Monday, December 11, 2006


This here little news story is one of the reasons why, on the occasions that I am tempted to buy a lottery ticket, I always choose the automated random choice of numbers.

There must be nothing worse than picking the same six numbers, your house number, your birthday, your dogs birthday, etc etc, week in, week out, for years and years and then the one week when you tick the wrong box the bloody numbers are drawn.

Thats what happened to a small syndicate in Belgium playing the European Lottery which has some humongous prizes, every week a group of 30 locals check out their entry in the Cafe La Fraternelle (ironically the Flemish word for "friendship") and every week their static numbers were not chosen - except for last week when they suddenly realised that they had the only winning entry in a 27 million Euro prize draw.

Their joy was of course unbounded, coffee and pastries were probably flung in the air as the syndicate spilled out onto the street dancing in celebration, skipping across the street to the owner of the bookshop opposite the cafe where the syndicate organiser ran her small business.

Maybe the bookshop was smashed up, maybe the owner was lynched, but you can only just begin to imagine the level of disappointment whent he bookshop owner admitted that she'd gone for a random draw that week rather than stick to the same old faithfull numbers that they'd always chosen - the same old faithfull numbers that should have ensured that they were richer by almost a million euros each - but weren't.

It would be a nice end to the story to think that they all shrugged their shoulders and muttered "Aw fook" and then went home, but it seems that the bookshop owner is destined for a fairly miserable existence from now on after Christiane Farvacque, owner of the Cafe of Friendship and seemingly spokesperson of the bitterly disappointed group bitterly told a reporter,
"We were all bitterly disappointed,you think you are the only winners in Europe, but you end up with nothing." and she made it clear where her new hatred of bookshop owners lay, "Even in 20 years' time, my hair will stand up on end whenever I see her,"

The village is Mouscron, near Brussels, if you are ever passing you really should pop into the bookshop opposite the Cafe of Friendship and ask if they sell euro lottery tickets there.

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