I have developed a recent penchant for the lottery.
My Dad calls it a tax on the stupid. (He refers to hangovers as 'entertainment tax').
I've bought and / or scratched a number of scratch cards in the last couple of weeks. My three stars are in the post (but I stupidly used my Dublin address so it's unlikely I'll be called). My free ticket win resulted in a free ticket of nothingness.
Every time I start to scratch I think I'm going to win. Two €40's, two €80's, two €10,000's... Then crestfallen when I win nothing, then checking and double checking (with one eye closed to ensure accuracy - a sign of getting old) to make sure there isn't a third hiding.
Scratch cards are a new departure from the very irregular lotto ticket buying, which in itself has become somewhat more regular of late.
A panel of numbers made up of family birthdays, another panel of either friends' birthdays plus a random number or, more often, a quick pick.
I used to do it so infrequently I would have to read the instructions on the back first. Now I know how to fill in my numbers, select Plus and have even established how to do multiple draws, dangerous!
Panicked that My Numbers will come up and I won't have done them. Bitterly disappointed when I do it and I don't win. Planning what I will do with my millions.
A house in my neighbourhood for a friend who is no longer within walking distance. A Range Rover, a Jag and whatever you're having yourself. A movie to finance, maybe two. A few college funds for some little girls and boys. Whatever my family want or need. A trip to London to collect a friend, a trip to Vienna to visit many, a trip to Spain and Italy for a holiday, then off to Australia for a spin, first class.
At 19.57 my life could change.
At 20.00, chances are, I'll be raging!