I opened my wallet. There was a ten-dollar bill and a few one-dollar coins in it. I moved the bill and coins to one side and put the Proto receipt in the rest of the empty space. Then I put my wallet in my sweat pants, zipped it up, and left the house. There were more than ten thousand dollars in my pocket. It made me a little nervous to think about.
‘Hoo… I’ve never carried a thousand dollars before…’
Before going to sleep yesterday, I looked on the Internet and it said that I could get the Proto winnings in two places: a lottery store where lottery tickets were bought and Shinhan Bank. But today was Sunday. The bank was not open. I thought I would go to the bank tomorrow, but I decided to go to the lottery store and get the winnings today because I wanted to get money as soon as possible. Ten thousand dollars was not a small amount of money for me.
‘Isn’t it too much? Han Sang-hoon, it’s just ten thousand dollars. I’m sure others act like this when they have at least a few hundred thousand dollars. The lottery store is just a minute away from my house.’
I came out of the house that way, deceiving myself. I looked around like a thief who had robbed my house. Fortunately, there were few people in the neighborhood on Sunday morning.
‘Let’s go quickly, though.’
I began to walk as fast as I could. I arrived at the lottery store a minute away in thirty seconds. I opened the door and entered the store, and today there was a man there who looked like a customer. The owner, who didn’t even care about me yesterday, reacted right away after looking at me today.
“Oh! Are you here?”
I nodded in a daze.
“I watched the game yesterday, too! You have a great feeling, don’t you?”
“Ah, yes… well…”
The customer, who had picked up a ball-point pen in front of the OMR card and scratched his head, looked at me at the sound and said to the owner. “What’s up, Mr. Jung? Did this guy earn some?”
He seemed quite a regular customer, as he called the owner Mr. Jung.
“Yes, he did Proto for the first time yesterday, but he won eleven times as much.”
“Oh… really? He earned eleven times?”
I was slightly offended.
‘Can he say that to someone else?’
Not knowing I was thinking that, the customer told me. “Oh, did the young friend see some football games?”
I looked at the two people. To be honest, I didn’t really want to get along with these guys. The owner looked a little bit unreliable as his impression seemed a bit shabby, and as the customer’s beard was a little thick, he looked like a gambling addict.
‘… let’s get out of here with the winnings. I will not come back here.’
In the first place, I was thinking of buying Proto by going around to different lottery stores, even if I made money this way. There might be a strange misunderstanding if I won a lot of money each time in one place. I took out the receipt straight up and handed it to him and said, “Please give me my winnings.”
“Okay. Winnings, yes.”
He took the receipt I gave him, and put it in the machine.
“I made sure Real Madrid lost and Barcelona won. It’s been confirmed ten times.” He said that, then suddenly pointed to the back of the store and said, “Come with me.”
I followed him in. There was a small safe inside the store.
‘Now that I think about it, it’s kind of weird. The gambling wins from the country… Can he give it out like this?’
When the owner, who was fiddling with the door of the safe, opened the safe, I stealthily saw what was inside and forgot the idea. There were huge bundles of cash in the safe.
‘How much is that? What the hell?’
Whether I was thinking about it or not, he muttered to himself and pulled a bundle of bills out of the safe.
“Eleven times a thousand dollars… eleven thousand dollars…” He pulled out two bundles of yellow fifty-dollar bills.
“It’s a hundred-page bundle of fifty-dollars. It’s ten thousand dollars for two, right?”
I nodded and got a bundle of the bills. Though they were paper bills, they were quite heavy. I threw them a couple of times into the air. Naturally, I thought so. ‘But are these two hundred?
As if he felt my thoughts, the owner said, as he was closing the safe, “You can count if you want to count. There’s no one here who’ll see it.”
I examined the bundle of bills. The band, on which was written the Bank of Korea, was not peeled off yet. I decided to trust the owner. His appearance was not so good, but the cash in the vault was real.
Inside was a cash bundle larger than the bundle I was holding. If he did business by pulling a few fifty-dollar bills, he would not be able to do business with that much money. I put five thousand dollars in my left and right pocket each. He gave me twenty fifty-dollar bills for the remaining one thousand dollars, counting them out.
“One, two, three, four…”
I got it and came right back to the counter.
The customer asked me, “What are you going to bet on today? Let me know, let me share your luck. I lost yesterday.”
At the words, I shook my head.
“No… No. I’m not going to bet today.”
The owner was a little surprised because I was not betting. “Really? Aren’t you going to bet any more today? There’s Europa League this weekend.”
I was afraid I would be more tempted to stay here.
“I’ll try again later.”
After saying that, I opened the door and left. Right next to the lottery store was a bank with an ATM. It was not a bank that I usually used, but it did not matter if I just used to ATM to deposit. I went inside. Fortunately, there was no one else there to notice.
I put my card in and pressed the deposit button. The deposit bar opened, and I put in the hundred bundle of fifty-dollar bills from my left pocket. After I heard the sound of counting the money, a question was raised.
[Would you like to deposit five thousand dollars?]
[Your deposit is complete.]
I took the second bundle out of my right pocket once more and repeated the task. Then, after depositing twenty fifty-dollar bills, I checked the balance.
[Twelve thousand dollars]
My account, which had only two thousand dollars as of yesterday, had instantly increased by ten thousand dollars.
Whoever saw me or not, I fist-pumped the air. After work, I picked up my cell phone and checked the time. Time was just passing 8:58 a.m.
‘Ah, today’s news must already have arrived.’
I walked home, fiddling with my smartphone at a very slow pace, unlike when I had come here.
In my mailbox, an email had arrived today, too.
[12 Hours After]
I took my finger again to the Sports category without hesitation. Right now, I was going to make more money from Proto.
‘What’s the news coming in today?… I hope there’s more big news like Real Madrid’s defeat…’
I clicked on it in anticipation. But, contrary to my expectation, I could not help but stand there and stare, looking at the screen.
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