Dubai Diaries: Summer Surprises Sweepstake Spirit
I have never won a raffle I have ever entered: nada, niente, zilch. Seriously, not a single cent, salutation or even toothpick has come my way despite the thousands of tickets purchased or promotions taken up notably during a 13-year Dubai stint where both the Shopping Festival and Summer Surprises present a plethora of opportunities. I can’t be alone, can I? Granted someone has to win, but it always seems to be someone else, right? However, does my 35-year unsuccessful streak ever dissuade me from participating? Not on your Nelly. I actively look forward to those days petrol stations are bedecked with banners denoting that season’s competition. I also definitely increase my trips to the mall and chuck in a few more items in order to cross the payment threshold guaranteeing entry into the big event, and I have to admit the idea of investing in jewellery to stand a turn at nabbing a boatload of gold does cross my mind on more than one occasion.
Why? Why does this lottery-like tactic have me returning for more? I’m no psychologist, but I believe the answer is two-fold. Firstly, I need much of what I buy anyway so may as well pick up a chance for a prize. It would be silly to go in for a new vacuum cleaner and ignore the prospect of walking away with the equivalent of Dh100,000 in points or whatever the offer may be. More pertinently, though, in every tombola stub is a voucher valid for a big old daydream and that is certainly worth the price of admission. Upon each notification I’m in the swim, in my mind they’ve already called my name and I’m mentally spending the rewards. “I’d pay off the bills, give some away and then, what, property?” is usually the initial game plan that raises its head. “But what if the gift is a car? Do they replace it with a cash equivalent or do I have to list the vehicle for sale myself?” And before you know it I’m fuming at a fictional potential online buyer messaging me ‘what is best price’ for the eighth time that hour. N.B. I put a price on the item. That is the amount I want for it.
Mega draws often remind me of the Friends episode where the characters pool their Powerball numbers in hope of scooping the crazy jackpot. Throughout the show each reveals what they’d do with their share with investments ranging from sensible bonds to bankrolling sports teams. Ultimately Phoebe’s return of three dollars is the only success on a $250-300 outlay, but it makes her happy and the precious ‘what if?’ banter makes for a memorable installment. How many of you are waiting on a DSS promotion and having the same conversations this year? What is going through your mind? Remember, sharing is caring.