Let's be honest, none of us buy lottery tickets because we wanted to be happy when someone else wins, but that doesn't mean we can't be happy for winners anyway, even if they're not us. It seems to me that we have three lottery phases.

Phase 1. I'm Going To Win. This is the most fun phase. This is when you are sure you have the winning ticket. In this phase you decide how you're going to resign, where you're going to live and who is and who is not going to get a piece of your riches. You are so sure you will win that you will actually start preparing your winner's speech at the press conference they call for you.

Phase 2. I Didn't Win, So Hopefully Nobody Else Did. This is not us at our most proud moment, but don't feel guilty, we all do it. Nothing against anybody else, but the person we want to win is...well...us. If nobody won, we still have a chance to give that speech we prepared.

Phase 3. Fine, I'll Be Happy For Someone Else. We ultimately have to admit to ourselves that the dream has been dashed and "the speech" will never be spoken. At least not yet. So now we hope those who won have a nice story so we can be happy for them. There really is nothing nicer, short of winning yourself, than knowing someone deserving has hit the lottery.

Deep down, we know the odds, so maybe the real fun is knowing someone out there is going to live the dream. Someone, or several people are going to get a break they really deserve, and that's awesome.

So congratulations to all the lottery winners out there, especially the latest winners who reportedly are neighbors of us all here in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. By the way, I have this great speech if you want to borrow it...