What’s in a name?

Something a bit weird happened on Sunday.

I went in to one of the William Hill shops I use to pick up some returns from a couple of Bookie Bashing’s football coupons I’d placed the previous day.  I wasn’t picking up that much.  £254 to be precise, from which around £150 was a profit.  Not a great deal at all, in the scheme of things.

I went to the counter, and gave the guy my slips.  Seemed a nice chap.  I haven’t seen him much.  A young guy, English clearly not his first language and obviously fairly new to William Hill as he still smiles!  My guess is he’s a student working weekends to help pay for his studies.  Anyway, I hand the slips over and he goes to his console to do what they need to do to know what the return is.

“What’s your name?”, he asks.

“Erm, why do you need that?”, I respond, as light heartedly as I can muster.  I don’t want to appear suspicious, but suspicious I damn well am!

“It’s just asking me to input a name.” he says, smiling.

At this point I’m in a bit of a quandary.  I mean, why do they want my name?  It’s never going to be a good thing, when a bookmaker asks for more info about you, is it?  But for £250?  Really?  But then if I give a false name, and next time I pick up a big return, you know, something in the region of 50 quid (!), and they ask for ID…then I really am going to look suspicious and opening up all sorts of cans of worms.

So I give my real name, but only my first name, and for some daft reason hope he misspells it.  Not sure why, I just do.  Rowan isn’t that common a name, and believe me people I don’t know tend to spell it in all sorts of weird ways and that’s not including those that have never heard of it and so call me Robin, or Roland instead,

I got paid out, and nothing more was said.  But it’s left me feeling uncomfortable about that shop.  What happens if I land a nice four figure return from a Lucky 15 or something?  Is this the forerunner of all sorts of issues getting paid out?  Am I blowing this completely out of proportion?  Anyone with a similar experience, use the Comments section below…

Funnily enough I’d been in a Ladbrokes shop a couple of days before, sticking down a Lucky 15 and the guy behind the counter asked if I wanted to sign up for a Grid card.  To his surprise I said no, despite him pointing out that it would mean all the horses on my L15s would have BOG applied if I did (which would be pretty useful to be honest).  But I didn’t want them to have my personal details.  Not sure if my dismissing the question out of hand made me look a complete mug (hopefully), or suspicious.

So my question for you.  Am I being overly sensitive and a bit of a wally, or is my desire to keep my personal details personal the best thing to do?

As for the betting itself, not a good week.  You can read more on Wednesday, but if I tell you that one of my losing Anytime Goal Scorer bets was Luis Diaz and that summed up my week, you can tell how things have gone.

Until Wednesday…

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