Monday, 6 July 2015

Lotteries, Raffles and Mackinlay - follow the money!

Several years ago one of our local members won £10,000 on the National Conservative Summer Draw. We were delighted for him and waited in hope for a donation, which never came. The following summer I dug through thousands of letters and found his - adding a personal PS to the bottom...

"You never know - you might make it two in a row!"

The member replied by returning his unsold tickets with a note "lightening seldom strikes twice".  A few weeks later he defected to UKIP, no doubt using our £10,000 to pay his sub.

I think of this twice a year when we send out the draw tickets, and wince every time. I am, however, little better myself when it comes to gambling. . 

I have participated in the National Lottery once, and just once. On the very first day it started, 19 November 1994, I bet £1 and up came three numbers, winning me £10. I decided to quit whilst ahead and never played again. 

Chatting to Cllr Paperclips this afternoon over the Summer Draw counterfoils he told me he pays for his lottery by direct debit and now feels "trapped" - having never won he fears the week he cancels his direct debit will be the one his numbers will come up - so he keeps on playing and keeps on paying just in case. 

We then found a website called Lottery Search (HERE) where people can enter the numbers they would have used and it calculates how much they might have won had they continued to play those numbers each week.  

Nervously I entered the same six numbers I played all those years ago (I remembered them as they were a combination of mine and my mother's birthdays). I clicked "enter" and clenched my buttocks, wondering how I would reach if I had missed out on millions. I hadn't! Had I played each week since 1994 I would have spent £2220 and won £407, making a net loss of £1813. 

Makes the odds of 6:4 we received from Sky Bet on Craig Mackinlay winning South Thanet quite generous!



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