Game changes make it even more of a lottery

When I first bought a national lottery ticket in the late afternoon of Saturday, November 19, 1994, in Edinburgh’s Waverley Station the ticket burned a hole in my pocket all the way to Aberdeen, as I eagerly anticipated being one of the new millionaires the organisers had promised was possible.

You can imagine my disappointment upon reaching home later in the evening to discover that not only had I not registered the required six numbers to win the jackpot, but had failed to display even one number on my ticket.

I should have known then just how difficult it was to win any kind of prize, including the most basic one of having three numbers.

But, nothing deterred, I persisted in the belief that my carefully selected numbers would come up - even if the odds of 14,000,000 to one were suggesting otherwise.

In the intervening years I have come to realise that I am on mission impossible in trying to make myself a lottery millionaire.

All this while watching the organisers Camelot become wealthy on the back of the nation’s aspirations.

Camelot were, however, more than up to keeping ahead of the game by introducing new games designed to keep us spending our hard- earned cash.

The scratch card was one such scheme which meant we did not have to wait seven days until the next draw.

A scratch card, as you will know, can be bought at any hour of the day and at a range of outlets.

Camelot soon recognised that the nation was hooked and began cashing in with a midweek draw to feed our addiction.

But it’s my opinion that the introduction of the scratch card has been the most effective fundraiser for the organisers who have cashed in mercilessy on our desire to get rich quick,.

This includes all those pensioners who try to surreptiously buy tickets while doing the weekly shop, many of whom cannot afford the luxury of gambling.

There is, of course, no point in me raising the issue of the morality of the lottery as clearly it is here to stay, and in fairness the public still want to participate.

So why then 21 years on has Camelot decided to radically change the game by adding ten more numbers to the existing 49 already in operation?

If it was hard to win any kind of prize under the old set-up, it is going to be a lot harder to win when you have 59 numbers all seductively making their case.

The organisers argue the prize money will go up accordingly, though I would contend it is simply another way of Camelot increasing its profits.