Three times a lady luck

Here's hoping I can complete a triology of victories on 22 December

Peter Edgerton

You can tell that November has arrived by the fact that shopkeepers are putting up their Christmas decorations and yuletide advertising campaigns abound on our television screens.

Every year, as a matter of principle, I endeavour to fend off all festive fever until the late afternoon of the twenty-fourth of December and steadfastly refuse to be drawn into any hint of premature participation. Not this time, though.

Yesterday I found myself buying a Christmas lottery ticket, something I'd normally put off until oh, you know, around Christmas.

Let me explain the extenuating circumstances. Avid readers of this column may both remember that a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the village bar football sweepstake that I take part in and how it was getting a bit nerve-racking lately as nobody had won for a million years and the pot was increasing in an eye-popping fashion week by week. Well, blow me down with a big, fat feather, if I didn't go and win the thing last weekend thanks to an eighty-sixth minute Malaga equaliser and a quivering crossbar late on in the Betis - Sevilla derby. Happy days.

The thing is, I was sure I'd read somewhere that professional gamblers believe that good luck comes in threes, so I resolved to buy a scratch card for the first time in my life as soon as I got back to Malaga. Now then, where did I put that big, fat feather? I only went and won again. OK, it was four euros but, hey, I was on a roll. This, then, is the context that explains my premature purchase of the lottery ticket - it would be the third of my three flirtations with Lady Luck and would complete my winning streak on the day of the draw.

Actually, I've just been looking for the good-luck-comes-in-threes thing online and there appears to be no evidence of it whatsoever; quite the opposite in fact - it's bad luck that comes in threes. Well, it's too late now, the die is cast and when the Spanish schoolchildren are singing their little hearts out on 22 December this year, I'm hoping they can provide me with a good fortune hat-trick that, actually, will only ever have existed because I erroneously believed it did. There's material for a self-help book in there somewhere: believe any old tosh strongly enough and it becomes the truth.

I'll probably write it on the veranda of my Caribbean beach house.