It has been known for some of my ‘pals’ to describe me as being a bit ‘squeaky’ - that is yoof speak for being a bit careful with my cash.
I am not, to be clear, a yoof, just occasionally a bit mean.
Yes, I have been known to use a teabag in two, maybe three cups (all in one go of course) and I would rather throw on an extra layer than turn the heating above 20.
And woebetide anyone who tries to sling out my trusty undies, regardless of how many holes they’ve amassed.
But I am always prepared to stick my hand in my pocket when it counts - I rarely scrimp on food shopping (as my creaking office chair will testify), I have always got brass for a holiday and, when I remember, I will always fish about in my Farahs to find the coinage to pay for a lottery ticket.
Like the majority of the nation I have firmly bought into the maxim ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it’ and have been known to queue for more than five minutes just to throw away another pound. Much has been said over the past few days about the decision to double the price of a Lotto ticket, meaning that we will now have to throw £2 down the drain at least once a week.
On news bulletins everywhere there have been angry, toothless folk decrying the decision, saying they will never again tune into BBC1 of a Saturday night just to watch a cretinous D-lister with something to plug pull the lever on a giant machine with an Arthurian name.
I don’t really understand this standpoint because, in my view, if you are willing to throw £1 down the toilet then another quid isn’t really going to hurt. After all, isn’t a packet of 20 Lambert and Butler £97 these days? And, from what I’ve read, you have to sell your kidney just to travel cattle class down to that there London by train.
The decision by Camelot, the operator of the lottery, to increase the cost of a ticket for the first time in 18 years has prompted many to trot out the tired old line that the game is, in fact, a tax on the poor.
I have not heard this said since the days when I had hair and I could still see my feet.
It was nonsense then and it is nonsense now. It is not just poor people who play the lottery - we all do - as latest figures showed that 70 per cent of adults participate on a regular basis.
And doesn’t the Euromillions, where you can win enough to buy Fernando Torres twice, if you so desire, cost two nicker a go? I am among the lucky guys who have won something worth shouting about - five numbers last year got me £1,100 - but many will not even come close to telling the boss to stick their job where the sun don’t shine after striking it lucky.
Yet we keep paying our money as we all want to keep living in hope, regardless of how distant a hope it is, and will continue to do so.
Even tightwads like me.