Friday, 8 January 2016
should I get a 45 million to 1 lotto ticket ? - oh, go on then...
I must stop my weekly UK lotto gambling.
It's only been funded by sales of my novel, the funds from which seeded my tiny lottery fund out of which I bet on a ticket every week. Despite the old odds of 14 million to 1, I managed a few wins that kept the fund topped up (reinvestment - none of the wins were that spectacular).
At some stage along the way they doubled the entry cost, with the entry stake moving from £1 to £2. Maybe it was an attempt to hide the falling size of the main prizes as less people were entering the bet.
More recently, with the size of the jackpot still falling, Camelot/Lotto decided to change/rig the odds by adding another ten balls to the system, moving the odds to 45 million to 1. Maybe they took advice from their sole shareholder/owner, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan?
Unsurprisingly, the revised odds have created more weeks without a jackpot winner at all (like we all notice?), and so eventually, after some 13 weeks, they are invoking a payout based upon a different rule.
More surprisingly, in those blank payout weeks I have managed to win couple of small prizes! Guess what? Another con. In the old days a small win might be £10 or £25 which would keep a small-time gambler like me running for plenty of weeks. This time my small win was - a free entry to the next Lotto game. I remember the old negotiating tactic (from the eminently practical Karrass probably) - It runs along the lines of "If you have to give something away give something that is cheap to you but of perceived good value to the recipient".
So they give me a free entry - which would cost me £2 but they know is essentially useless because the odd of it winning are so low.
I get it that the new odds will create a headline grabbing piece of free publicity every 10 weeks or so, when the non-wins accumulate enough to give a big payout.
So yes, I will enter this weeks lottery, but unless I win something then this may also be the perfect time to cancel my recurring random bet.