Astrid was very community minded. She wasn’t neurotic about it, not obsessed, but if there was a bit of discarded trash on the sidewalk she’d usually stop, pick it up, and drop it in a waste bin.
On this particular Wednesday she did just that. It was a discarded ice cream paper. Clearly some child had torn the cover off their ice cream and dumped the screwed up bit of paper on the ground.
Astrid’s picking it up and placing it in the street waste container added three seconds to the mission she was on; and that was to go into the shop and purchase a lottery ticket.
Those three added seconds meant she got a different set of numbers than those she would have got if she had been three seconds earlier. And the numbers that she would have got but didn’t were the numbers that came up.
She would have won one hundred and twenty-seven million. Of course, she’ll never know she missed out by a hair’s breadth.