When I was a kid, WMAQ radio station in Chicago held a contest where if they called you and you said, “WMAQ is going to make me rich!” you would win $1000. A mighty sum in those days and a huge sum to an 11 year old girl. For ages, I would answer the phone, “WMAQ is going to make me rich!” and for a brief moment – lasting until the caller asked for my mom or my dad – I would imagine winning the money.
My mother, on the other hand, would admonish me to no end about the proper way to answer a phone. She was – and still is – an Avon lady and the family phone was her business line. She worried that her Avon customers wouldn’t know what to say to an 11 year old proclaiming a radio tagline. I think she sold her customers short. Most of the time I would receive chuckles before the caller would ask for my mom or dad. Strange, now that I think about it, even when I was a teenager, I never received as many phone calls as my parents did.
Once, I answered the phone with “WMAQ is going to make me rich” and I heard a man’s voice tell me that he was from WMAQ, but I needed to get my parents. Turns out it was our neighbor, Mr. Wolf, and I wasn’t rich, but I’ve never forgotten that thrill when I actually believed — and yelled out that I had — won.
Every once in a while, I’ll stop and purchase a lottery ticket and I know that I have a million to one shot at winning the lottery. But for a brief moment of time, I’m back to being that 11 year old girl and WMAQ is going to make me rich. And, I think that’s worth a buck.