Word Hole #8

Word Hole 3

Powerball State of the Union

by Michelle Hogmire

The following is a very rushed transcript of President Obama’s opening remarks during the State of the Union Address.

OBAMA: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, my fellow Americans: for the last eight years, at this time of year, you’ve heard me discuss a myriad of problems facing this great nation of ours. Criminal justice and campaign finance reform, drug abuse, immigration, gun violence, raising the minimum wage, health care, the economy, affordable higher education, climate change, the war in the Middle East—just to name a few. But tonight, I’d like to do something different. Tonight, let’s put all partisan concerns and arguments aside and discuss what’s honestly weighing heavily on everyone’s mind: Powerball.


Studies show that millennials are playing the lottery less and less, calling it “stupid” or “pointless” or “I’m not buying tickets unless I can purchase them on the internet” or “Who in the world wants to wait in a gas station line for that?” And, my fellow Americans, that’s a problem. That’s a damn shame.


Powerball might not be logical, but it holds this country together. At this point, we all know that the American Dream is a lie. Working hard doesn’t necessarily equate with success. In fact, for most people in the US, it means barely making ends meet. However, we can all unite in the hope of random chance. Sure, the odds of winning are 1 in 292.2 million—but what if you did land those perfect numbers? Wouldn’t that be awesome!?

Wasting a few spare bucks on unlikely odds is what this country was founded on, and it’s time that we return to those principles. That’s what will make America truly great again; not banning Muslims or taking away everyone’s guns, but literally believing in the impossible. Or the mostly impossible. More than likely, it would be easier for one of us in this room to hit the Powerball than it would be for me to get bipartisan support to accomplish…anything.


Fine, Paul, at last there’s something we can agree on. Now simmer down. We’ll head on over to the gas station after this, you and I. My treat, although if you hit those $2 or $4 matches, you’re splitting those bills with me.


Michelle Hogmire is a literary agent assistant at Barbara Braun Associates and the Business Manager for Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. She grew up in West Virginia and has a BA in Creative Writing from Marshall University. She currently attends the MFA program at Columbia University and lives in New York City.

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