Hurrah! We've won the lottery!
OK, not exactly the multi-millions on which we had set our sights. Not even, to be honest, the rather modest £20 which Mr
B estimated our three numbers and a lucky extra number might bring us. That £20 would have been good. We could have enjoyed not one, but two of those "Dine In For £10" dinners for two from a supermarket of our choice. A tasty return
on our investment.
What we actually won was £9.70, which meant we were 30p down on the whole transaction. How can you win and lose at one and the same time? I think I can say, with
a fair degree of confidence, that we will not be paying off all the families' mortgages, buying a swanky car, heading off on a World Cruise, or setting up a Trust to deal equitably with all the worthy causes which will be beating a path to our door.
Maybe next time?
Mr B is a Very Honourable Man when it comes to the purchase of lottery tickets. On the rare occasions that he succumbs to temptation, he always makes sure to show me the back
of the ticket where he will have written both our names in a clear and readable script. This, he tells me, will ensure that, when we do win The Big One, we will be equally entitled to a share in the winnings. It would be the easiest thing in the
world for him to buy a ticket and scrawl his own name on the back, without my knowledge. The first thing I would know of his success would be when he ran off with a comely young wench. Or (rather more likely) bought out Gillingham Football Club...
My dear Dad was absolutely convinced that Mr B would win the Pools one day. On what basis he had reached this unshakeable conviction, I never knew. All I can say is that this guaranteed, sure-fire win has
been a very long time coming and it would help if it got a move on. It might also help, I suppose, if we still filled in a Pools coupon every week.
My Dad, of course, never missed a week.
And every Saturday afternoon when the familiar music of Sports Report came wafting from the radio, we all had to sit in hushed silence while our Dad patiently wrote down the scores from every football match and then, equally pain-stakingly, checked his coupon.
It was one of those strangely comforting family rituals remembered from childhood. I can't remember Dad winning anything on the Pools. Perhaps the equivalent of £9.70 every so often.
Dad it was all about the dream, the hope, the Great Expectation. "When my boat comes in..." was one of his favourite sayings - and I loved to listen to his fantasies. What he would do, where we would go, what it would mean to all the family.
The boat never came in - or perhaps it was always there, bobbing away in the harbour, keeping us safe and happy, rich in the things that matter.
it still is.