Why it’s good not to win an Olympic ticket

These last couple of weeks millions of people have been logging online and, unbelievably, willing vast sums of money to have disappeared from their bank accounts. Sums of money that they probably can’t really afford to lose and almost certainly shouldn’t have agreed to be taken. Amounts large enough to cover the mortgage and quite a few bills, or even next year’s family holiday.

It may sound unlikely but it is indeed true. And more bizarrely still, for the last couple of weeks many of these people have actually been limiting how much they spend, just to ensure there’s plenty left in their account to take. Yes, it’s a rare occurrence indeed when anyone actually wants their bank balance to deplete overnight, but then again, it’s also a rare occurrence when tickets for The Biggest Sporting Event In The World come up for grabs.

We are of course talking about the 2012 London Olympics Games and the chance for a lucky chosen few to watch world-class athletics up close. Normally participation in this spectacular quadrennial event is limited to those who can afford to cross several time zones and visit foreign shores in order to attend. But next year it will only cost a tank of petrol, a swipe on your Oyster card or a return economy train fare to get there. Come to think of it a train fare can often cost the same as a trip through several time zones, but let’s not dwell on that right now.

With 20 million applications made for 26 Olympic sports and only 6.6 million tickets actually available, it was inevitable however that rather a lot of people were going to be disappointed with the outcome, including, surprisingly enough, many of the sportsmen and women who weren’t even able to secure tickets for their own families. Others fared slightly better in the ‘lucky dip’, with one man receiving £11,000-worth of tickets. It has to be said his odds of winning were slightly higher having applied for £36,000-worth to start with, after an agreement with his bank to increase his limit should he be successful.

We applied for tickets – the Opening Ceremony and the swimming – and failed to get so much as a penny whipped out of our bank account. It was annoying after all that hype, but at least we’re now better off for it. Besides that, what I do have is a pair of tickets for The BEST Event Ever In The World pinned to the notice board right in front of me now. Tickets for the very last night of the Take That concert in Wembley. So I think if I had to choose between watching the concert of a lifetime or lots of athletes (as good as they are) walking in a circle and waving flags,  I’d go with the first.

And for all those others who also failed to lay their hands on an Olympic golden ticket, remember this. Whilst your day out next year watching sporting history happen would have been highly exciting and no doubt worth every penny you’d spent, much of it wouldn’t. The reality is you’d also have had to deal with congested roads, overflowing car parks, enormous crowds, seriously overpriced food, a severe lack of usable toilets and, worst of all, if you went with pint-sized people, a miserable looking child attached to the end of your arm. A child who, if you could actually hear him about the din, would probably be saying he’s bored, tired and wants to go home.

Taken in part from Blog written for Treehouse Life.


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