Winning a National Lottery jackpot affects different people in many different ways. It gives them complete financial independence, allows them to live wherever they please, gives them the freedom to work or not to work and generally puts a smile on their faces. But one other thing I have noticed is that winning a lottery jackpot also seems to make them say ridiculous things to journalists. I call this the "lottery lunacy syndrome" and my favourite examples all tend to be preceded by the phrase, "It's funny, but..." or something similar. Here are some fictional - but bizarrely common - examples:
"It's funny but....
"I almost didn't buy a ticket."
What's so funny about that? If the player hadn't bought a ticket and their numbers had still come up, I'm sure humour would be the last thing on their mind.
"I thought / the sales clerk told me that it could be my lucky day."
This is a ridiculous statement because most lottery players think or are told that it could be their lucky day, but only a handful actually win. If there was a real cosmic link between thinking lucky thoughts or hearing lucky comments and actually winning, every week's jackpot would be shared by tens of thousands of people.
"I/My friend/My relative dreamed that I was going to win the lottery."
Again, not funny at all. I've dreamed about winning the lottery (back in December 1994 when my cheque was presented by a rather fetching Anthea Turner) and it didn't happen. I dare say that millions of others have had similar dreams (with or without said Anthea) and never matched anything more than 3 or 4 numbers, proving rather conclusively that dreams and reality aren't connected in any way.
"I made a mistake with my numbers."
This kind of statement is used to suggest that some cosmic finger of fate helped the player to win, but I guess that there are many more players who have missed out on jackpots by entering the wrong numbers than there are those who have won the top prize.
"I didn't find out until a week/month/ several months later."
So these people go to the trouble of buying a lottery ticket and then can't be bothered to check to see if they've won. They eventually make a claim and tell everyone how funny it was that they almost didn't. Hilarious.
Okay, maybe I'm being picky as usual (hey, my blog, my rules!) Maybe it's not "lottery lunacy" that drives winners to make illogical statements such as the ones above. Maybe the fact that they've been put on the spot by a group of journalists to say something vaguely interesting is to blame for these ridiculous statements. Whatever the cause, I don't like them and would prefer a tad more honesty. I'll explain what I mean by that next week...
Article Last Updated: 15/03/2007 13:14:23
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