This weekend I bought a lotto ticket for the first time in a couple of years and it got me thinking back to the first ever UK lottery draw back in 1994. I was only 13 and everyone in the family was excited at the prospect of our numbers coming in. For days before hand all anyone could talk about was what they would do with all the money. My mum wanted a house by the sea, my dad wanted a posh car, and my grandmother was adamant that she would buy a yacht. After the draw there were lots of phone calls asking if we had won… we hadn’t of course, so everyone commiserated and breathed the prayer “maybe next week”.
It became a tradition for everyone to have a lottery ticket for the Saturday draw (which was the only draw in the beginning) but despite our dedication we never won more than £10 and when I moved out in my late teens, my need for food finally trumped my need for a weekly lottery ticket.
Since then I’ve only bought the occasional ticket and never put much thought into the numbers, instead requesting a lucky dip, or randomly picking numbers out of thin air. But this weekend was different, as I carefully chose numbers that reminded me of my daughter, I began to feel the old lottery magic and just like that I found myself fantasizing once again about what I would do with the £9.8 million jackpot.
Quit my job
I think that nearly everyone who has ever fantasized about winning the lottery has also thought about the immense satisfaction of giving up their job and spending the rest of their lives doing things they really enjoy.
For me this is a difficult one. I now work for myself and am writing both for a job and a hobby, so I’m in the enviable position of loving what I do. That being said, handing myself a note saying “I quit” really wouldn’t give me the same satisfaction as skipping into work just to declare that I’m going to Disney Land and never coming back!… Grumpy Dad on the other hand may choose to take this approach in my stead.
Look after the kids
I’m not the sort of person who would win the lottery and dish out huge sums of money to the kids. For starters Teen would have spent all £9.8 million on shoes by the end of the month and Child would probably spend it all on a life size gingerbread house complete with gum drop furniture.
Instead I would make sure each of them has the best possible start to life buy putting away money for specific things. For example there would be money for their first (sensible) car, to pay their University fees, and to buy their first home once they’re ready to settle down somewhere.
At their young age, when all they can think about is cool toys and the day they can afford a Ferrari, they may not thank me for this approach. But I would hope that once they’re grown they would understand that they may not have been given what they wanted, but they were given what they needed.
A new home
I love our little home but I would be lying if I said we wouldn’t move. It wouldn’t be the first thing we did but our future would definitely include a slightly bigger house, with no neighbors, a double garage, and top graded school near by.
I wouldn’t go crazy though. We don’t need a mansion or a huge plot of land… just enough so that we can’t hear the in’s and out’s of the neighbors conversation or smell the residents of the house 2 doors down smoking.
I would never clean again!
Yep, one of the first things I would do is get a cleaner to come in every couple of days as I just hate cleaning!
We’re going to Disney Land!
I’ve always had it in my head that this is the first thing you should do upon winning the lottery and I see no reason why I should change that conviction. The trip would however be made more complicated by Grumpy Dad’s hatred of flying. To prevent his discomfort we would probably have to take a luxury cruise to Florida instead of a plain. It’s a hard imaginary life, but someone had to do it!
I would like to think that winning the lottery wouldn’t change how careful I am with my money, but lets be honest, even the most disciplined person in the world would have a small shopping spree. My Amazon wish list would be a wish no longer, my aging clothes would be replaced with ones I lust over but never buy, and he kids would be just a little bit spoiled.
I could continue fantasizing about all the wonderful possibilities for hours, but fantasies don’t last for ever and unless you are very, very lucky, the bubble has to burst eventually. As it turned out, we didn’t so much as match one number, which was a little disappointing but not exactly unexpected. Despite this I had fin and re-discovered the excitement I felt in playing the lottery when it was all shiny and new, and who knows… I may just buy another ticket for next week. You have to be in it to win it!
If you want to add a new spin to playing the lottery why not try Lottoland. Their service allows you to play alternative lotteries such as the Irish Lottery https://www.lottoland.co.uk/irish-lottery, or even the American Powerball https://www.lottoland.co.uk/powerball. Just remember, the lottery is great fun to play but always do so responsibly and never spend more on tickets than you would be willing to lose. Enjoy your lottery win fantasy’s!
*This post was written in collaboration with Lottoland. All views and opinions are my own.