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Donkin's World: The Pound In Your Pocket

...Imagine my lack of surprise when I discovered I had won nothing...

After 45 years of waiting Richard Donkin still has to win a premium bond prize.

A news headline said that £44m in premium bond prizes had gone unclaimed, including two prizes of £100,000 each.

Eternally hopeful, I fished out my single £1 premium bond – the one my mum bought me as a reward for passing for grammar school in 1968.

For years it was lost and I had to ask the premium bond people to find it and send me a new certificate – a process that must have cost rather more than £1. Now it is preserved in a plastic bag inside a tin. I have no idea where the tin lives but Gill does and she found it for me today.

I went on to the website www.nsandi.com and copied my bond number in to the claimant box. Imagine my lack of surprise when I discovered I had won nothing. Nil, zilch, zero, zip, not even as much as diddly-squat in 45 years of premium bond ownership.

I could have had a good night out, got drunk as a skunk and ended up in a police cell on that pound in 1968 (had I been of drinking age).

I could have bought 80 packets of Seabrook crisps, preferably cheese and onion flavour. Prawn cocktail crisps hadn't been invented then. In fact the prawn cocktail itself was still a relatively recent invention at that time, discovered by Fanny Cradock when she mixed tomato ketchup with mayonnaise to perk up the humble prawn; thus launching the perfect starter before you moved on to your chicken-in-a-basket when dining out at one of the very few pubs that did food in those days.

Or I could have bought 10 Airfix kits http://donkinlife.blogspot.co.uk/#!/2010/07/raising-model-child.html, or more than a year’s supply of Beano comics, or enough petrol for a day trip to the seaside.

Still a pound is a pound and the other day I had a life-transforming experience when I went in to Poundland for the first time. I’d expected to find rubbish stuff such as plastic combs and chewing gum. But I came out with my arms full of vital supplies and change for a tenner.

A pound bought me a pack of eight tubes of “extra strong” super glue. Another pound bought me four reels of black insulating tape. You can never have enough of this stuff when you go fishing. http://donkinonfishing.blogspot.co.uk/ I bought packs of pens, even a carton of milk that was 60p cheaper than it is at Waitrose.

In fact I was so excited I thought my premium bond had come up!


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