It was Sibelius who raised the idea. Thinking about the Intermezzo from his Karelia Suite, I switched on Classic FM on Sunday morning to hear that very piece of music being played.
“If I can pick a piece of music at such long odds, “ I thought, “then perhaps I could pick lottery numbers.”
It was a thought that prompted a web search. Perhaps there were websites that suggested on how being able to pick a random piece of music might be translated into predicting combinations of numbers that could win millions of pounds.
Of course, there are websites that offer winning predictions. One claims to have predicted no less than thirteen jackpots. It was the jackpot claim that caused me to laugh out loud, if someone could predict lottery jackpots, the last thing they would be likely to do is to share their knowledge and so reduce their winnings. Of course, the predictions are only shared with those prepared to subscribe to the site. There is no verification of what is claimed, no public posting of numbers prior to the draw, no-one to know how many thousand combinations are suggested by the site each week to enable the site to claim it has had winning numbers.
Alec would have laughed that people are still gullible.
Alec was a neighbour who lived just up the road from where I lived in the Lecale area of Co Down. Alec used to collect my football pool each week and the 50 pence I would bet on a horse or football results. Our bets would never have made us rich and were never much of a loss, but were a source of conversation and laughter each Friday lunchtime.
Alec used to tell of going to a horse race meeting at Downpatrick racecourse with a group of friends from work.
Lurking around the entrance to the course was a man offering brown envelopes at £1 each. These envelopes, he claimed, contained tips for the winner in each race on the card that day.
My neighbour and his workmates bought envelopes for the fun of it. When they opened the envelopes they discovered that each contained a different list of horses. “None of us would have admitted being taken in and backing a loser, but when we got a winner we would have said that the man was a great tipster.”
The people behind the website that predicts lottery numbers are descendants of those who sold tips at the turnstiles, they know there are still gullible people out there.