How a Daughter’s Desire for a Gumball Could’ve Cost This Paradise Dad a Million

A daughter's decision to pass on a gumball let a man buy a winning, million-dollar ticket.

A daughter’s decision to pass on a gumball let her father buy a  million-dollar ticket in Paradise this week. His name is Rick Traverse, and he’s had plenty of twenty- and fifty-dollar wins with “Prestige,” a scratch ticket lotto game, so he thought he’d keep buying them, and it paid off. He and his daughter were in Marie’s Mini Mart. According to an interview with CBC, his daughter asked him for a quarter, to buy a gumball, and he told her, “‘Well, you can have a quarter — or I can buy a million dollar ticket.” She did the math, and approved his purchase — one million dollars could buy a whole lot of gumball machines. He pocketed the thing until Sunday, scratched it as supper was cooking, and hit the jackpot.

Imagine. Had he given his daughter a quarter, he’d not be a millionaire right now. His life, changed, overnight.
The cost of a gumball at Marie’s Mini Mart: 25 cents.
The cost of denying your children chewing gum: priceless.

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  • I truly don’t mean to sound as scathing or negative as I did. I suppose the internet provides a platform to put words to the rants running through your mind, which means that one can be a bit too harsh or sometimes, or too honest. And when I think that I actually made someone feel bad, I do feel bad about it. But, I am not just voicing my own opinion, but that of other readers of the paper as well. The main problem is, there is only one arts paper in Newfoundland, and there really needs to be more. In other cities, I wouldn’t really care about the content of a singular arts paper, because I would have the option to read a different one. But here, there is only one. Which I’m sure is a lot of pressure on you, and obviously you can’t please everyone. In conclusion, I am taking a lot away from what you have said, especially the fact that the Overcast’s mandate is to celebrate local. I will not expect to find a realm of bizarre wonders, and I will go elsewhere for that.

    • Yeah, I know the notion of a mainly positive paper isn’t sitting well with everyone, and my being surprised by that is the topic on the next editor’s log: processing that, finding a balance. It think there’s merit to it, despite being surprised by people being turned off by it. And my touchiness in our back and forth here was a reflection of my being perplexed by that grander sentiment, not just what you were saying. And I’m with you, I wish there were more papers here filling more niches too. I miss The Scope as much as anyone. What The Overcast is doing is a bit different than most papers like ours, but, on purpose, so I expected some backlash. I think it would have been boring and disrespectful to mimic the scope, and we’re also a brand new paper, still evolving, and the 60 hour weeks don’t leave much time for tinkering with the operation. That’s been rough: people expect us to have all the time and money in the world to grow, expand. We insist on paying fairly (unlike most papers like ours) so that’s slowing us down a little. nearing the 6-month mark now as we are, and with all the hellish slog of the setup behind us (so much work!) we’ve got a lot more time on our hands to step back and look at what’s working and what isn’t. So, I do appreciate people’s honesty, like yours, and adding a more critical edge to things will definitely be duly considered. But I’m impulsive, and stab back if I feel a stab at the paper isn’t constructive in its delivery (I really don’t know what the guy at the beginning of this thread is talking about with “blatant advertising.” For what, gumball machines? it’s a story of a man winning a million dollars and nothing more). Anyway, thanks for the lengthy back and forth. Noted.

  • Okay, I thought your mandate might include being an entertaining publication for readers. And no, by “entertaining” I don’t mean a tabloid. I do think it is good to support local businesses, and inform readers about new businesses. But writing a two-page spread on a business that has been around for years? Also, you are praising their success as a business without really knowing how they function from the inside. For Magnum and Steins, I have only heard how horribly they treat their employees. Furthermore, it’s not as if Magnum and Steins is doing anything positive for the community besides providing fine dining for those who can afford it. Your paper does fit your mandate, pages and pages of praise of everything local. But just talking about how awesome everything is, is (unsurprisingly), boring. And I’m not saying to spend pages tearing everything apart either. How about making one’s way out of the tiring dichotomy of good vs. bad, and talk about things that are interesting like an upcoming event or a new idea to improve the city. Or, like you have done with your short stories, encourage submissions of creative material to the paper. But I can see from your commentary that you aren’t interested in suggestions of how to improve The Overcast, as you meet every criticism with a line of defence. I am not saying I think your paper is bad, I am just commenting on the trend towards excessive praise of all that is local and of just excessive praise in general. It’s sort of like how most singers don’t write exclusively joyful songs, and instead write songs about complex thoughts and emotions.

