Chapter 19 The Ultimate Hot Ticket
By J.Vincent Martin.
The following morning Ray got on a bus for Albany. When he arrived at the state capitol he took a cab from the station and found a cheap motel.
He had a quick lunch at the Wendy’s next door and went back to his room and changed into a suit and tie. Then he called the cab company and got a ride downtown to claim his money.
He walked up the in the lobby and the young lady at the desk smiled at him.
“How can I help you, sir.”
“I want to claim a lotto prize.”
“How much did you win?”
Ray took a deep breath, “one hundred and twenty seven million dollars.”
Her eyes blinked, “Are you serious?”
“Yes I am.”
“Oh my goodness. Do you have the ticket with you?”
“Yes I do.”
“Let me get Mr. Parker.”
She came back with a guy in a suit and the previous conversation was quickly repeated. Then Parker invited him into his office to fill out the paper work.
“When do I get my money?”
“In a few days Mr. Taylor, after everything has been processed. Mr. Richards, The Deputy Marketing Director, will give you all the details.”
When he finished the paper work he was escorted to Richards’ office.
Ken Richards was about forty twoish and a Madison Avenue type. He greeted Ray with a big phony smile and a hardy handshake.
“Please sit down Mr. Taylor.” Then he smiled, “Parker, I’ll take it from here.”
Parker handed him his share of the paperwork and quickly departed.
Richards scanned the folder and laughed, “Well, it looks like we’ve come into a little bit of money Mr. Taylor, haven’t we. There’s just a couple of things we have to do before you get paid off. I will be walking you through it all.”
“Well tommorow we’ll be going to the studio to do all of the promotional shots.”
“Of course Mr. Taylor. TV commercials, photos for ads, that type of thing.”
“What if I don’t want to do that?”
“I am afraid, that’s part of the deal, parragraph seven of the rules to be precise. You must assist with our promotional efforts Mr. Taylor, or otherwise your ticket is null and void. Don’t worry, you will be paid for your assistance and you will receive residuals from the commercials. It’s not going to match what you have won, of course, but usually ends up to be a nice piece of pocket change.”
“How long is all of that going to take?”
“Well, we’ll start at ten tomorrow and we should be finished by five PM.”
“And I have to do this?”
“Absolutely! Just view it as $127 million for a day’s work.”
“Okay, not a problem.”
“Where are staying Mr. Taylor?”
“At the El Rancho Motel on 590.”
“Oh, we’ll have to get you out of there. Did anyone make the trip here with you?”
“No, I came alone.”
“Excellent, that makes life so much easier. I’ll have a room reserved for you at The Claremont and I’ll have someone drive you back to the motel so you and check out. I guess that’s it for today Mr. Taylor. The car will pick you up at the hotel tomorrow at nine thirty sharp. Then I'll meet at the studio at ten.”
It was just an average room, but it was free and so were the meals.
The next day Ray got up eight. By nine thirty he had finished breakfast and was waiting in the lobby for his ride.
It was a fifteen minute trip to the studio and there was coffee waiting for him when he arrived, and they immediately started patting him down with makeup. It was just a fast five minute job.
Richards arrived shortly after and at ten on the dot they starting shooting.
First came the Santa Clause hat, as he read from a cue card.
“I’m certainly going to have a Merry Christmas this year!”
Then there were a couple more of those, with the other holidays. Next there was a quick on the street interview video. That part was wrapped up by eleven thirty and they broke for lunch.
After lunch, Ray went into heavy make up and came out with a nice tan and beach wear for the stills.
He was escorted over to a beach back drop and it started out with him in a beach chair, Mai Tia prop in hand, and two hot sexy bikini models.
He moved on to the pool back drop with three models this time.
Then he took a break while they reset the beach scene for a video.
There were quite a few of retakes but finally Ray read the cue cards right and ended with, “Who knows, you might end up owning your own island, too!”
“That’s a wrap!”
It was a quarter to five and Ray walked over to Richards and asked, “Is that it?”
“All done Mr. Taylor. Let’s go into the office and I’ll fill you in on tomorrow’s schedule.”
“When do I get paid?”
“That’s what were going to talk about now.”
They got comfortable in the office with Richards sitting behind a desk and Ray sinking into a plush chair.
Richards started the conversation.
“You’ll be receiving your pay off tomorrow. Now, we’ve keep this under wraps and tomorrow we’ll be releasing it to the press. We’re trying to play it down for your sake, but no doubt the press will be there for the presentation of the big check. We strongly recommend that you take a low profile after the ceremony.”
“That’s exactly what I was planning on doing.”
“Smart move. Believe me Mr. Taylor, if you don’t, every professional charity hawk, sleazy con men, and relatives you never knew you had will come running out of the woodwork and make your life a living hell. Take my word for it.”
"Yeah, I figured that.”
“You figured right, but we’re going help you out with that. I’m going to have a press specialist prep you tonight in your hotel room. Work with him, and follow his instructions exactly at the ceremony tomorrow. So let’s pack it up and I’ll drop you off at the hotel".
Ray finished diner at 6:30 and went back to his room. He flicked on the TV, and at seven there was a knock at his door.
“Hi, I’m Danny Winslow, press relations. I’m here to prep you for tomorrow events.”
Ray invited him in and he quickly opened his brief case and began the lecture.
"We’ll pick you at 9:00 tomorrow and the ceremony will be at ten. Wear a suite and tie. Your going to have some quick pictures taken with the Governor and the Lottery Commissioner presenting you with a big blow up of the check. Then you’ll be going to the press room to do it again for the media. Now here’s the really important part. After the pictures in the press room, the commissioner’s going to hand you the mike to take questions from the press.”
Danny handed him a script. “Let’s goes over this together."
"They’re going ask you how it feels to be rich. Short simple answer, “Unbelievable! It feels great.”
Then they’re going ask you why you waited so long to make the claim. Short and sweet, “I stuck the ticket in my sock drawer and totally forgot all about it. Then last week I was home sick and decided to finally straighten that drawer out. Found the ticket, checked it and bingo, here I am.”
Last but not least, they’re going to ask you what your plans are for the money. This is very important so get it right or otherwise you’ll have pests galore up your rear end.
“I going to go to the Caribbean and buy myself island and a hammock. Then I’m going to take a nice long nap and figure the rest out from there.”
Don’t take anymore questions after that. Just smile and wave good-bye. We’ll take care of the rest with press kits.
Now let’s go over this again.”
copyrightJVM2007 To be continued....