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I don’t consider myself a lucky man, but I’m not altogether unlucky either. Some people are lucky at cards; others are lucky with women; I’m lucky with soda.

I don’t know when it started, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve had the uncanny ability to pick out the 20oz soda that will earn me a free soda. I used to go to the gas station with my friends relying on this ability. We’d pool our money together for one soda, I’d pick it out, and sure enough, I’d win another soda for my friend. I can’t even begin to count the amount of 20oz beverages I’ve won over the years. Lately though, I feel like my gift is starting to fade.

Last weekend, Megan and I went up to Utah to do some shooting for a video assignment. On the way back, we stop at a gas station and I pick up a Dr. Pepper. I unscrew the cap and check the inside as I always do and I see a message a lot like the one in the picture above. “Sweet!” I think to myself, “It happened again!”

Now, usually when there’s a winning message like that on the inside of a bottle cap, it means I’ve won a free soda. But this time, I see no indication anywhere on the cap or bottle to tell me what exactly I’ve won.

I get home and get online as I usually do, and eventually remember the cap I left sitting somewhere. I find it and head over to to enter the code, all the while thinking I’ll be able to print out some sort of coupon for a free soda. I fill out the registration form and punch in the numbers when this screen pops up:

Computer Wallpaper. That’s my prize. No free soda, just some ugly, fabricated, over-produced piece of promotional filth to stick on my computer and give them free advertising. I don’t think Shia LeBouf even carries a sword at any point in that movie. He just flips around that knife all movie long. I was so upset, I didn’t even bother saving the actual image.

Dr. Pepper, you broke my heart.