    • I’m not getting defensive, I’m just not finding your comments to be constructive criticism, and, they’re coming from an uninformed place: Did you read the Magnum & Steins story? It was about the BRAND NEW things they’ve just started doing. As for how they treat their employees, we can’t be clairvoyant about behind the scenes goings-on. I’d hate to hear they’re a terrible employer, however, I do know one employee who raves about them as an employer, and he’s been working there for many years, which is all I have to base it on. Every issue will have a “Restaurant profile,” and we can’t NOT profile a restaurant because some people can’t afford to eat there (and in fact, a portion of the article was about how they’re now selling affordable small plate menus, that are no more expensive than most pubs). I’m not getting defensive, I’m saying some of your criticism is a bit unmanageable to address. Except the notion that an entirely positive paper is boring, which might have some merit, and will be duly considered, so thanks. But I feel like some of your sweeping statements are projecting generic disdain for an alt paper on The Overcast, so I’m having a little discourse here. For example, we’re not doing the “Good versus bad dichotomy” you’re saying we’re doing, so I’m simply telling you your statement is ill-presumed: we’re covering things with restaurants as they happen: Magnum & Steins tried something new, Mohamad Ali’s just opened, Raymonds was just voted Canada’s best restaurant — that’s what guides the coverage for the Restaurant Profile. Topical response, not what you’re implying. As for your other comment, on writing about ways to improve the city, we have an entire section, The Perspectives section, devoted to that, as well as a community poll in every issue, so we’re trying to do something you’re telling us we’re not doing, see? As for covering events, a lot of the coverage in the arts coverage is on events — just like the website is largely focussed on events, so we’re covering that too. I’m not getting defensive, you’re entitled to your opinion on the paper, and I appreciate comments like how you feel an overly positive paper is a boring one, it’s worth considering, but some of the other stuff you’re saying falls to the unconstructive criticism side of things, for being a little untrue or generic, and delivered in a nasty way. And if I do sound touchy, I apologize. Electronic discourse has a way of sonding snappier. I’m sure you’re not intending to sound as negative as I’m reading you, either. But if the paper isn’t entertaining you, don’t read it. I mean that sincerely, not bitterly. I don’t like plenty of publications around that others seem to enjoy, instead of telling those papers to change for my benefit, I simply don’t read them. The more publications the merrier. I’m surprised there aren’t more (despite knowing how expensive and time-consuming they are to run, with minimal payout).

  • I agree, if you’re going to call an article blatant advertising, check out the article on how Magnum and Steins got their start. Because nobody cares how Magnum and Steins got their start, so it can’t be anything other than a juicy little plug.

    • I’m interested in how and why people get upset about such things. We’re a cultural paper with a clear mandate: Celebrate the artists and entrepreneurs of the province, with a dash of news and topical issues. Yet there’s people out there whining about how we’re kissing people’s assess. We’re not, we’re fulfilling our very clear mandate to celebrate locals. If you’re not used to this kind of paper, or prefer those crappy magazines that tear people up on front covers like, “Celebrity X can’t lose her baby fat, OMG!,” then read those instead. We’re trying to drive business to local artists and entrepreneurs, which isn’t such a bad thing, considering how bold it is to try and make your own living, and how difficult it is to succeed in those fields. It would be a pretentious waste of paper to write feature articles on why a local restaurant is horrible. It’s about branding, the idea is, if there’s something in our print issues, it’s there to help spread the word, because word of mouth keeps businesses and artists thriving. The article about Magnum & Steins was an article about magnum & Steins, nothing more than how it all came together, which is more interesting than 2 pages on what they serve.

    • advertising for what, winning the lottery? If it’s “such blatant advertising” I should probably know what you’re talking about. It’s a quick post about a recent lottery win. Relax.

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