Back in the days before the national lottery there was the football pools – Vernons is still one the biggies – which was sold as a game of skill. It probably is a game of skill if you’re serious. It’s based on how many football matches end in a draw, either a no-score draw (i.e. 0-0) or a score draw (i.e. 1-1, 2-2 et cetera).
But most people who play the football pools (be it Vernons or whoever) use random numbers. Just like the lottery. Football matches are just a way to generate random numbers and a good way of saying it’s a game of skill (legal) not a simple lottery (illegal). It looks like today’s football pools promotions have dropped any pretence of skill, ‘play your lottery numbers’ they say.
I remember visiting grandparents and granddad getting down to the serious business of selecting the numbers. Sometimes I think he actually thought about which matches were going to end in draws. Sometimes he’d spend some time writing numbers on paper for the kids to pull out of a hat. I don’t think it made much difference. The football season kicks off tomorrow… so go on… do the football pools with Vernons.