I’ve never gambled. Not so much as a quid in office sweepstakes. Which leads me to this post – this week, and thanks to the Cheltenham Festival, the office has been all about sweepstakes. Bets have been placed, money has changed hands, and horses’ names have been scratched onto scrap paper, screwed into tiny balls, and placed within a plastic cup from which people have been selecting.
David is a phenomenally terrible better. He put £16 down on a few horses this week and won… £16. Aside from asking how exactly he was going to spend his nought pounds, I of course called into question his mental capacity for continuing to bet despite losing every single time.
The issue with betting for me is twofold:
My addictive personality
It’s one of the reasons I’ve never even attempted to smoke. One drag, and that would be it, I’d be hooked. My lungs would be blacker than the tar that would coat them and then slowly kill me. One bet, one WIN, and that’s it.
Before I know it I’d be barred from newsagents. I’d be dragged home at closing time. I’d be sitting in my own filth, rummaging bins for old scratchcards, for just ONE MORE TRY.
On family holidays to Devon, mum, dad, my sister and I would spend a tenner on 2p machines, desperate to get the cheap plastic toys and hear the satisfying clink of the pennies falling down the chute. I would scrounge pennies off the floor, and check the slots to ensure some moron hadn’t walked away without their booty. I’d wait until others gave up and then hit their machines, playing 2p after 2p in order to reap the rich, rich rewards.
So yes, lack of willpower + addictive personality = obesity/poverty/death
My lack of luck
I’m not a naturally lucky person and therefore I think the lottery/horse racing/dog racing would be a waste of money.
Saying that, the one time I flicked onto horse-racing one boring Sunday afternoon I managed to pick winning horses in my head and they all came in. I was gutted for not putting a quid on, but then again I’d have no idea how, or how much I’d win.
But WHAT IF.
What if I played the Lottery, just once, and won fifty million quid. What would I do? Obviously I’d give mum and my sister half. No person needs £50m. £25 million is a perfectly acceptable amount for one person. A million for each family member after that (well, the ones I actually speak to) takes me to fifteen million, and then rest would be stuck in a high interest savings account. (You may laugh but even a modest 0.1% interest rate will give me cash money to donate to charity every month. Plus extra to spend on cats.)
I think the thing I like most would be helping my family, which are all made up of window cleaners and manual labourers really. Imagine giving them £1 million, telling them to pay off the mortgage and take a holiday?
After that would be the joys of a house in central London in which to live, and smaller properties dotted about the place. I’d work part time and volunteer the rest.
Oh to dream. Because let’s face it, you don’t win unless you play, and that ain’t gonna happen.