On dreams and queues

(written on the day of the first UK National Lottery draw, 19 November 1994)

 

Have you bought your ticket yet?

There’s not much time to go.

If you don’t go and place your bet

Your fortune you’ll never know.

 

Forty million tickets sold

All unique in combination.

Forty million, young and old,

With hope and imagination.

 

What would you do with your reward?

Blow it on a trip or boat?

Or spend a little, the balance hoard

For a rainy day, and gloat?

 

First things first, get your coupon

Go and join the lengthening queue.

Get the car out, get your coat on.

The lottery girl’s just waiting for you.

 

Don’t worry about the others buying

They just have one chance as well.

But smiling Elsie, she was lying –

She’s bought twenty, can’t you tell?

 

They say the British are impatient

Queueing’s not their strongest suit.

Some jostle, some look vacant

Others chatter, some compute.

 

What’s the odds of winning millions?

How many thousand did you say?

If not won, it goes up to billions

We’ll have to queue another day.

 

But think of charities, and the cause

Sport’s budget will be defended

The arts will bloom from your hopeful scores

Or from your few pounds expended.

 

The heady moment at last arrives

Noel Edmonds the man with the news.

Soon we’ll know the winning fives

And millions will get the blues.

 

But someone will win, that’s for sure

Some lucky souls will jump for joy.

The rest of us will pain endure

And go back to our dull employ.

 

The happy winner’s face we’ll see

Grinning from ear to ear.

No ‘X for no publicity’

Your fifteen minutes’ fame is here.

 

As we tramp through sodden streets

Our daily crust to earn

The lucky devil’s on a beach

Without a care, or concern.

 

What’s the point, I hear you say

A waste of money, this Camelot.

But I bet you’ll queue another day

Dreaming of a wealthy plot.

What do you think?

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