Dreams for Free
A stranger at a gas station once gave me a lottery ticket along with the wish for good luck. For the next two hours of my drive, I dreamt of all that I would do if I was suddenly wealthy. I didn’t win the lottery that day, but the opportunity to dream was an invaluable gift. I used this time to reflect on my relationships and consider all the ways in which I am fortunate. In hopes of providing others a moment to dream, in 2012, I began distributing 50 lottery tickets at a time to strangers. In my approach to these strangers I ask them “would you like to take a moment to dream?”. If they reply yes, I give them a lottery ticket and they write down what they would do with the winnings. Our exchange is simple—I trade one lottery ticket for a sheet of paper listing each contributor’s handwritten dreams.
This project began in Greensboro, NC in 2012 when I walked through my neighborhood with a stack of lottery tickets and a clipboard. Since then I have engaged with over 1000 people that I’ve met in public places such as city streets, restaurants, convenience stores, transportation centers, festivals, parks, and laundromats. The jackpots have ranged from 12,000,000 to 363,000,000. What follows is a selection of dreams that people have shared with me since I started this project in January 2012.
More on this project at http://www.dreamsforfree.org/