A friend of mine recently posted a blog regarding what she would do if she won the lottery, and it me to ask myself the same question. It is not a question I haven’t asked before. In fact quite the opposite. Every Saturday, I sit clutching my ticket (metaphorically speaking – in the day of technology, I buy my tickets online), with all my hopes and dreams at the forefront of my mind.
So, what would I do if I won the lottery?
I’m going to assume that I’ve won millions. £100million would certainly not go amiss. So let’s take that figure.
Firstly, there is no way that I would quit being a writer. In fact, quite the opposite. I would use my new-found millions to ensure that my dreams of hitting the best-seller list would come true. I’m not sure how, but I’m sure it’s possible. I can also say without doubt, that my husband would not quit his job. Yes, okay he would hand his notice in, but I would encourage him to pursue his ambitions of being a photographer, by buying a studio and updating his kit. So that’s the life-careers sorted.
Secondly, the first thing I would want to do is hire a cleaner or housekeeper. I hate housework. It is the bane of my life that causes me more grief and stress than any publisher ever could. My theory is that by hiring someone to keep my house in some form of order, I would be able to spend more time with my family and on my writing.
Houses? Well it just so happens that I have a list of houses that I would love to go and visit, but are considerably more expensive than we can afford. Without going to physically see these houses, it’s impossible to say which one I would realistically buy, but we are in the dream world here aren’t we? Now, I have seen advertised a large and expansive mansion in Hampshire with an asking price of £70million, but even with £100million in the bank, I think that’s too expensive. So I would settle for a less impressive house in the countryside of Somerset.
One house I have seen is a modest six bedroomed old farmhouse, that needs drastic renovations. It’s not so much the house I’m in love with, but the extensive gardens with carp lakes. As a horse-lover, and previous horse-owner, I really want my own stables. Perhaps if I had enough land I would start my own exclusive yard…
The house I dream about would be completely gutted, ripping out all of its innards and replacing them with more modern furnishings suited to my tastes. I would also knock through a wall to create a walk-in dressing room for the many clothes, shoes and handbags that I fully intend to buy.
I wouldn’t want to move far, because I do love the village I live in, and I am more than happy with the education my children are getting at the local school. You see, even with millions, I wouldn’t move my children into private education, I would keep them in the state-school with their friends.
Holidays. You can’t win the lottery and not take a holiday. I would of course treat us to a family holiday, somewhere beautifully exotic. I’ve always loved the idea of taking our children to the countries we grew up in. My husband spent many years in Saudi Arabia (possibly not a holiday destination right now!), but I was born in Oman, and this is definitely a country I would like to show-off to my children.
As well as the family holiday, my husband and I deserve some grown-up time. A long weekend would be enough time, but I would love to spend that time on the romantic island of St Lucia, a place I have always dreamed of visiting.
So the immediate family is happy. But what about the extension of our family members and my friends?
It goes without saying that I would help those that I cherish. I would ensure that our parents and siblings would have enough so that they could pay off mortgages or buy a new house, and be able to quit work for as long as their funds lasted. I would also pay for my sister’s up and coming wedding, and treat them all to holidays.
My best-friends and I are all reaching our 30th year, and as a present to the three of us I would whisk us away for a week to an island or country in the Mediterranean where we can bathe in the sun, swim in the warm sea or party all night long.
I have also told my Mum and two sisters that I would take them away to New York for a long weekend of shopping and dining. I’ve already calculated that this would cost me a minimum of £45,000 before spending money!
I wouldn’t be able to forget my Helium friends either, and would spend some money ensuring they got the publicity they deserved. I wouldn’t give up my responsibilities (although they may have to be cut down).
So careers, houses, holidays and close friends and family are sorted…
But £100million is a lot of money. I wouldn’t feel right unless I donated a good-sized portion of it to charity. There are several charities that are close to our hearts.
BLISS is a charity designed to help and support parents of babies born too soon or ill. They helped us a lot when my daughter was born 8 weeks early. I would also want to give some money to both Jersey and Yeovil Hospital Special Care Baby Units as they supported both my children when they were first born.
Dorset Dog Rescue, a small and relatively unknown charity, also deserves some of our new-found riches. Our dog, Leela, was adopted from them, and I know how hard they work to rescue unloved, neglected and abused dogs from around the UK and Ireland. But, they have hardly any money and spent so much on vets bills they deserve some support.
As well as these already running charities, I would set up my own. With all that land to the house, I would start an animal rescue centre for animals that can’t be re-homed, especially if they are old or ill. “Pearly Gates” has been a dream of mine for many years.
But with all said and done, a lottery win, while life-changing, would not change me. I would work hard to remain grounded, and while spoiling them rotten, hope that my children would grow up to understand the meaning of money and hard-work.