Nazrien, Tony and Soraya play in the State Lottery every year on New Year's Eve. Image © private photos
Tonight we can become millionaires again, or not of course. Last year, more than 7 million lottery tickets were sold in the New Year's Eve draw of the State Lottery and many people hope again this year for the main prize of no less than 30 million euros. Soraya, Tony and Nazrien have been playing for decades and have spent thousands of euros in total, but a big prize has not yet been reached. "It's a beautiful tradition."
"I think half lots are a sign of poverty"
Tony Verheij (50) has so far spent 5 thousand euros on New Year's Eve tickets. Highest amount ever won with old and new: 17.50 euros
Tony Verheij (50) has been playing with the State Lottery for years. First with the regular State Lottery, later the New Year's Eve draw. "I never won huge amounts, but occasionally something. One time 250 guilders and even a thousand guilders," says Tony, who also played automatically for a long time. "I felt I won a lot less then. Since I no longer automatically play, my profit has increased."
If it were up to Tony, he would still automatically play now, but years ago the payments were unexpectedly stopped. "Error from the bank: my balance turned out to be insufficient. I knew that things were not going well financially, but that I was in such a bad state was something to swallow. The times that followed were harsh: I thought that poverty was not an issue in the Netherlands , until I was forced to eat the jam and pâté from last year's Christmas packages to survive. In addition, a lot of pasta and euro bread."
He could never have imagined that Tony would be so tight financially. "I had a good job, nice car under my ass. Until I took over a company in 2010. The company turned out to have two tons of debt, but after the takeover it turned out that there had been fraud. Instead of two tons, I took over seven tons of debt It took me six years to pay off that debt, but I still played the lottery as soon as I could, because it was precisely at that time that I needed a winning lottery ticket the most."
Biggest prize ever
In good times, Tony buys lottery tickets not only for himself, but also for his staff and family. "Once I bought a street. Then you have ten lottery tickets with final numbers 0 to 9. The chance of winning is 1 to 1, because there is always a prize for a final number. That time I won my biggest prize ever : 17.50 euros. That was the first and last time. It was nothing else, 5 or 10 euros."
'My brother has now bought me a lottery ticket. I trust his luck now.'
When Tony first bought his New Year's Eve tickets in the 1990s, he still paid 15 guilders. "That amount has increased considerably," says Tony, who still buys entire lottery tickets every year despite the price increase. "I've always done that. I think buying half lottery tickets is a sign of poverty. Like you're sending a signal to the universe that you're a poor slob and can't afford whole lottery tickets," says Tony, who was only in debt when he was in debt. bought , half or a fifth lottery tickets.
Not attached to money
Now that Tony is doing well again, he buys his lottery tickets mainly as a gesture of generosity. "I am not attached to money. I am – withupsindowns– always happy and don't need money to be rich," says Tony, who spent at least 10,000 euros on the lottery in recent years, of which 5 euros on New Year's Eve tickets. "Although I think everyone agrees with me that it's nice is when some extra money comes your way."
This year, for the first time, Tony did not want to buy lottery tickets, but last week he received a New Year's Eve ticket from his brother for his 50th birthday. "Maybe it's a sign that this time I'm not buying a lottery ticket for myself, but getting one. I'm trusting my brother's luck now."
"My gut told me to choose final grade '9'"
Nazrien Ozir (46) has already spent hundreds of euros on New Year's Eve tickets. Highest amount ever won: 25 euros.
Nazrien loves traditions – and the New Year's Eve draw is one of them. Normally, Nazrien's sister always brought New Year's Eve locks for Christmas, until fate struck the family in 2017. "My sister had a cerebral hemorrhage. She passed away within 24 hours, at the age of 51. Since then, I have continued the tradition and buy New Year's Eve tickets for my mother, brother and sister every year. Unfortunately, my oldest brother does not play. thinks it's a waste of money."
