The Washington State Lottery has been won! Perry L. Crandall is now a multi-millionaire. With an IQ of just 76, Perry Crandall from Patricia Wood’s book, Lottery, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. “The other kids had different names for me. Moron. Idiot. Retard.” (Wood, 1). Never respected as a son or a brother by his direct family, he was forced to live with his grandparents since he was a small child. But at age 34, everything changed. His grandma died, and he was forced to move out of her house, and go out into the real world, and it seemed as if there was no light at the end of the tunnel. But once he won the Washington State Lottery, his life changed forever. Life was getting easier, and people were getting nicer, and everything seemed cheap. People were talking to him, and treating him like he was equal, ignoring his IQ. “Everybody at the mall was nice and none of them even knew me” (103).
Perry was not ready for his grandparent’s death. All his life he was taken care of and nurtured by his grandparents that when they died, it was catastrophic. But armed with all of the advice and knowledge his grandparents could give him, he was ready to take on the real world. Money can be a solution to everything, but it can be a problem too. While Perry saw winning the lottery as exceptional, his family saw it as an opportunity. It started out with them leeching off his money, asking for a check every week or so, but that was not enough. They started scheming and arranging meetings with Perry about what to do with his money, constantly trying to get more. But little did Perry know, but his family was planning to scam him for all his money.
Money could be the solution to all of your problems, but it could also be the root of them. Not only was money good and bad in Patricia Wood’s book, Lottery, but is also a very present theme in Jonathan Lethem’s novel, The Fortress of Solitude. Similar to Perry, Dylan Edbus (the main protagonist in The Fortress of Solitude) also lucked out in his situation. But there was one big difference between the two books. In Lottery, Perry wins the lottery, but in The Fortress of Solitude, Dylan had the luck of being a white male in the time of great racial divide in Brooklyn, and was able to progress his way out of the streets. Not only that, but the consequences of their luck was different. For Perry, the problems started to arise after he won the lottery, as his family was trying to leech as much money from him as possible. While for Dylan, his problems started from square one due to the fact that he was a white boy in a seemingly black neighborhood.
Therefore, luck can come in all shapes and sizes, but there will always be consequences for them. As seen in Perry’s situation, as soon as he won the lottery his family started circling around him like vultures for money. Also, in Dylan’s place, as soon as he was brought into his neighborhood the kids started to zone in on him because he was so different.