I'm not normally a betting man. I was innoculated against gambling fever by watching my grandmother fritter her money away by betting on the horses.
Young as I was, she was always giving me betting tips. I remember that one of her hot tips was to bet on a horse if it had an 'O' in fifth place in its name. Another was if its last three race placings had been 0-2-0. Neither of these guidelines helped her to win anything though.
Time was when the moment a race started, the betting odds were frozen. Nowadays though, with the advent of the internet, the odds on a race or game will keep changing for some while after the start.
These changing odds apply to life too. For instance, if you are between 5 and 14 years of age, actuaries tell us that the odds on you dying this year are less than 1 in 8000 if you're a boy and less than 1 in 10,000 if you're a girl.
At 55 years old, those odds have shortened dramatically to 1 in 112 for a male and 1 in 178 for a female. I think this gives me about a 1 in 50 chance of making it through to 2014.
As I said, I'm not a betting man but despite George Burns' advice not to buy green bananas once you grow old, I'd place a small wager that I'll still be around next year.