If you're waking up today still frustrated about the cash you blew on the Melbourne Cup — or even the donkey you drew in the office sweep — be prepared to be cheered up.
I am Australia's dumbest punter.
On Tuesday I p***ed away more money in three minutes than I did the evening before having more than a few beers with an old mate.
Why? Melbourne Cup day.
Each year hundreds of thousands of Aussies plonk mindless amounts of cash on a horse with a funny name, or, if you're like me, pretend to know what you're talking about after reading a trusty Melbourne Cup guide.
The gurus at punters.com.au put together a 4000-word guide to the race and concluded your best bet was to back Marmelo with half your cash while placing safeguards to make sure you didn't leave empty-handed.
Like the sucker I am, I took that theory to nonsensical heights. Marmelo was a goer, so I put $10 there, $10 on race favourite Yucatan and $10 on Magic Circle.
I triumphantly told my girlfriend we were eating steak that night. But then I got greedy, I wanted prawns on that steak.
Still lying in bed, I added another $30 dollars to dish out on the field, $3 here, $5 there in some wacky safeguarding manoeuvre.
I was in too deep.
Looking back, my hazy pre-brekkie self thought it was a good move to put money on 11 different winners. If I listened hard enough I could probably hear an orchestra of bookmakers rubbing their hands together in the CBD.
Come 3pm, some bacon and egg rolls and Berocca later, I was prepared for my moment of glory. The gun went off and almost immediately The Cliffsofmoher (God rest his trotting soul) broke a leg.
I was still in with 10 chances. But by then the die was cast. Marmelo firmed well late in the piece but was pipped last-second by Cross Counter.
I'll admit I had to check my phone after the win. It was eight hours after throwing my bets on and I had forgotten which horses I had pennies on.
Cross Counter was not one.
Articles like these always bring the heroes on Twitter and Facebook (usually with cars as profile pictures) out of the woodwork to slam the writer and give them a piece of their trusty mind. So I'm ready for you, social media eggheads.
I might put my hand up to join the punk band Dumb Punts; I've scored a perfect 10.
Ironically, if I had put more money on and followed the Cup guide verbatim, I'd have broken even and only have wasted five minutes of my life.
Still, the random nature of the Melbourne Cup could have just as easily seen me come away with a win. Only 21 per cent of favourites — or 32 out of 150 — have won the race that stops the nation.
I learned my lesson. As Homer Simpson said: "If something's too hard to do, it's not worth doing."
Hard would be an understatement. It seems almost impossible to get comfortably ahead betting on the Melbourne Cup regularly.
I'm still going for a steak though.
MY BOTCHED CUP CANVAS
— $10 on Best Solution, $13.00
— $10 on Magic Circle, $8.00
— $2 on Sound Check, $41.00
— $2 on Who Shot Thebarman, $41.00
— $2 on The Cliffsofmoher, $19.00
— $10 on Marmelo, $13.00
— $5 on Avilius, $14.00 plus $5 Bonus Bet
— $10 on Yucatan, $6.00
— $1 on Nakeeta, $101
— $2 on Sir Charles Road, $81
— $1 on Zacada, $91
THE RETURN: $0