Sign: pigeon poop on the head
Also this year Nazrien bought lottery tickets again. "Last week I went to the store with my mother to get them. And you will never believe it: we are walking on the street with the newly bought lottery tickets and a pigeon poops on her head. That is real happiness. I said to her : 'this is a sign that you are going to win a considerable amount of money this year,'" says Nazrien, who opted for a final grade of 9. "Everyone already chooses 7 and 8, so I didn't really like that. I hesitated between 9 and 0, but in the end my gut told me to pick 9."
Nazrien doesn't necessarily have to win the main prize. "It even seems scary to me to suddenly have millions. But an amount of 50 thousand or 100 thousand is very welcome for fun," says Nazrien, who has not seen much of her spent money so far. "I once won 25 guilders in the past. That is just under 50 thousand euros, but you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, I once learned."
And that is why Nazrien continues to 'keep playing'. "I think it's a nice tradition. Secretly I have hope, but I remain realistic." When Nazrien calculates the euros she and her family already spend on lottery tickets, she says: "Oh my god, you can really buy a plane ticket to the other side of the world. But no, that's not how you should look at things in life. If you start calculating and reasoning out how much it has cost you for everything, then you will not have a nice life."
"Some people think it's a shame to buy a lottery ticket, but I don't. I think you should buy what makes you happy and I enjoy it. I don't really care if I win or not and I like that we keep the tradition of my eldest sister alive."
'I fantasize about my own hotel in Greece'
Soraya Koendjbiharie (34) has so far spent 2,500 euros on New Year's Eve tickets. Highest amount ever won: 10 euros.
Soraya's father has been participating in the New Year's Eve draw for over thirty years. It is therefore no surprise to Soraya what she gets for Christmas. "Every Christmas my father buys New Year's Eve tickets for my two sisters, my mother and me. Sometimes we can choose our final number ourselves, but usually he chooses us."
True family tradition
The New Year's Eve draw is a true family tradition in the Koendjbiharie house. Unfortunately, they never won major prizes. "We always win a little bit, but never more than 10 euros," says Soraya, who doesn't mind at all that she hasn't won millions yet. "We don't really play for the money. More for fun. The fact that we see and talk to each other is worth much more to me. I always find the moment of the draw a magical moment. her family – and we're in the lottery."
Every year, after the draw, a thorough investigation is carried out into the results of a given lottery ticket. "We always immediately check with each other whether someone has won something. And of course also which final number someone had won. It really is a family moment. Even if one of us is not physically nearby, we organize a contact moment with each other. Via a normal telephone conversation, or with video calling."
Of course Soraya sometimes dreams away at the idea that she can win 30 million. "I used to want to save for a car and travel far. Now I fantasize about my own hotel in Greece. That would be really cool. Or a nice mortgage-free house in The Hague. Also, if I win, I would giving away a lot of my money to charities, like cleaning up our ocean."
Should Soraya win this year, she is determined to share the prize money with the rest of her family. "If I pick up a certain envelope, it could just as well have been my sister's. I can't wait to take my family out for dinner or book a cottage at a holiday park later, weather permitting. In total, my father spent almost 2,500 euros on New Year's Eve tickets over the past 30 years, so I would symbolically return it to him immediately."
This says the expert
Why is it that people - often against their better judgment - continue to participate in a lottery? According tofinancial coachSabine Samsom has this to do with a number of factors. "First of all, people like to relinquish control from time to time. For people with a low income, this isurgeoften even larger. Recently I read a story of someone who is on welfare and saves 750 euros every year to buy lottery tickets."
"That is then seen as the most realistic chance of a better life, but the chance of winning a lottery is so incredibly small. You can spend that 750 euros a month much better, for example by investing the money or increasing your happiness in life buying certain things."
No solution to money problems
Besides the fact that people hope for a glimmer of luck, Samsom also thinks that many people play because they enjoy it. "It's fun to dream of what you can do with the money, but it's also fun to do it with other people. You often see people buying New Year's Eve tickets with or for family and friends. It's a kind of social occasion become."
Samsom thinks that buying New Year's Eve tickets is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is important that you do not see it as a solution to your money problems. "Stay realistic. I sometimes participate myself, not because I need the money, but just like Nazrien, Tony and Soraya for tradition. Depending on who I celebrate New Year's Eve with, I sometimes buy a few half lots."