THE throw of a dice has cost Hyndburn’s Mayor a whopping £12,000.
Tony Dobson had set up a competition at last Saturday’s Mayor’s Ball in which guests had to roll six sixes to win a brand-new Mini One.
But he then decided to reduce the number of dice from six to four, thereby cutting the odds from 46,656 to one to a much more likely 1,296 to one.
And after a series of near misses, guest Dinah Bradley rolled a winner, leaving the Mayor to stump up the cash out of his own pocket.
But Councillor Dobson, a businessman, put a brave face on things, denying that he had been taken aback or that he had been foolhardy in changing the game.
He said: "Thirteen years ago I was living in a council house and since then I have been quite successful and Hyndburn has been a large part of that success story.
"I wanted to set up a game which people had a reasonable chance of winning as opposed to one which was rigged against them and I was fully prepared to lose.
"At the end of the day I am in a position where I can afford it and it’s good PR for me. I am somebody who always honours my promises."
He added that his Mayor-ess wife Trish fully supported him in his decision.
The Mayor said that the annual ball has been "glammed up" this year with some star acts and there was a "real buzz" about the evening, which raised £3,000 for charity.
He said that 140 people had paid £5 each to have two goes at the dice game. Only about 10 goes were left when the prize was won.
He had not been able to take out insurance against losing as companies would only do this for six or more dice.
Winner Dinah, who lives in Darwen, will be able to pick a car in a colour of her choice from Bowker BMW of Blackburn, which was among the sponsors of the event.
Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "Tony has given his all during his Mayoral year and has always gone that extra mile with his fund-raising events. This is no exception and it’s typical of his generosity that he has donated such a fabulous prize from his own pocket."
But Labour leader Graham Jones commented: "I don’t think Tony expected anyone to win and if this had happened to a councillor who did not have his wealth it could have been a personal financial disaster.
"I know I couldn’t afford it if it happened to me."