Forget trickle-down versus supply-side economics, balancing the budget, Krugerrands and IRAs. They're giving away money this week to promote the new branch of the 1stAmerican Bank at 23rd and M NW. All you have to do is pick a lucky orange ticket that happens to have a star on its back . . .
. . . and step into THE MONEY MACHINE!
Right now, which happens to be 1:51 on Wednesday afternoon, Brenita Spriggs of Washington, D.C., is reaching into the white box that holds the tickets. AND SHE IS A WINNER, ladies and gentlemen, the third winner in the last half hour. Spriggs, who works for the U.S. government procuring office at 19th and M, removes her shoes and steps through a white wooden door into an eight-foot-high plexiglass cylinder that contains $175 (one fifty, five fivers and a hundred singles). She adjusts a black blindfold, the switch to a blower is thrown and . . .
. . . ONE HUNDRED AND SIX--count 'em--pieces of currency are swirling around Brenita Spriggs' head like a green tornado, and she is blindly lunging and stabbing at them, pushing the bills she captures through a six-inch-wide rubber portal into a small plexiglass box that holds her winnings. After 30 seconds the blower is turned off and Spriggs emerges to a round of applause--$92 richer.
"Isn't that wonderful, isn't that fantastic," coos one of the dozen people gathered around the Money Machine. Some of them don't look so happy; they haven't drawn lucky orange tickets.
"I told you this was a lucky day for Scorpios," a friend says to Brenita Spriggs.
And a lucky day for others. Not more than 20 minutes ago, a Virginia economist named Yaidena Mansaar stepped into the Money Machine and walked out with her personal wealth up $127. "It's a lot better than Corning Ware," she said. "The wages are great but the job security isn't." Five minutes before that, Irma J. Herr of D.C. made a quick $84. And right after Spriggs, Sally Rudney scooped up $71 and Shirley Shannon grabbed a cool $36. Not bad for a half-minute of publicly displayed avarice.
"I guess we've used this thing at our last three or four openings," says Branch manager Russell Turner. "It sure does cause a lot of excitement."