A waiting story: how not to win the Lottery.

We were staring at the TV on Saturday, preparing for an afternoon of shouting at it, urging the forwards to step up, the backs to regroup and the referee to get a life.

We were each in the process of making a £5 wager on the first scorer and the final score. Predicting the right answers meant that one lucky soul stood to win over £5,000 that afternoon. It was a big pub and the permutations of first scorer and final score were endless.

We stared transfixed at the TV screens which were liberally installed on every wall, waiting for the match to begin and hurriedly fumbling in our pockets for the loose change we needed to make our bets.

I rummaged away in my coat pockets , increasingly stressed by the challenge of finding a few spare £1 coins and inadvertently caught sight of another TV screen hidden away on the skirting board in the corner of the pub’s public bar. It was showing something that looked uncannily like a replay of the match we were about to watch.

I made my apologies to my friends and ducked under the table we were sat at to look at the screen harder, There was no denying it: the programme on this screen was 80 minutes ahead of the rest of the pub. And indeed, probably the rest of the world as far as I could make out.

I saw the score of the game and of course the names of all the scorers as the TV show from the future continued to broadcast to its audience of one.

I knew in a flash what I needed to do so pulled myself off the floor and out from underneath the table and joined my compatriots in making their final bets. I could hardly contain myself when I placed my bet for the first scorer and the final score. They all looked at me incredulous when I made my call. Ireland to win 57-9? At Twickenham? They joshed me about it for ages until the game kicked off and within minutes Ireland were ahead.

Their faces continued to pale as the points kept being racked up on the score board and before too long, three of them were out of the bet due to naming the wrong scorer and inaccurately guessing the points tally.

I was onto a certain winner and envisaged having to spend £5000 worth of coin over night. This could have been sterling, BitCoin, Dogecoin or Legoland coin as far as I was concerned: it didn’t matter as long as 5000 of them would soon be lining my pockets.

Unfortunately though, England scored in the final seconds of the game meaning that they beat Ireland 13-10. Clearly, my TV broadcast of the future from underneath the table was more unreliable than I had expected. And instead of winning £5000, I had now lost over £300 in the hedged bets I had been frantically making until I discovered the imposter TV Channel.

So, if you want to win the Lottery and discover a secret TV channel which is giving you the numbers hours in advance of the actual draw, my advice is to ignore it and trust your instinct. Smart TVs have a lot going for them, but beaming in programmes from the future are not their strongest points.

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