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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

The winning ticket

The “casting of lots” has a long and storied record in human history (including Biblical occurrences), and the use of lotteries has a past that dates to the Middle Ages as the first recorded public lottery, according to recent research, was held during the reign of Augustus Caesar. The first recorded lottery to distribute prize money was born in 1466 in what is now Belgium to assist the poor. Lotteries have a prominent place in the history of America as well. The first US lottery we found happened in 1612.

Jump to current times, and we find mass popularity in a chance to win billions of dollars by playing a computer-pulled set of numbers where the odds of winning the top prize sit at approximately 1 in 302.6 million, according to the Associated Press.

Now, by our own witness, roughly 1 in 10 who walk through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) earn the top prize - a life of sobriety. The odds favor success for those committed to working the 12 steps as laid out in the AA recovery program.

We pulled the winning numbers back in 2013 and 2018. Some pulled the golden ticket before us; for others, the winning came in 2022 and 2023; for others, the winning will come in 2024 and beyond.

chance vs. effort

First of all – one has to play to win. That's right; one has to buy the ticket or enter the meeting rooms to be in contention for the prize.

Though some tout a “system,” “hack,” or mechanism to improve the odds in the lottery, there is no sure way to assure a win regarding drawing lots. It is by total chance that one is given the winning ticket.

Conversely, there IS a way that one can better their shot at winning the better-life lottery. There IS a proven methodology that moves one closer to the ultimate win of sobriety:

We worked the first three steps of the time-tested 12-step recovery program, coming to a conclusion of heart and mind. Then, we took action in steps 4 through 9, capturing an accurate inventory of ourselves, understanding our true character, and cleaning up the debris of our past. Daily, we practice step work (step 10), work to improve spiritually (step 11), and carry the message to others still suffering.

We punched our winning ticket years ago when we decided to quit playing to win. Instead, we went with God's plan. He provided a path and people in our lives that allowed us to pursue purpose. Life's simplest pleasures are now our gifts. We process problems healthily thanks to the principles of AA. Honestly, we tried doing this on our own before and failed miserably. The difference between then and now is that we are no longer alone. We have a God of our understanding, and we have each other. We now have everything we need and want.

Our 12 numbers came in.


Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a podcast titled “Sobriety - Quitting for Today OR Quitting For Forever ?”

....The podcast dropped on 10/13/2021. Click here to hear the podcast.

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash


Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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