Oh, don’t pretend you haven’t fantasized about it! We’ve all had the conversation. It runs through the same stages every time. What would your initial reaction be? How long would you wait to start spending: as soon as you knew? As soon as the cheque came through? As soon as it cleared?
Then on to the size of the win. It’s funny when some people choose not to be ‘greedy’, opting for a modest couple of million. As if greed might put a hex on their chances of a real-life future win. Or as if they had any more power to accord themselves a ‘moderate’ cool two mil, than eighty million.
Next the portioning out starts. How much to charity? (Any?) How much to family members (and which ones?) Where does what’s left go? Into a high-interest account? Any riskier investments? (At this point someone points out that the lottery administrators can advise on appropriate investment of winnings).
Then comes the fun part: how much capital can you let go of, and what is it going to go on? How many bedrooms in the house, garden specifications – fruit trees? A brook? A games room? A sauna? A swimming pool? (The swimming pool is key for me: no swimming pool, no deal).
The car discussion is more for the benefit of the man in the house, but join in girls, it’s just not the same without some interplay. Lamborghini? (Why not just buy a second house while you’re at it?) If it’s pretty and sporty it’s fine by me and I wouldn’t know the difference between that and an elderly Supra. But play along, play along.
Lifestyle gets chewed to pieces: would you give up work altogether? (Then some mockery of those who vow they won’t.) Would you close your existing business? (Perhaps not. You never know.) Do a Phd.? Study silversmithing? Lie in a hammock under an apple tree all the livelong day, perhaps, cat on your lap, glass of wine on a little table, book in hand. Now that’s the life.
Fancy TVs, immaculate kitchens, luxurious bathrooms: for half an hour’s blissful speculation, we’re all fantasy millionaires. And very, very picky ones. “Oh, I don’t like blue in a bathroom. All white and green tiles. Italian tiles, of course.” Of course!
And what’s the harm? When the reverie is over and we come back to harsh reality, we remember. We remember that, no, we haven’t really won. Yet. But it was really fun for a while pretending!