A while ago I was lucky enough – in fact astounded – to receive a letter from the El Gordo Spanish Sweepstake Lottery S.A.
The letter was from the desk of Don Javier Perez, the Managing Director of International Promotions/Prize Award Department, and he informed me that I had won US$960,000 – nearly NZ1.38 million. Senor Perez said that my name was attached to ticket number 025-11464992-750, serial number 2113-05, which drew the lucky numbers 19576 (it was getting quite complicated, don’t you think?) and won the lottery in the second category, whatever that was. Whoopee! I said.
I was therefore approved for a lump sum payout in cash, reference number blah blah – part of a total kitty of US$7,680,000 shared among eight international winners. The eight of us, out of 25,000 people from Europe, America, Australia, Asia and North America (did I live in Australia or Asia I wondered) had scooped this massive pool and my money was safely deposited to a special account in my name, waiting for me to claim it. Wow! I said. Senor Perez begged me not to tell anyone until the transaction had been completed, but he hoped that I would take part in the end of year highstake US$1.3 billion international lottery. You bet! I said. When you’re on a roll …
There was a Payment Processing Form attached to the letter. It required a lot of sensitive information including occupation, marital status, bank account number, date of birth and other details. I could choose to have the money transferred to my own bank account or, my goodness, I could pick it up personally! My eyes lit up. It so happened that I knew someone who lived in Spain. Perhaps he would be so kind as to pop along to see Senor Antonio Molina, the Foreign Services Manager of General Seguros S.A. in Barcelona and pick up the cheque for me. I would gladly give him half the money for his trouble.
Senor Perez was so excited to be able to tell me all this good news, offered me the congratulations of his staff, and thanked me for being part of their promotions program. But there was a niggle in the back of my mind – just a tiny niggle really. I didn’t actually remember buying a ticket in the El Gordo Spanish Sweepstake Lottery S.A.