I never bought a scratchcard until I became a mother. Or subscribed to the Lottery website for that matter. It probably had something to do with the fact that I had cleverly timed my pregnancy to coincide with the worst global recession in living memory. Have you seen how much a pack of Aptamil costs these days? £8! That’s way more than I usually spend on a bottle of wine. As well as worrying about how to afford the basics – heating, shelter, childcare, sufficient Jaffa Cakes – there’s always the university fund to think about. (Though faced with the end of money, certain doom for our planet and total breakdown of civilisation as we know it, I’m not sure having gone to university will have quite the same cachet in the future. Our cherished offspring will be too busy building mudhuts and munching earthworms to fret about what subject to write their dissertation on.)

But it was the Rich For Life scratchcard telly advert that really hooked me in. A guaranteed £40,000 a year for the rest of my life! I wouldn’t have to worry about paying my overdue library fines ever again! Unless we end up in a situation of Zimbabwe style hyper-inflation, of course. In which case £40,000 will probably just about buy you 20 Marlboro Lights and a bag of Hulahoops. The ‘Moderately well-off for the next couple of years’ scratchcard doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, though does it?’ I’m still going to be buying them though. I’ll take what I can get.

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