Winning the Lottery - the only route to riches for ordinary people like you and me.
Every Saturday night at 8.55pm, I kick myself for not bothering to buy a ticket. Then by 9.01 I’m glad I didn’t. A pound saved and all that.
In idle moments, though, I find myself imagining how the ticket I never buy could change your life - and working out exactly how MUCH money I’d need to scoop.
Late at night, as I’m falling asleep, I do the mental maths until my head hurts. I throw in an imaginary ethical dilemma for good measure; should I not be too greedy? Is there such a thing as a decent amount and an indecent one? Can a huge win really be a blessing rather than a curse, or is that just the fate of every character in wonderful Kay Mellor’s BBC must-see The Syndicate (I’m hooked. Again).I start by reckoning up how much I’d need to pay off the mortgage, buy a new car and put a bit away. £150,000 should see me right.
Then I remember everyone else; I could pay off my son’s uni debt, my brothers’ mortgages and set the parents up with a care plan nest egg. Then it’s back to me - I might as well win enough to make a real difference, so the virtual spending spree becomes lust-fuelled. The big new house, the endless holidays - and a CLEANER every day of the week... Before I know it I’m needing a couple of million. That should do it.
But even that wasn’t enough for West Yorkshire couple Roger and Lara Griffiths. They won £1.8 million on the lottery in 2005 - and now they’re in the news for having blown the Lotto.
They spent £15,000 in the first 10 days (understandable), invested in bonds, property and a beauty salon, then splashed out on flash cars, a posh house, five-star hotels, Louis Vuitton habit for her, delusional pursuit of a career as a rock star for him.
Now they’re broke again and it’s broken them. They’re divorced - and parents of two little girls for whom life’s ups and downs have been more stomach-churning than that rollercoaster at Blackpool.
Things have got so bad poor Lara’s selling her beloved designer handbags one at a time to support the kids. Who’d have thought a bit of leather would prove to be your safest investment? Think on that, ye men who moan when the missus forks out on a new Radley.
And aren’t we crowing because their fortune turned to misfortune? We’re glad they blew it, just like folk were when Viv Nicholson blew her 1961 Littlewoods Pools win.
Those lucky sods got what we dreamed of, the chance to join the rich club And look how stupid they were. It could so easily have been YOU, though.
These are inflation-busted times. The Griffiths’ demise is actually down to the fact that two million is simply not enough to give you a millionaire’s lifestyle any more.
That’s something to keep you awake at night.