I just love lotteries. What I especially love about them is that you don’t even have to enter them any more. You just win them! I won four only this morning. I won lotteries in Spain (again!), France (my third), Egypt and Norway. Even if I had won only three since waking up, I would have increased my wealth by $17m.

I have to say, it is actually becoming embarrassing, especially when it is my round in the pub and I’m a bit slow to put my hand in my pocket. But my friends all know that one of these days I’m going to buy them each a Porsche. Any day now. Promise.

I’m going to be swimming in the stuff, man. I have won four British lotteries, three French, a German, two Swiss and five Polish ones. I have won lotteries in 37 countries on three continents. It’s become such a commonplace thing in my life that I don’t even get excited any more when yet another notification pops into my inbox. When you are worth what I am, another million dollars is of little consequence. In any event, usually my winnings are waaaay more than a mere million bucks.

I calculated earlier today that I must by now be worth $80-bn or thereabouts, having been winning lotteries since 1998, the first time the lottery world (there is a whole lottery world out there, invisible but preposterously generous) discovered me and decided to favour me above all others. I mean, it stands to reason that they can’t dole this amount of dosh out to just about everybody out there, can they? Can they?

OK, OK, the money has not actually been deposited into my bank account yet, but I am assured by lottery organisers worldwide (and I think they may be working hand–in–glove) that the clearance for release of the funds will come through any day now. It’s not that I’m gullible or anything. You mustn’t think that. I’m just patient. Really, really patient.

I do sometimes wonder, and you’ll probably think I am nothing less than insane for even thinking this, but I do sometimes wonder if my reluctance to divulge my personal details to anyone –- and I mean anyone at all, even lottery organisers -– isn’t a bit of a hitch in enabling them to release the funds. This question has been bothering me for some time. Since 1998, in fact.

Thing is, you see, the money is all there — I swear man, and the beers are on me just as soon as I can get my ducks in a row –- but there are obviously certain practicalities that have to be dealt with before they can give all this wealth to somebody they haven’t even met. I mean, I could be just anybody. Would you give millions away to a stranger without first finding out something about them?

For instance, in order to qualify for just one of today’s lottery wins, the Spanish Loteria Winners International’s prize department (they all have ‘prize departments’) has awarded me a lump sum payment of two hundered and fifty million Euros – I have to provide my full names, address, sex, age, occupation, phone numbers, ticket number (which they helpfully provide in their email in case I’ve forgotten it) and batch number. (Batch number? Makes me sound like an egg.)

Well, I’m sorry, but I am not going to provide such personal and basic details to some lottery flunkey in Spain. They can damn well pay me out what is due to me without this intrusion and if they withhold my funds any longer then, then, then … man, I am gonna sue the bastards! I am gonna get me a Spanish lawyer (and a Norwegian one, a French one, etc etc etc) and I am gonna make lottery world history. You mark my words.

I’m sure a good lawyer would be able to trace the Spanish Loteria International. Would you say? I mean, they have a proper email address and all. Doesn’t ‘[email protected]’ sound kosher to you? No actual physical address is given, mind you, but in this day and age with everybody’s personal details whizzing around the world wide web, it stands to reason … doesn’t it?

They, it has to be said in all fairness, seem eagerly keen to shield the wider world from their own precise identity, doubtless for the same reasons. You can’t be too careful!

On this occasion, intriguingly, they have special reason for being careful about their (and I hope my) identity. ‘Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted to you,’ is how one rider in their email is worded. ‘This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants.’

Imagine that! There are scumbags out there who would actually attempt to double–claim on these lotteries. Do they have no shame?

Actually … actually, I do wonder, sometimes, how they got to choosing me. I mean, why not that guy on the bus, or that lady in the bank? Why not you? Why me?

Happily, the organisers of Spanish Loteria International realise that this can be rather puzzling to ordinary people like me, so they helpfully address this in their email of notification. (Their English is not all that good, you may have noticed; they are Spanish, after all.)

‘Meanwhile, to clarify your doubts on how come you were selected and frequently questions that you may likely ask (How did I enter this contest? How did you get my email addresses and names from all over the world?), all participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 100,000 company and 50,000,000 individual email addresses and names from all over the world.’

And mine was the lucky one that came up! Again! Was I born under a lucky star or what? How does this keep happening? How did they get my … gosh, you don’t think this might be something to do with that pair of Nike shoes I bought online from that site that popped up when …? Nah, can’t be. Come to think of it, those shoes should have been delivered by now…

I must remember to raise this with Mrs Marry Joy Jose when I tell her my batch number and all that. (Mrs Marry Joy Jose is the person who sent me the email from Madrid. Nice name, hey? Very Spanish.)

I had better get on with it, actually, because, as Marry Joy says: ‘Remember, all winning must be claimed not later than one month. After this date all unclaimed funds will be included in the next stake.’

Oh damn, damn, that means … that means that all the other lotteries I have won must have lapsed by now and that I’m actually worth … oh, hell. Whose round is it, by the way?


Tony Jackman

Tony Jackman

Tony Jackman is a journalist, budding playwright and sometime chef. He's written two plays, An Influence of Ghosts and Blue Train Coming, and back in the day wrote loads of songs. He paints a bit in watercolours...

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