We all know the price of a ticket for the Lotto game in the National Lottery. It costs £2 to enter one line of six numbers in a Grand Draw, which takes place every Wednesday and Saturday. But how much is that £2 ticket worth to you once you have purchased it?
£2? I wonder. Let me take a hypothetical scenario. You have just filled in your Lotto play slip; carefully selected your six numbers; handed over the form and your £2 to the National Lottery vendor, duly receiving your Lotto ticket in return. You are about to depart when a stranger comes up to you and says he will give you £2 for your ticket. What do you do?
Well, it is obvious, isn’t it? You refuse. Your ticket has already cost you £2, plus you have now expended some time and labour on obtaining it, which must have some value. You tell the stranger to get his own ticket but, instead, he increases his offer. £5. £5 for your Lotto ticket, which you have just bought for £2. You could buy two new tickets with the £5, plus have £1 to spare. So, what do you do?
What do you do? Suddenly, it’s not so obvious any longer. After all, that ticket you’ve paid £2 for might be the ticket; the one that is going to win you a million. And you might be exchanging it for a measly fiver.
The stranger sees your quandary; offers you £10; then £20. £20. You could buy 10 tickets; increase your chances tenfold. It makes sense, but still there is a nagging doubt. It is no longer just a ticket; it is your ticket. Haven’t you somehow imbued that original ticket you purchased with some kind of magic-beans, winning quality, which is surely worth more than £20? After all, would you have entered the competition in the first place if the top prize was only £20? Probably not. It is the million you are after. Not a penny less.
So now you discover that the Lotto ticket you purchased only minutes beforehand has soared in value. The small piece of paper you hold in your hand looks like one of the greatest financial investments you have ever made. If it keeps increasing in value at this rate you will be a millionaire by the end of the week, sure as eggs is eggs.
That is, until the next Lotto draw is made, and it suddenly becomes utterly worthless.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree no longer dreams of being a millionaire.