Maine has at least two tickets in one of the biggest business development lotteries this country has ever seen.

Amazon Corp. is planning to invest $50 billion in a second headquarters that would eventually employ up to 50,000 people. When the deadline for location proposals from around the country arrived last week, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority in Brunswick and the town of Scarborough (offering the Scarborough Downs racetrack site) had both gotten their applications in.

Sure, it’s a long shot that Maine will be chosen. But just like buying a Powerball ticket, we can always dream.

What would Maine be like with 50,000 more jobs, averaging $100,000 a year in salary?

Those people would have to live somewhere – if they lived in one place, it would be Maine’s second-biggest city.

That means years of work for home builders, and plenty of new patients for doctors and dentists, and customers for lawyers and accountants.

There would be increased demand for groceries, retail stores, restaurants, hair stylists and an array of small businesses. There would be new tax revenue to support teachers, police officers, firefighters and public works. Money that Amazon collects from its customers around the world would be circulating right here in Maine.

Maine has a lot to offer the retail giant. Scarborough Downs abuts an interstate highway, is near an airport and is just a couple miles from some of New England’s best beaches. The former Brunswick Naval Air Station property has long runways and hangar space for a logistics operation and is across the street from the iconic Fat Boy Drive-In (lights on for service, please).

Still, it’s unlikely that Maine will have the winning ticket.

First of all, Amazon needs people to work at its facility. The company says it is looking for a city with 1 million residents so that it will have enough of a talent pool to hire from.

And the way the company dangled its development project before possible suitors is likely to start a bidding war offering tax breaks and other publicly financed incentives. That’s a game that Maine can’t afford to win, and it shouldn’t even try.

But Maine can still get something out of this exercise if it reminds us that the future doesn’t have to look so bleak. We could see positive, sustainable growth if we would be willing to do some work now.

We may not be big enough or rich enough to land Amazon this time, but we are not too small or poor to help the next Amazon get its start here. Just like we need to invest in roads and other transportation infrastructure, we also need to invest in higher education and research and development. We need to expand our workforce by retraining current Mainers while inviting new people to move here.

Some other state will probably win the lottery this time. But there’s no reason to count Maine out for good.