What would you do with £84mil?

Posted on November 4, 2010

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Picture courtesy of wikipedia commons

The National Lottery has somewhat fallen from grace in the UK. I remember when it began as a light entertainment show on prime time Saturday evening TV – just after You’ve Been Framed.

People must have got fed up with not winning. My Dad used to religiously buy his ticket every week and tune in with a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge just in case.

The switch in national attitudes towards the lottery that has led to the programme appearing briefly at 10pm just for the results, was summed up perfectly by my Dad one evening a few years ago, when he scrunched up his losing ticket and announced ‘It’s just a tax on hope!’

There may indeed be a little truth to this – apart from the fact that the government does not enforce the payment and nor does it receive any monetary benefit – otherwise a perfectly legitimate statement.

Euro Millions

What I find interesting is that since the Euro Millions has started handing out outrageous sums of money in giant rollovers, my parents have started playing again. The National Lottery’s £3m seems a paltry amount now.

Not only are they playing – they spend all week preparing a huge spending plan plan, allocating amounts to different relatives, arguing over where their country retreat should be and whether they need a penthouse flat in central London.

I arrived home from a weekend away to find my family in a blazing hypothetical row. My brother was loudly voicing his dismay at only being allocated £500,000 not the £5mil he said he needed to set himself up as an artist in Chelsea.

My Dad finally gave in, persuading my Mum that once he had given over that amount of money my brother could never knock on the door to ask for more. Essentially he was happy with the idea of paying him off.

What if I won?

Every now and then I wade in to tease my Dad by waving a ticket I have bought in front of him whilst asking whether he would be irritated if I actually won the jackpot instead. The fury conveyed through his eyes is terrifying.

A few weeks after this episode I was in the car with my Dad. It was silent. Then he said, very solemnly, that ‘Your Mum and I have finally come to an agreement on what we would do with the money, but we don’t think we could win any less than £84mil’

What has the recession done to us?

My new fear is that should we win anything at all above the tenner mark, the bottle of chilled champagne will be used as a weapon.

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Posted in: The Odd Box