>Last Saturday, the Irish National Lottery jackpot was heading for €10 million. That would buy a lot of Snickers ice cream, don’t you think?

I don’t play the Lotto terribly often. Usually only when there’s a fairly decent jackpot roll-over. I seem to have no gambling gene at all – I’m just not interested. Quite the opposite, in fact – I almost have a pathological fear of being overcome with the gambling fever. So I limit my flutters to an occasional trip to the gee-gees and an (almost) annual bet on the Gunners every August. Not much more than that really.

And when I do the Lotto, more often than not I forget to check the results, so what’s the point really? As I said, no gambling gene.

But you can’t really ignore a €10 million jackpot, can you?

So on Saturday, I trekked over to Tesco and did my (for want of a better description, given the foregoing) “usual” play – four lines of Quick Pick and Lotto Plus. €8 stake. I walked away from the counter with the Lotto numbers and playslip in my left hand. Just as I was taking a sneaky peak at the front pages on the newspaper stand, I remembered that I needed to buy a ream of printing paper for my PC. I went to the appropriate aisle, found the paper and ventured towards the self-service checkout. Did the needful and emerged at the other side. At that stage I decided to check that I had my Lotto papers intact. To my horror, I discovered that while I had the playslip, I’d lost the actual Lotto numbers. I went back inside the store and re-traced my steps. No sign of the numbers. Obviously, some eagle-eyed passer-by had seen me drop the numbers and decided to help themselves to a free stake in the Lotto draw.

Cursing my stupidity, I went back to the counter and did another €8 play. €16 down – what a plonker…

As I went back to the car, I considered how terrible it would be if someone won the Lotto with my lost numbers, so I offered a silent prayer to the Guy in the Penthouse that no-one from Nenagh would win the jackpot, and guess what…

…there is a Guy in the Penthouse. The jackpot wasn’t won at all, in Nenagh or anywhere else, and it rolls over to the next draw on Wednesday. Who knows how much that’s going to be worth.

Of course, when I told my tale to Mrs. P, she concurred with my conclusion that I am, indeed, a plonker.

But the story doesn’t end there – I decided to check my second set of numbers online and discovered that I’d “matched three” on the Lotto Plus 2 draw. And my prize? A free €1 scratch card. Big whoop – I’ll probably forget to claim it or lose the numbers or summat.

As I said, no gambling gene…:-^)