Our tour bus is heading back to the hotel.
We thought we had a chance.
We hadn’t known each other at all when this started.
We were just a random group of strangers thrown onto a team.
But something improbable happened.
We fell in love with each other.
We became a troupe.
We started winning.
We dared to believe we could win it all.
Until it all fell apart.
We gave up.
It isn’t over.
But we are.
It is mathematically impossible for us to catch up.
We just don’t have the heart to keep going.
Then my partner — my grandfather — starts laughing.
“We are going to be billionaires!”
I look at him like he’s crazy.
He explains that there is another competition, one they explained to us at the beginning of the tour.
Each family gets to share a story of what happened.
The best story wins $10,000.
“Because of what we have all been through together, we can work together to tell the greatest story they have ever heard.”
The numbers still don’t make any sense.
But we believe in his plan.
We believe in Him.
We get excited.
We start telling our stories to each other.
We start to see how they can fit together.
We plan out who will go when, so the stories build on each other.
We stop caring about the prize.
We stop caring about money.
This will be the greatest story the judges have ever heard.
Because it isn’t just one story.
It is the story of all of us.
Because our failures bound us together in ways no other team has ever experienced.
No team that succeeded ever bonded that way.
No team that failed ever stuck together long enough to tell their story.
Only after I wake up do I realize what my grandfather meant.
He wasn’t talking about cash.
He was talking about treasure.
They who share the best story, have already won the only thing that matters.