18 March 2015

Pools

Before the internet and the National Lottery, in those far off black and white days of yore, five o' clock on a Saturday evening was significant in most ordinary British homes. This was the time the football results were read out on the television:  "Blackburn Rovers 0 Bolton Wanderers 2, Leyton Orient 1 Crewe Alexandra 1, Manchester United 1 Hull City 7..."  James Alexander Gordon's intonation went up or down according to the scores.

And from Exeter to Edinburgh, people - mostly men - checked their pools coupons. The Football Pools represented the slim possibility of escape.from the humdrum world of work and bills and financial worries. With eight score draws you could join the world of the rich and  famous. Those people who lived in big houses and drove shiny new cars. Those people with intercoms at their gates and kids in private schools. Those people who were not like us. People we never met for they occupied a different world. Like Martians.

The football pools are far less popular than they used to be. Nowadays we have the National Lottery with coloured balls rolling tantalisingly  across our screens every Wednesday and Saturday night  - promising that other life in the magical land of The Rich. But the football pools never disappeared. Some people continued to do them.

Like me. I have been entering the pools for forty one years, never missing a week - even in football's off season when the pools companies utilise Australian rules football results. Long ago I occasionally won money through forecasting ten home wins but with regard to drawn matches I had never won a penny...until a week ago.

A letter arrived from The Football Pools and there was a little window in it. I noticed the colour of the document within - a certain off-white and I recognised that colour. It promised a cheque... and here it is:- 

£1043.70 is not a life-changing amount of money but it was enough to put a smile on my face. For all my blog visitors there will be drinks all round at "The Banner Cross Hotel" this evening. Hope you can make it!

26 comments:

  1. Oh My Goodness ~ £1000 ~ better than a poke in the eye with a stick. Having worked for the lotteries office here in Queensland ~ I never realised that the Soccer Pools used Aussie Rules results on off-season. I never played obviously. Congratulations BTW.

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    1. British pools entrants have known the exotic names of Aussie rules teams since the nineteen sixties - Geelong, Essendon, North Ballarat... Every summer.

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  2. Woo Hoo ! How nice ! Are you looking at travel brochures ?

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    1. Just after Easter we are going to an exotic Caribbean island called Mersea - just south of Colchester in Essex!

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  3. Now this is grand news. I have never done the Pools. I did see a form once but it looked a bit complicated.

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    1. Yes. It would have been complicated for you Adrian. Stick to bingo!

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  4. Nice to see they pay by cheque, I thought they were long gone as well.

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    1. I could buy a few pairs of fancy boots with that amount!

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    2. That would be like buying more than one everlasting pint of ale...

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  5. What a nice surprise! I don't know about your other readers but £1043.70 actually IS a life-changing amount to some people. At today's exchange rate that is $1556.77 in U.S. dollars, nothing to sneeze at, let me tell you. I practically swoon when I think of all the lamb's intestines that could be bought with such a sum!

    Of course, hereabouts the alarm bells would go off in one's head. Are you sure the envelope was not from a non-existent rich uncle in Nigeria?

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    1. $2019.68 AUD here

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    2. I wonder if FedEx will allow me to mail you a bucket full of fresh lamb's intestines Uncle Bob! And for Carol some little paper flags to put on her Cairns.

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  6. Wow! Gambling does pay, eh Mr. Pudding? Good on you. $1500 US would buy me a LOT of fabric........dreaming.......

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    1. With $1500 I don't need to quilt a bedspread. I can just go into a department store and buy one!

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  7. Congratulations....enjoy your pint..or two.

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    1. For £1043 I will be able to buy 402 pints Libby and there'll be enough left over to buy you a small dry sherry. See you tonight. I will be wearing a white carnation.

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  8. I'm a little late to make it to the celebration, but here is a heartfeld "Herzlichen Glückwunsch" for you!

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    1. I hope that "Herzlichen Glückwunsch" isn't an example of German swearing! It's a shame you can't make it Miss A as the friendly Banner Cross Hotel landlord has got in a barrel of Bockbier just for you and he will also be wearing pink lederhosen tonight.

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  9. Congratulations on your perseverance and win.

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    1. I guess I am just getting back a few years of stake money Red!

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  10. Well done! Have you done the sums - money spent vs money won over the years?
    What about "Spot the ball" - do they still do that? We used to do it for our dad when we were kids but we never won 'owt!

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    1. I have done the sums Brian and The Football Pools still owe me about £28,500 in stake money! I don't see Spot the Ball any more but my dad and I always used to try it from "The Hull Daily Mail". Like you we never won owt!

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  11. Well done Pudding!!

    Persistence pays off.

    And I'll drink to that at the Wotisname Arms.

    Ms Soup

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    1. Thank you Miso Soup. I googled Wotisname Arms but you must have dreamt it. Your fantasy pub?

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  12. That's brilliant YP! Well done! I stopped doing the lottery. I don't think that many people win big amounts. Hope you will treat yourself and Shirley to something nice with your winnings.

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    1. Yes Molly. A nice new set of screwdrivers and a bottle of "Powers" Irish whiskey.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.