I've been to the Antarctic, but my adventures did me no favors with one woman.
"Don't send me any more emails about your personal life," said the writer to me. "I'm just not interested. Help me win the lottery instead!"
I wasn't upset. I knew she didn't get the point of my writing.
It was a bit like the English woman from my childhood, who said - when I met her 40 years later - that she only enjoyed the company of interesting people.
So I didn't tell her about my helicopter piloting, my hot air balloon rides, my motorcycle trek across Australia through the Nullabor Plains, my backing most of our country's popular singers as a band member, my flying a military jet, my saving another military jet from disaster, visiting Antarctica, scuba diving, black water rafting, and so on.
Most of those stories are in this blog.
I had the feeling that maybe my experiences weren't interesting enough for her.
She ended up marrying an archeologist who had written books about the pyramids.
He was probably an extrovert with a beard and big booming voice who leapt around the room to demonstrate conquering the latest secret tunnel or vault. I couldn't compare.
Not me, a mild-looking, modest man who sat in a corner and got on well with books instead of people.
So yes, I do write a bit about my personal life and hope that it is interesting to you, but for two reasons.
First, it's fun remembering what I've done. A bit like keeping a diary.
But mainly because in each article there are important lessons about what I did to overcome shocking odds and become successful - and how you can do it too.
And key among these silver nuggets of advice - especially for us lottery players - is the power of persistance.
I've been doing this lottery thing for over 20 years, and made a mint in winnings. If I had given up at any time - like 99% of all players - I would still be serving behind the counter of a camera shop - my first job.
Which reminds me of a story there. Like most people I used to have a bad memory for names. The same customer would come into the photo store each month, a delightful elderly woman, and ask for her photos.
And each time I would ask her name.
After several months she obviously decided to teach me her name in a more permanent manner. Taking the floor in the middle of the shop she started twirling around in a jig, singing a line from a popular pop song of those days..."I'm Henry the 8th I am..." several times.
After that I never forgot her - or her name - throughout the next 40 years. Thanks, Mrs Henry.
NEVER give up!
You can have little talent, a tough job, bad health. But if you have a goal - then all you need is the persistence to see it through.
When you have both persistance and my system, you are invincible. And because none of us can predict exactly WHEN you're going to claim a jackpot, you may need to keep playing for a little longer than you think.
That's where the invaluable persistence plays a part.
Many folk get instant results, but small prizes, and be less enthusiastic. "Sure, I'm getting $20 winnings... but I want to be a $100000 winner!"
I got the same feeling when I looked up at the peak of a massive mountain I was about to climb with my son, and wondered if I would return alive. I was at the $20 stage, waiting to conquer the jackpot. Earlier in the year I had started training for this quest by climbing small hills.
Gradually over time I increased the size of the hill... until I was now ready for the big one. And because of my dogged persistence, I finally conquered it.
Lottery is the same. After winning a series of small prizes which show that the system is working, the big one is waiting there for you to grab it. At any time.
Unless - you weren't persistent enough and decided that another missed week or month wouldn't matter. Of course - it does. In previous articles I've already told you about Lester R, my friend who lost a million dollar win by not playing. His story is below as a lesson to us all.
You need persistence for success in any of life's ventures. Nothing good comes easy. A Japanese proverb says "money grows on the tree of persistence."
So the purpose of my personal conquests and stories are to show that persistence is the biggest winning factor in my life and yours. Nothing else has worked. Talent, speed, psychic ability, good looks, athleticism... none of these things have got me anywhere.
But persistence has reduced all my failings and made them good.
And winning the lottery - in a small way... or the jackpot - requires persistence more than anything else. The results can be spectacular!
After taking tickets of the same series for some time,... I decided to extend out to a much larger number of entries. This was what Ken had been saying so I followed instructions. Now I needed to get organised quickly and cut to the chase, buy the tickets and watch the results. I did get organised but alas I let that fateful night go by when I did not buy and the prize pool meant that $1M would have been won as my first line of numbers came up.
Lester R. (Name and Address Supplied)