Blaise Tapp: Saying ‘well done’ through gritted teeth

Double lottery winners David and Kathleen Long.
Double lottery winners David and Kathleen Long.
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How many of you gritted your teeth ever so slightly on hearing the ‘incredible’ news that a former lorry driver and his wife had won the lottery twice in less than two years?

I like to think as myself as a generously spirited type of guy but my knuckles did turn brilliant white while at the wheel of the people carrier when the ‘happy’ story was relayed to me via the wireless.

I am not sure about you but I find it very difficult to get too excited for complete strangers who have been blessed with incredible good fortune. The Jack Nicholson-in-Batman grin, the breathless prosaic tosh spouted at press conferences (although, thankfully the vast majority of those who go public now desist from the old ‘this won’t change me’ chestnut) and the fact that most of the winners seem so ordinary, leaves me cold.

Lottery winners are bad enough but every time a fellow Brit wins mega money on the EuroMillions a small part of me dies - the part which thinks that I stand a cat in hell’s of scooping enough filthy lucre to pay the mortgages of all my loved ones or maybe enough to buy Wales.

My warped, childish logic dictates that whenever a compatriot wins big then the chances of me doing so diminish ever so slightly. I am sure the amateur statisticians among you would tell me that such an event would not change my chances of winning but being able to put one’s money worries behind you is such a vain hope that it is incredibly easy to lose faith in that dream.

There were plenty of statistics bandied around following the remarkable double lottery win of David and Kathleen Long with some saying the odds against it were an eye watering 283bn to one although this was dismissed by others who argued the chances would be the same as winning once because the two events were entirely separate.

This argument lost me early on but I am certain of only one thing: that the Longs are lucky blighters who could not care less if their two £1 million wins were far less likely than them both being killed by a shark - there are aren’t many of those near their home town of Scunthorpe.

Nor will they care if punters could get shorter odds on the world being hit by an asteroid - surely such a win would be doubled edged sword? - as they will be too busy picking wallpaper for their posh new house,complete with double garage, to notice.

It is often said that good luck comes in threes, but if they win again then it is likely that my head will explode due to pure, undiluted jealousy. I suppose we should really give them hearty congratulations but there will be lots of crossed fingers behind backs everywhere.

Vicar Lane, Leeds City Centre.

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