“Congratulations!” read the email. “We have good news about your lottery ticket!”
“We could buy a pony … JLS … the make up counter at Boots!” suggested big daughter.
“I could be a mermaid,” said small daughter.
“What about the media, the paparazzi, the intrusion into our personal lives?” I worried.
“We could always run away,” suggested my husband. “Somewhere hot and sunny. But you’d better check your numbers first.”
So you can imagine the excitement - I have never won anything on the lottery until now! Naturally, friends and family were delighted and wanted to know when I’d be paying off my mortgage – and possibly theirs. Not for some time, as I won the grand total of £6.30, which might just pay for the bus fare into Warrington town centre, but the fact remains that I still won and I’m very pleased about it.
It did make me wonder though, whether I’d have been so keen to share the news if I’d won £6 million. Probably not, as suddenly I would be seen as someone different – someone with a Lot of Money. I have plenty of good ideas for what I’d do with it – and whilst of course we’d be heading off to Manchester airport with our suitcases, it does include giving lots away and fixing the church ceiling, but I’ve got a feeling so much money would become a burden, not a blessing.
So why buy a ticket at all, if I’m not prepared to run the risk of being the next Euro Millionaire? It’s the fun of taking part, of thinking that perhaps this week I might be mortgage-free whilst still knowing that my chances of that are only slightly better than me being next in line for the throne. My single parent friend, hating her job and long commute, buys her ticket religiously every week, convinced that this week will be the one that makes the difference – but like me, she also knows that there are more important things in life and she’s rich in other ways already – she’s healthy, she’s generally happy, she’s got a good job even if she doesn’t like it, she’s got a lovely daughter who’s friends with my lovely daughter and she’s friends with me! We can laugh about my lottery win knowing that it won’t change anything between us and although she’d have loved me to have paid her mortgage off, she won’t hold it against me that I’m running away into town with my family instead.
And yes, she’ll remind me next time there’s a double rollover or whatever it is that might whisk me off into a millionaire lifestyle and if I remember, I’ll probably buy another ticket. Who knows – I might even win enough for the bus fare home!