Home sweet prize home

For some years I bought tickets in lottery prize homes. Recently I visited a prize home and again bought a ticket. I didn’t win. In 2008 I wrote a story that appeared in the Weekend Australian Magazine about what appealed to me me about prize home lotteries:  

I’ve seen my future. Every day before breakfast I’ll slip out across the road wearing a swimming costume, and a towel draped across one shoulder to swim in the sea. After showering off the salt and sand, I’ll partake of a light breakfast of juice, fruits, cereal and freshly brewed coffee.

My family will be there.  Shiny, happy people, who slip off into their days, leaving me to sit down to write at a sleek computer on a glass desk.  On weekends we will frolic in the surf and then recline with our books on the deck. At sunset we’ll have champagne in the spa. We’ll entertain friends to dinner by flame torches.

Prize home bedroom
Funny isn’t it, how people always say they are going to buy a lottery ticket just after they’ve had extraordinary luck such as their life being saved or surviving. Do they not know that to be cured or saved is the biggest win of all? Prize bedroom.

This will be my life after I win the prize home. It only takes one ticket. But I’ve bought three. I’ll just have to keep a second place, a bush cabin maybe, to store all the books and the garage paraphernalia.

Or maybe I’ll just get rid of the lot and start a new digital, clutter-free life.

I love buying tickets in lottery homes. They fire my imagination in a way that cash prizes never do. Sure, I’d love to win a wad of cash but it won’t happen. I never enter Lotto. I used to but I always forgot to check the numbers. But with prize homes, I always remember the date of the draw. And I study the plans and the pictures, and visualise myself there.

There was a lottery recently for a block of apartments at Surfers Paradise. I’ve never wanted to live in Surfers but still I had it all mapped out, with me as landlady in the penthouse.

But this latest place is so me. It has a wine fridge, and it’s right opposite the beach, and close to the airport.  I’d enjoy this place, I’d really appreciate it.

“This is not a good use of space,” says another visitor to my future home speaking about the generous proportions of the corridor that has leading of it three doorways, a stairway, a broom cupboard and an exclusive lift to the underground garage. Look lady, go and enter a lottery for homes with pokey corridors why don’t you? For some people even heaven would be too fancy.

“When I win the lottery” was the catch cry of my paternal grandmother. She’d talk about the lovely home she wanted where we could all come and stay. And she’d look at the beautiful gifts she scrimped for, and crafted all year, as if they were nothing – the dresses she’d made to measure or the individual soft toys that she had stitched. “I am going to buy you everything you could want,” she’d say. But her handcrafted bespoke parcels were the most anticipated gifts of all. Anyone else could buy something.

Funny isn’t it, how people always say they are going to buy a lottery ticket just after they’ve had extraordinary luck. A piece of flying metal goes through a windscreen and just misses a driver’s neck so he must buy a lottery ticket. You are cured from a life-threatening ailment, as I was, and countless people tell you to  “Go and buy a lottery ticket.” Do they not know that to be cured is the biggest win of all?

But I come from a family of ticket buyers, and winners. When I was 16 my Dad won a third share in the Golden Casket, relatively little if compared to the Lotto giveaways of today. I came home from school, and there was madness in the air. “What’s happened?”

“We’ve won the lottery,” said my Dad  A party followed. Some party. The day he won the lottery closed with my Dad in casualty with part of his finger lost when he tumbled into a glass table.

At birthdays and Christmas someone always buys me scratchy tickets and I always win something. But I was part of a lottery syndicate in the UK, and for an investment of £104 per annum over four years, earned £30.  Eventually the syndicate manager retired and it was wound up. It was a relief for I could never quit. What if all my colleagues had won the big prize the very next week? Unthinkable.

With the global financial crisis and superannuation funds on a rollercoaster, I wonder if more people are buying tickets. It won’t change me. I’ve been living in my own private recession for years. And prize homes are fantasy, not strategy, for me.

My grandmother never stopped buying tickets. Never stopped dreaming. One day my aunt bought a scratchy ticket and won $10,000. Granny had bought the previous ticket.

As for that whining woman just ahead of me. I just hope that she doesn’t win.

Marian Edmunds

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