It began with the arrival of a postcard in the morning mail, personally addressed (not merely to ‘The Householder’ but) to “N Rapport, 5 Stratford Av, Manchester, M20 8LZ”. “SCRATCH AND WIN”, it said. “Simply scratch off the coating from the box overleaf to reveal your noughts and crosses. Three crosses in a row and you have won: either a new Austin Metro, or a widescreen colour television set, or a karaoke set. Three noughts in a row and you have won: either a VW Dormobile, or a personal computer, or £500 in cash”.