Fans of comedy classic Only Fools and Horses will undoubtably remember the episode ‘The Unlucky Winner Is…’ in which Del’s latest scheming and plotting results in him, Rodney and Cassandra winning a package holiday to the Spanish island of Majorca.
Rodney and Cassandra are looking forward to a romantic trip away so are initially puzzled by the prize being three tickets – as Rodders says, “three’s a funny number”.
But Del’s involved and so that means not everything is on the straight and narrow – South London’s favourite barrow boy has been trying his luck in just about every quiz being run in an attempt to score a decent prize.
In the end his luck turns good thanks, not to his efforts, but because of a painting of Rodney’s which Del has entered into a breakfast cereal brand’s competition and, as Rodney will find out only after they arrive in Majorca, that he learns the competition was for under 15 year olds.
Instead of a week of romance with Cassandra, everyone’s favourite ‘plonker’ finds himself enrolled into ‘The Groovy Gang’ and forced to take part in a series of embarrassing activities.
The episode includes some of the series’ funniest scenes and gives Nicholas Lyndhurst (Rodney) and chance to take centre stage as his increasingly annoyed and frustrated character struggles to hide ‘underage’ smoking and drinking from The Groovy Gang chaperones.
One especially memorable scene includes the following classic exchange between the Trotter brothers:
Rodney: Get out here now, you dipstick, I’m going to kill you!
Del: Oi, oi, oi. What’s up with you?
Rodney: I’ll tell you what’s up with me… Thanks to you I am now a 26 year-old man who just came second in a skateboard derby!
Del: Second? You were in the lead when I saw you!
Rodney: I fell off.
While Rodney is being humiliated in front of his future wife, Del is, characteristically, out to enjoy the freebies and make a quick buck. Spotting the local lottery ticket seller – the episode aired a full 15 years before the UK’s National Lottery launched – he buys three tickets and as the episode draws to a close,one of them wins the one million peseta jackpot.
But an ecstatic Del is soon brought down to earth when he realises the winning ticket was bought in Rodney’s name and that by doctoring his brother’s passport to claim the holiday, they’re ineligible to claim the prize money.
Luckily in the internet age it’s not necessary to engage in such subterfuge if you want to try your luck in various overseas lottos as there are a number of websites, including PlayUSALotteries.com which sell tickets for a growing number of games.
Unlike here in the UK, a lot of games don’t sell tickets online so, once orders are placed, agents for the site buy physical tickets from a local retailer using the official machines and, if any player’s numbers comes up, claims the prize money on their behalf and promises to pay within 10 days.