Every year I purchase a new book. The dream is to read it. With kids and a summer full of bairn activity, that dream is never realised. I am currently on page 78 and will again admit defeat and put it away for next summer when I will forget about it, buy a new book and the process will repeat.

This year’s incumbent is Chancing It, by Robert Matthews. As an undiagnosed spectrum dweller I enjoy a statistic and order. As a child I would count the number of steps to school, despite it becoming somewhat monotonous after the 8,000 mark.

The book tackles chance and how to maximise your ability to shorten the odds in everyday life, from gaining promotion to winning the lottery, which is my point of focus. I feel a sense of desperation when standing in the cigarette kiosk queue with like-minded desperados on a Tuesday or Friday night to buy a Euromillions ticket. Even the hiked price of £2.50 doesn’t deter and, despite my best efforts, I have never won more than £7.60 and fall firmly into the trap of one of the ‘stupid being taxed’.

Mathews puts the chances of winning the lottery as thus: buy nine 1kg bags of sugar. Pour them into a pile. Put on a blindfold and then dip your hand in and take out the one black grain first time. When put like that it is an idiots' tax, but still, with lashings and lashings of luck, people do fall on their feet to claim the top prize.

Watching Martha from Renfrewshire grinning on the TV as she struggles to open a bottle of fizz, I do not feel jealousy, more a sense of annoyance. It seems the jackpot goes to people who won’t use it or don’t know what to do with it. I have friends who have told me if they won, they would go into work the next morning, defecate on the boss’s desk, give him the bird and drive off to the nearest Ferrari dealership to start wasting their good fortune.

The 14 million to one sugar analogy is impressive, but you are more likely to be struck by a meteor (700,000 to one), become an astronaut (12.1 million to one) or be killed by a bolt of lightning (1.232 million to one). Even drowning in a bathtub comes in at a ‘healthy 840,000 to one. That means that 15 times as many people die that way as opposed to winning the lottery. With four separate UK draws per week, by my cigarette packet mathematics, 60 people a week in the UK died by drowning in the tub, either that or the statistics are, like most statistics, statistically incorrect.

If I won I would do the boring mundane stuff like pay off the mortgage and buy a couple of houses in Cornwall and Hastings. I'd invest a chunk in buy to let and then look at ways to have fun. I might purchase a small football club with visions of taking them to the Premier League, a jet ski, boat and light aircraft, maybe even a Lamborghini. Friends have less lofty ambitions: one said he would go and pay all his debts off in penny pieces, another would gorge on the Colonel's secret blend daily. To put it all in perspective, one quote seems to sum up the futility of it all: "The lottery gives you a one in 14 million chance of not going to work tomorrow. Alcohol gives you one in five." I'll drink to that.