B3ta has a Question Of The Week every week. This week it’s about luck – “Has your luck held out recently?”
The day I won the lottery
My mum is possibly one of the smartest people I know. Even now as I approach thirty and she’s an OAP, I go to her for her help with so much stuff.
However, my poor old mum is prone to the odd “blip” every now and then. Usually it’s repeating something she’s already told me, or asking me a question that she knows the answer to but has forgotten.
At Christmas time in 2003, she excelled herself.
Alongside my normal Christmas present, mum gave me a card with a lottery ticket inside. It was called a “Millionaire Maker”, and the general idea was that if you matched the numbers, you were guaranteed £1m no matter who else won. Lovely.
Seeing as I’m a cynical sod, I didn’t bother checking the numbers, knowing damn well I wouldn’t be winning. I’m also the complete opposite to my mum, who was extremely excited to find out if either of the two tickets she had bought me were winners.
As it was Christmas Day, there were no papers to check, and despite my protests that I wanted to check them in my own time, mum insisted she had written the numbers down when the draw was made and scurried off to the kitchen to find them.
Two minutes later I was handed a piece of paper with the winning lottery numbers written down. I can’t remember now what they were, but they matched perfectly the numbers on one of my tickets. I checked it, and checked it again.
“Did you win?” mum asked.
Never one to overstate a situation, I handed her the tickets and the numbers she’d given me. “You tell me.”
She checked the first ticket – no numbers matched. She checked the second ticket, blinked, checked it again, and starting beaming. “You’ve got all of the numbers, haven’t you?”
I checked the ticket again, and yes, I was a winner. Not just a winner, but a millionaire! In the few seconds it took to sink in, I knew what I would do. I’d give up work, pay off the mortgage, have a big holiday, organise a much better wedding than the one we had planned. It was all crystal clear.
For five minutes the room buzzed – Me, mum, and my fiancée. Even the kids knew something good was happening. Me being me, I HAD to double check – This kind of thing NEVER happens to me.
I booted up the PC, and jumped online. The lottery site was down, so I was left trawling news sites for confirmation of the numbers. After a couple of minutes I found them. I grabbed my lottery ticket and began comparing the two.
Strange, the numbers were different. Ahh, they hadn’t updated the site, these were last weeks Millionaire Maker numbers! Then it hit me – They only do the Millionaire Makers once a year.
It turns out that mum had jotted down the numbers on the tickets she’d given me so that she could check them for herself. For some reason, she’d only written down the numbers from one ticket, and though she’d written down the winning numbers from the night before, she’d given me the wrong piece of paper to check them on.
In some ways I was unlucky – I truly believed that I was a millionaire. In other ways, I was lucky, as I got to experience what it feels like to win the lottery: The breathless, heartbeat-skipping, total elation of it all. Better than sex, drugs and scoring the winning goal in a Cup Final.
I’m still skint though.