In the extremely unlikely event that your name is Snake, then Monday is your lucky day.

Haywain Brewers Fayre in St Margarets Drive, near Epsom Hospital, is running a very generous ssspecial offer to welcome in the Chinese Year of the Snake - a free all-you-can-eat buffet for you and five guests.

But to claim the prize your surname has to be Snake - and strict security is being imposed to prevent imposters slithering their way in.

You have to call the general manager in advance to tell him your name and on arrival you must produce your passport or driver's license.

Martin Rattler, Coral Brown and Bertie Boomslang are definitely not eligible, nor is anyone born in the Year of the Snake the company made clear. Even WWE wrester Jake the Snake Roberts would be turned away.

A search on 192 did not turn up a single person with the surname Snake anywhere in the borough of Epsom and Ewell, or surrounding towns. In fact it appears there are only five people named 'Snake' in the entire country.

And sadly it is too late to change your name by deed poll - in case you were tempted to do so for a few platefuls of free Chinese food.

The PR person who sent out the press release admitted that eligible people are likely to be very thin on the ground.

In fact it seems unlikely the company will have to cook up a single extra prawn cracker.

But Emma Price, a spokeswoman for Brewers Fayre said; "We’re big fans of Chinese cuisine at Brewers Fayre and we look forward to celebrating Chinese New Year in style with Mr and Mrs ‘Snake.’ The snake is a creature to be respected and it will be our pleasure to host all ‘Snakes’ who join in our celebrations."

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