Donald MacInnes: When it comes to picking a winner, I'm just an Apprentice
In The Red
Donald MacInnes writes Tales from the Water Cooler, which can be found every Saturday on page 2 of i. And, although a financial near-imbecile, he writes a weekly column in The Independent’s Money section, also on Saturdays. He writes regularly on a broad range of subjects in i’s Freeview section and occasionally fills in on Simon Kelner’s daily column when emotionally up to it. @DonaldAMacInnes
Saturday 09 June 2012
I came into a bit of money this week... but before you start begging for a slice, it's not a huge amount. Certainly not enough that I could buy an ice cream van, drive to Egypt and realise my dream of filling that particularly desiccated part of the world with 99s and Strawberry Mivvies.
No, it was just 10 of your English pounds. Now, this is not a great deal of money, granted, but its reception brought me a great deal of thrill, as it meant that A) the kids could eat this week and B) I had triumphed in the 2012 Apprentice sweepstake between myself and two other employees of this apolitical periodical.
If you followed this year's show, you'll know that it was won by Ricky Martin, a twitching recruitment consultant who did actual, in-the-ring wrestling in his spare time and was built like, well, a brick statue of a wrestler.
He had funny, sausagey eyebrows, big, hammy arms and a face like a gammon steak, minus the slice of pineapple. He was, in effect, a man made of meat. Thankfully, he had a business plan which clearly appealed to his sweet Lord. But more amazing than Ricky's frankfurter fingers was the fact that the three of us managed to select three of the last four contestants in the competition. And the fourth, Tom – who was the eventual runner-up – was my alternate pick. What this says about OUR business acumen, I'm not sure, but it does give you a nice feeling in your tummy to have picked a winner.
And talking of which, I must give mention to a fine feat achieved by a mate of mine in Aberdeen recently. Ken's always been the punter's punter. When we shared a flat, he would sit and watch Channel 4 Racing all Saturday afternoon, swishing an imaginary whip through the air and smacking himself on the leg as he urged the jockeys on. If you are ever in need of a tip for the National or the Derby, he's your fella.
But his recent triumph makes my Apprentice win look especially feeble.
For a punt of just £3 on golfers Luke Donald and Paul Lawrie to come first and second in the PGA at Wentworth and Zach Johnson to win a tournament in Texas, Ken won just over £500.
I don't know what kind of return Lord Sugar will expect for his quarter of a million pound punt on the human meat sculpture, but I suspect it won't be as exponentially rewarding as Ken's endeavours. Maybe he should have just given him the 250 large and sent him down to William Hill.
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