Don’t be square when picking a Super Bowl square

January 23, 2001 10:06 AM
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Resume? What resume?

Donna Herbert, 56, of Cohasset, Mass., had worked for Bradlee’s Department Stores for 12 years. She held a corporate position for the New England chain of lower-priced retail stores that closed their doors on New Year’s.

The store got double publicity when it declared bankruptcy because people who got Christmas gift certificates felt they were getting stiffed. At any rate, Donna was out of work. She and her husband were afraid they’d lose their home.

On her way to the post office to mail out job applications, she stopped at the local market. While there, Donna bought a Spectacular Scratch Ticket. Spectacular turned out to be the right word. When Donna scratched the ticket, she won $4 million.

Her husband had a part-time Stop and Shop deli clerk’s job. The word is had.

Richard and Donna plan to pay their bills, buy a new car and head for Florida. Did you say "resume?"

Spend a buck to make a buck

It’s time to buy a square or be square again. Almost everyone I know buys at least one square for the Super Bowl. You know, the ones where the final digit of each team’s score at the end of each period determines who wins the money. Squares that I know of range from $5 to $1,000.

I kept a record over the years of the winning numbers. In the interest of the free flow of information, I want to share with you the better numbers to have. (I’m not even thinking of the remote possibility that one or two bartenders over the years have bagged the squares.)

The best combination is zero and seven. They’ve come in 16 times. Next best is zero and three. They’ve come in 12 times, including the first period of last year’s Super Bowl between St. Louis and Tennessee when the Rams kicked a field goal. You may recall the Rams kicked two more field goals in the second period to produce a 9-0 score. Nines are usually bad news in the squares. But if you’re unlucky enough to get a nine, hope for a zero to go with it. The nine-zero combo has come in five times.

In case you were wondering, seven and three appeared eight times.

On the unlucky side of the draw, many numbers have never come in any quarter of the XXXIV Super Bowls. The worst of the numbers to get is two. Only seven two’s have shown up and three of those were two and zero. The worst numbers after two are five and eight. Both have come in only eight times.

By the way, X, I, and V have also never come in. But in this XXXV Super Bowl, who knows?

One measure that sneaked by in the closing days of the Clinton administration was that federal officials gave the Massachusetts Nipmuc Tribe formal recognition. This means the Nipmuc could be on their way to opening a casino in Massachusetts.

The tribe’s ancestors lived for centuries in Central Massachusetts. If they succeed in getting approval for the casino, Central Massachusetts will be the location. Right now, gaming enthusiasts from that arena make a beeline down route 395 to Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun casinos in Connecticut.

Now the Nipmuc’s battle moves from the federal to the state level. Legislators insists that they plus the governor must grant approval. Former Gov. Bill Weld claimed he didn’t need the Legislature’s approval to sign a compact with any tribe.

The issue was never definitely settled when the Wampanoag Tribe signed a compact with Weld. Other issues on the local level intervened. Now there’s a new governor, a new attorney general, and a slightly different Legislature, although its leadership remains the same. It’s time for Round 2. The Nipmucs won Round 1.

More tribal disputes

Frustrated with the tribal recognition process, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and three eastern Connecticut towns sued federal officials last week, accusing them of acting illegally in granting preliminary recognition to the Eastern Pequot and the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot Indians of North Stonington.

Blumenthal said the "landmark lawsuit" was unprecedented, the first time a state has gone to court to challenge the recognition process administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

"What we are seeking is to shut down this process," he said, "until the proposed findings [of recognition] are withdrawn."

He characterized top officials of the bureau as "rogue bureaucrats operating beyond the bounds of the law, implementing their personal political agendas without proper supervision." He predicted more towns will join the lawsuit. We’ll see.

Onward to victory!