PEAKS ISLAND — I must admit that I fully understand and often cite the headline on this 2013 online commentary: “The Lottery Is a Predator and You Are Its Math-Illiterate Prey.” I get that the odds are ridiculously high. But the hype of the recent record Powerball jackpot reached me. Someone had to win, right?

Maybe it was the fact the person in front of me at Casco Bay Variety purchased a Powerball ticket. Maybe it was that the store smelled great. Or maybe I was just feeling lucky that day. Whatever the reason, I put aside all I knew about probability and asked for a ticket.

My ignorance of the process was evident. The cashier walked me through the options. It was painless. I carefully folded the ticket, tucked it in my jacket and headed home.

Once I got home, the ticket was carefully unfolded and stuck to the refrigerator under a magnet. That was last Sunday morning. For the next four days, my fascination with winning was all-consuming.

 Day 1: I spent part of the first day spending the winnings. How much should I use to live on and how much should I give away? Should I give some of the winnings to family and friends? The purse is so huge, I couldn’t spend it all. I’d need to find a way to give more away or maybe save some.

I decided to buy three more tickets and give them away. Maybe that would please the lottery gods and I would be rewarded for my charity.

Day 2: Early in the morning, I awoke with fear. What if there were multiple winners?

That would mean I would need to share the winning purse. I revised my budget to account for multiple winners. There would be no new car or multiple vacation homes. I’d still give money away, but not as much, I guessed.

By midday, I was feeling angry about having to share my winnings with others. All thought of myself as “math-illiterate prey” had evaporated.

Day 3: I worried about the fame that would come from winning. I thought about all of the media people who would be camped outside my house waiting for interviews. Would they follow me to Hallowell when I presented my ticket at the state lottery office and received the big check?

How would I get to Hallowell? Maybe rent a limousine? But could I trust the driver if they knew I was the winner? Maybe I should find a way to receive the winnings anonymously.

I would need to hire a good lawyer to help with this problem. “Prey” – what prey? Prey are those who are not prepared!

Day 4: Drawing day I, along with millions of others, was anxious most of the day. I knew that my life would change significantly the next day.

While I shoveled the steps, my mind wandered. I hadn’t called my bank to tell them about the deposit I would be making, I realized. I wondered how the cashing of such a large check would work. Would the bank just put the money in my checking account? Would the funds be available immediately, or would I need to wait for the check to clear?

Maybe there isn’t a check at all. Maybe it’s a wire transfer. If it were a wire transfer, would I need to pay a fee for the transfer? My mind raced with all the details that I had not attended to.

However, it was too late. I resolved to simply go to the bank early the next morning.

Post drawing day: I didn’t win. I thought maybe I’d won a $1 million consolation prize and asked the cashier to check. She appeared accustomed to this request, checked the ticket and said, “Not a winner.”

But I was a winner. I knew it. Perhaps the numbers reported in the paper, on every media outlet and even the lottery machine were wrong. I thought about asking her to check them again, but that seemed foolish.

I walked home. It seemed colder on Thursday than in previous days, don’t you think?

As I re-entered reality, I concluded that the lottery had claimed another victim. I, like tens of millions of other ticket holders, challenged the laws of probability – and, well, probability won again.

How quickly I had forgotten basic probability principles in the face of clearly insurmountable odds.

I have decided to rework the lottery marketing phrase “Just imagine” to “You’re not going to win, but imagine anyway.” This phrase comports with the accepted principles of probability.