Without a word of a lie I can promise you that I will not let my recent National Lottery and Premium Bond wins change my life.
That’s largely because even added together they come to less than £50 which, unless your idea of a good night out is chomping a side street rat burger and swilling a couple of pints of badly kept beer, doesn’t even amount to a decent dinner for two.
But with just as much honesty I don’t mind admitting that if there were four or more noughts on the end of that “less than £50” I’d be making this my last column and probably e-mailing it from somewhere rather sunnier and more peaceful than Blackpool.
Then again I’d probably wait a few weeks before checking into a hotel anywhere outside the UK because at this time of year there’s generally at least one Sandgrown’un booked into a better room than yours, spending all the money they previously claimed they didn’t make because of how bad the summer season has been.
But considering how many of us fantasise about quitting our job if we win anything like the big one, imagine my surprise at reading this week that almost a fifth of those people who became millionaires overnight actually carried on working.
I loved it a few months ago when that syndicate of bus workers won cartloads of cash and just never turned up for work again. What a win-win situation. They’d literally won and literally left, providing a momentary headache for their employers but some long term relief for the people who could step into their shoes (except, of course, for anyone who declined joining the syndicate).
But they were in the minority because 59 per cent of winners don’t just down tools. Maybe they like to carry on a while with a smile like a Cheshire cat not letting anyone know they could now buy the company. Maybe they just want to gloat. Perhaps loyalty comes into it? Surely not? Surely a lot of them are working for companies which wouldn’t think twice about dropping them like a hot potato without a second thought if it suited them.
Anyway, its that time of year when reports, surveys and statistics make the news so it was only a matter of time before someone looked at the spending and investment of the 3,000 instant millionaires created since the Lottery was launched in 1994 (yes, just tot up how much you’ve spent on it since then!).
One fascinating stat is that those winners have made an additional 3,780 millionaires among children, families and friends. Yes, that means either your kith, kin and buddies are as unlucky as you – or they’re holding out on you.
The research by forecasting consultancy Oxford Economics discovered than an Audi was the most popular car among them (I’ve already got an old one thank you very much) and America was the favourite holiday destination (been there, seen it, done it). Almost a third now had a Jacuzzi at home (don’t want one).
But some 300 bought caravans! With all that dosh you would have thought they’d splash out a bit more. I would (maybe).
and some 900 new businesses have been started or supported by them.