OK, so I think all but a few have played the National Lottery at some point, and a good few people will be spending between one and two hundred pounds a year on it. Winning big money is a long shot, and you don't get to keep your stake. As an alternative, from January 1st, Nina and I will be buying £100 of premium bonds every three months. OK, so it's more than we'd shell out on Lottery tickets, and there is no chance of a rollover, and winning (say) £14m, but there sufficient prizes to make it worth checking once in a while. Come the end of the year, whether we've won anything or not, we'll still have £400 more than if we'd been doing the lottery. So, why does anybody play the National Lottery?