birthday Party Pressure

But what if you kid imagines a lavish birthday party? No wonder 58 percent of parents say cost is their primary worry in the run-up to a child’s growing a year older.

“Parents feel pressured to not only impress their children but other parents too,” parenting expert Juanita Cleare said about the statistical findings.

Yet two Moms interviewed in Scotland about throwing parties for kids said they want to be extravagant to celebrate their children.

Dundee Mom Nichola Queen treats her trio of little ones to birthday parties with clowns, face painters, and or bouncy castle because she didn’t get to have her own parties.

“My birthday is three days from my older sister’s. I never had a party when I was younger and I hated the feeling, and I didn’t want my kids to have that,” she told the Daily Record. “So I spend that little bit more giving them something I never had.”

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Lisa Soyusinmez, a mom near Glasgown, even gives her kids’ bedrooms a makeover to match her party theme. They’ve done Sleeping Beauty and Superheroes and spent as much as $1000 USD for the events.

Lisa has lost her own parents and brother and said she wants to go all out to let her children know they are her world. “I really go crazy in a good way. In the month building up to the birthday, I get them excited and make them feel special – because they are special.”

Seven Parties a Year?

For another perspective on the parent overseeing a birthday consider the plight of a mother of seven children. Four celebrate a birthday in the same three-week period, and two even on the same day (but they are not twins, there are 12 years between them). Her big challenge has been trying to do something different for each one. She noted, “Irrespective of the fact that they have enough siblings for a ready-made birthday party already, each child still looks forward to celebrating their respective birthdays with friends and classmates.”

Honestly, planning seven distinct children’s birthday parties a year would probably be the end of my love of bdays.