My secret gambling habit

I bought a scratch card this week.

The urge comes upon me every few months. I try to resist, as it feels like a bit of a common thing to do*, and I fear it’s a slippery slope then to playing bingo online during the day and appearing on Jeremy Kyle, but I only ever do it in secret, with only me in my company, so I think it’s OK. That IS what makes things OK isn’t it?

Maybe it’s the secret part that makes it more exciting, but there is something about those few minutes before you scratch that are totally detached from reality. Suddenly your life is at a crossroads. Under that shiny coating could be £100,000. A whole new future could be waiting for you.

I sat on a wall on the way home to scratch it. (Another rather a common thing to do surely?) I imagined for a moment what I might do with £100,000, a million pounds, ten million pounds. I know you can’t win that much, but I feel it’s good to aim high.

What sort of house would I buy? Would I retire to the country, and fill a beautiful rose covered cottage with pine furniture and doilies? Or would I jet over to New York and spend my days sat surrounded by shoes and cocktails, gazing out over the city skyline through my floor to ceiling windows?

Just for a minute, the world is my oyster.

And then I can bear it no longer. I get out what is surely the luckiest penny in my purse and start scratching.

£50, £10, £1,000. That would do me.

£100,000, £20, £100,000. Yes! I’m going to be rich!

£5, £5,000, £1,000. Oh. No I’m not.

I shove the card in my back pocket and go home. Maybe next time.

*Apologies to regular scratch card buyers, I can’t help it, it feels chavvy.



  1. 5 April, 2012 / 7:37 pm

    My husband has a thing for scratch cards, I don’t really get it but each to their own. I have a thing for velour tracksuits and ugg boots so I’m defiantly a step closer to Jeremy Kyle than you.
    p.s. I saw a girl in the Daily Mail once who would frown upon geeky scratch card scratchers !

    • 6 April, 2012 / 4:58 pm

      Lol, I think I saw her too – she would definitely look down her heavily made up nose at anyone with a scratch card :-)

  2. 6 April, 2012 / 6:01 pm

    Both mine and the husband’s proper jobs are paid for by the lottery :) next time you buy a scratchcard just think about how you are being righteous and contributing towards my biscuit addiction!

    • 10 April, 2012 / 6:51 am

      Yes, I hadn’t thought of it like that! I was a fundraiser in a previous life, so have actually got money from the lottery too. I’m not convinced every scratch card buyer’s motives are quite so philanthropic but I will definitely remember that next time the urge overcomes me.

  3. 6 April, 2012 / 9:34 pm

    Many years ago I was trying to explain to a girl friend how the pull tab tickets sold in bars were a horrible scam. She had never played any sort of lottery, so I plopped down a dollar, and said, “Go for it.” She giggled, softly, as she was very shy in public. Naturally, she won $10.00. I laughed, loudly, as I am not shy in public.

    We left the bar and went to the casino, which was on the way home, and I was determined to make my point. Kay wasn’t really interested in gambling and the quick win hadn’t gotten her hooked, by any means, still, she could tell I really wanted to continue the lesson. We took the $10.00 and bought a roll of quarters.

    I let her pick the machine, since she was on a roll. I explained that the machines in high traffic areas are set to pay out at a higher rate than the ones in the secluded corners. She chose and we sat down. We made a deal to play through the entire roll, three quarters at a time and then we would see how many credits we had won.

    We plugged our 40 quarters into the one arm bandit. When we were done we had 400. We cashed out the hundred dollars and went and bought a nice meal. Sometimes being wrong is freaking awesome.

    • 10 April, 2012 / 6:48 am

      Wow, what an awesome story Brian! I love the feeling you give of Kay having this wonderful open mind, and just letting this stuff happen to her. I bet that was a really tasty meal :-)

  4. 14 April, 2012 / 1:59 pm

    I have a secret gambling habit too – well not so secret. Living in a racing town, I like the occasional (okay weekly) flutter on the horses! But I’ve been thinking today and come to this conclusion… If you were to buy a normal lottery ticket, you’re hoping for 1 number out of 49 to come up – six times in a row! But if i play the scoop6 i am hoping for 1 horse out of maybe 10 or 15 to come up – six times in a row, plus theres a slight element of skill involved if you study form. So surely i have better odds of winning the scoop6 than the lottery right??? here’s hoping anyway. xx

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