The 14th guy in lottery's 'Lucky 13'


News item: Robert Kronk dropped out of the "Lucky 13" about three months before the group of Westerville, Ohio, workers who pooled money for lottery tickets hit the $295.7 million Powerball jackpot.

"I'm sure they'll take care of me -- I've helped them out before," he said.


It was sure great to hear about your big Powerball win! I am really happy for all of you!

It goes without saying that when I left our little group, it was nothing personal. You all are like brothers to me, I mean it!

I told Martha you would probably send $1,000,000 or so our way for old time's sake, because that is the way you people are -- the best!

Your pal,


Dear guys,

It's been over a month now and I have not heard from you, leading me to conclude the obvious: My first letter was lost in the mail.

There was a time when you could lick a stamp and slap it on a properly addressed letter and count on it reaching its intended destination. But I guess that was before postal workers started packing Glock 9 mm's instead of tuna sandwiches in their lunch boxes.

In any event, congrats on the big Powerball payoff! That is super! I'm sure things are fairly hectic in your lives right now, but if you could send along that check for $500,000 which has surely been tucked away for us, we would appreciate it.

My best to all,


P.S. -- I see you've all changed your phone numbers! Smart move! You can't be too careful these days, with all the nuts out there!

Dear guys,

I was sitting out by the mailbox the other day, feeling pretty down in the dumps, when Martha came out and draped her arm around me and said: "Earl and Joe and Buddy and Phil and the rest of the Lucky 13 gang, these are your best friends in the whole world.

"Surely, they will remember all the times you lent them your power tools and visited them in the hospital when they were sick and drove them home after bowling when they were a little tipsy.

"Just be patient, Bob. It's only been two months. Those fellas will come through with a share of their Powerball winnings, you'll see!"

Well, sir, that sure cheered me up.

Martha said she wouldn't be surprised if a check for $100,000 was already winging its way toward us, and I guess I wouldn't, either, knowing that all of you are just the salt of the earth.

Hi to everyone!


Dear guys,

The screen door just slammed and Martha rushed breathlessly into the kitchen, the way she sometimes does, and shouted: "Bob, I just drove by Earl's house, and then I drove by Joe's and Buddy's and Phil's and the rest of the gang's, too, and there are 'For Sale' signs stuck on everyone's lawn!"

Guys, is there something going on?

Are some of you moving?

Fill me in!!!

In the meantime, I hope you have been enjoying your tremendous good fortune. Boy, winning $295.7 million, that is really something else! (Not that I would know!)

Let me ask you this: Would it be possible to let an old friend share in the excitement? Perhaps by sending that old friend, oh, $50,000?

If you think about it, $50,000 is really nothing by today's standards. However, it would be enough to tuck away for the kids' college educations, and perhaps we could use any money left over to screen in the back porch.

I don't think this is asking too much, do you?



Dear guys,

I may be wrong, but this is how I see your lives right now: the new mansions, the flashy cars, the tax shelters, the European vacations -- everything is go, go, go.

How else to explain your baffling silence of the past six months?

As I sit here at the kitchen table, listening to Martha coughing up blood into a Kleenex -- Doc Higgins is running tests, we should know more in a few weeks -- it occurs to me how much our lives have veered in opposite directions.

"Bob," I hear Martha saying now in a weak voice, "do you think your old Lucky 13 buddies would send us even $10,000? To help us out? Do you, Bob?"

"Sure, they will, babe," I say, rinsing out another cool washcloth and laying it across her forehead.

Oops, gotta run. I hear the mailman outside now.

Still your pal,


Pub Date: 8/06/98

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