Pen and Brush Logo

Pen and Brush Publishers

El Gordo

The El Gordo or Fat One is probably the biggest lottery in the world! The prize pool was over US$2billion; boy, was I tempted when I saw the advert in a magazine. The lottery is based in Spain and the minimum ticket price is 40 euros, or nearly 70 dollars. Being a comper, I needed to know what are the odds of winning a prize. They've graciously advertised a one in seven chance of winning a prize with a payout ratio of 70%. After some consideration, I thought that it would be worthwhile to be tempted! However, I was still nervous and my curiosity beckoned for more research, and there is no better place than the internet.

As it turns out, El Gordo is an annual Christmas lottery that really has one winner, the Spanish finance ministry who will pocket 750 million euros; we now know where most of the payout goes. More research showed that you need to buy a 100 euros ticket to even be considered in the million-dollar prize, it is starting to look less and less attractive. The most disheartening news is the bad press on the El Gordos spams. There are  El Gordo spams with the Youve Won message, then apologise for the paperwork required to collect your winnings. The winner is required to fill out a form asking for personal information, like bank/credit account, drivers license, birthday and social security numbers. The alarm bells should be ringer here, but its a number game. If they send out enough letters, someone will handover their identity.

El Gordo is a legitimate lottery that occurs every year just before Christmas, but for us in Australia there may be many dubious operators out there that can take advantage of our distance, language and our money. You are probably better off buying $100 worth of stamps for local comps. Im not going to put down El Gordos homepage, it would be like me waving a red rag to a bull (pun intended). If you are tempted then the link is easy to find.

Another year is about to pass; Christmas for many is a time of getting together with family, friends, and the generosity of giving and feasting. You are often busy with the holiday season, shopping for gifts and preparing the Christmas BBQ and planning New Years eve dinner. Not a lot of time left for comping. Even the most avid comper will be dragged away with the holiday season. Well guess what, the harder it is to enter, the easier it is to win remember my Second Law of Comping from the book? The competitions are hard to enter, only because there are not enough hours during the day, especially with all the distractions of Christmas. So how do you overcome these challenges? It all goes back to discipline, and what I termed the comping hour. Set aside one hour of the day where there is little chance of a distraction. For me this is between 6.30am and 7.30am. Im not going to get any phone calls, Im well rested and sharp enough to tackle the most difficult 25wol. Furthermore, the household hasnt woken up. I start to comp, with a cup of coffee and breakfast. It hasnt always been the morning, I tried the midnight hour but by then I was totally exhausted and end up crawling to bed. Waking to comp at 6.30 in the morning has not always been successful, especially during weekends, and thats where habit comes in. If you do it enough times, it will become second nature.

This Christmas, in conjunction with the publisher, we are running a holiday special on the Winners are Grinners book at $19.95, a discount from the normal price of $24.95. This special is only valid for all orders receive during the month of December and January 2004. Buy it as a gift or buy it to read during the long hot summers lazing down the beach.

I wish to thank everyone who has supported me by buying the book and their valuable feedback. Wishing everyone a joyous holiday season and may Santa dressed as the postman bring you many winnings.

Old Blogs but they are still a gem.

The World Game aka The World Cup
Once every 4 years ... Germany here I come!

My 15 Minutes of Fame
It was fun and a great story for the grand kids.

Swings and Roundabouts
Don't despair if you don't win the first time around.

The Winning Zone
Are you in the space?

There's Always Won Smartass
My Winning 25WOL - NOT!

Easter 2004
The Bunny that got away.

Play it again Ralph
Of all the gin joints in the world ...

Valentine's Day 25 Words or Less
Don't count the bunny before they hop ...

Should I use a PO Box address or a street address?
A reader's question.

El Gordo
The El Gordo or Fat One is probably the biggest lottery in the world!

Sorbent Grand Slam competition
The Sorbent Grand Slam competition has extremely desirable prizes, including a choice of Grand Slam trips to the value of $40,000.


Classic Children's Book

Published in 1993, it is still going strong.

Trip To Town