My name’s Anne and I’m a tombolaholic. There, I’ve said it, I feel better now. The cupboard in the hall is crammed with my winnings, including a set of nail transfers (I’m a rock climber, I have no nails), a bath oils collection (I don’t take baths, I’m a showergirl), a full pad of to-do lists, divided into categories (I don’t do lists, I make it up as I go along) a 4-CD set of 60s music (I don’t have a CD player) and a cuddly toy, still in its wrapper, with the ticket number 650 taped to its head.
Who can walk past a stall, laden with goodies, knowing there’s a one in five chance in winning – and tickets are five for £1? That’s better odds than the lottery jackpot (14million to one), Premium Bonds (245,000 to one) and the pools, especially if you use birthday numbers when there are 52 lines.
I once won so many prizes at the local old folks’ home I was accused of being a ringer and grudgingly gave back the Christmas Floral Display (too big for the car) and the Dairy Milk chocolates (out of date). I kept the little china ornament, I have no idea why, I hate ornaments. It didn’t occur to me that I may have a tombola habit.
It wasn’t until I started going with Noel to the hospital and urged him to go on ahead for his radiotherapy zapping while I bought a few tombola tickets from the fundraisers in the foyer, not just once, but four times, that I had to admit to myself that I may have a tombola problem, I may be a tombolaholic
On my last visit, the visit when Noel rang that bell to signal the end of the zapping for his Bastard Cancer™, I confided my concerns to one of the ticket sellers. She looked amused and pointed to the queue, dozens of fellow tombolaholics clutching handfuls of folded raffle tickets, hoping for a number ending in zero or five. The charity was making lots of dosh! For me, the stakes were high, I had my eye on a fancy scarf. But that’s the beauty of tombolas, you have no idea what your five or zero will win you. I had to make do with a bag of licorice allsorts. At least they’ll keep me going!