There is a level crossing down the road. Trains bound for Hereford, in one direction, and for Paddington or Birmingham in the other, mean the barriers are frequently closed. Sometimes, at busy times of the day, there will be a delay to allow trains to pass in both directions. The trains are diesel multiple units of West Midlands Railway locomotive pulled trains of Great Western Railway. When the crossing is closed for two trains, it is generally for those of the West Midland variety.
Anyway, I vowed that if I was ever at the crossing when two locomotives crossed, I would assume that it was an omen and would break my habit and buy a lottery ticket.
One dark evening, as I walked back from the shops, the barriers came down. A GWR train rolled through the crossing. The barriers remained down, and another train in the GWR dark green passed in the other direction. “That’s it,” I thought, “I must buy a lottery ticket.”
Spending £5 on a ticket which had two lines of numbers for the Euromillions draw, I was delighted when I discovered that I had won prizes with both lines of numbers. When I claimed my prize money, it amounted to £9.10. Winning the lottery was not as I had imagined it to be. I have not bought another ticket since my win.
Of course, information about who has won the lottery is frequently the stuff of tabloid media content, but there seem many other competitions where the winner seem to remain unknown, and that’s if there is a winner at all.
A Sainsbury’s customer survey offered the chance to enter a prize draw in which a lucky customer could win 100,000 Nectar points (a Nectar point is worth half a penny, so the prize is actually only worth £500). Completing the survey and entering the draw, I wondered if anyone ever checked if the prize was ever won.
The Sainsbury’s draw did not require the purchase of an entry, other than the time devoted to the completion of the survey, but there are many draws for which tickets are paid. How often have you been at an occasion where tickets are drawn and the owner of the winning ticket is not present? Does anyone check the person got the prize? Or checked if they existed at all?
Is there an agency somewhere that checks on draws, competitions and raffles? Is there someone who asks who wins the prizes?