What Would You Do With £101m From The Lottery?

I was very excited about the lottery in the early days. But it’s over a decade since I’ve done it seriously. I do it vicariously now, watching others in syndicates, receiving tickets sometimes in birthday cards and so on. A bit of fun. And one of my friends helped me see it as a weekly charitable donation and that’s a wonderfully abundant take on it. I keep meaning to get back to doing it online for the charity angle. I am hoping to set up my own Entrepreneurs’ Prize Draw in 2012 or sooner, going to a meeting about that on Thursday.

Meanwhile I have entered the Halifax Prize Draw as that seems to have better odds than the lottery and it’s making me wealthier while I wait for my big win too! And what a brilliant marketing idea, incentivising people to move funds into their bank. Stonking. In so doing, I discovered that HSBC were paying me 0.25% whereas Halifax will pay me 2.80% and much more if I don’t need to touch it for a year. Betterer and betterer.

Anyway, I thought I would share a couple of bits and pieces I read about the lottery over the weekend. Statistics first. I love a good stat:

Asked what they would do if they won £101m in the lottery, 74% of Britons said they would give up their jobs, while 20% claimed they would continue working. 2% would give none of their winnings to friends and family; 34% would give them up to £10m; 19% between £10m and £20m; and 32% more than £20m. The average amount people would immediately spend on themselves is £2.4m. They would also give £11m to charity and invest £37m.    Source: YouGov/TheSundayTimes

And here’s a perspective shared by Terence Blacker in The Independent:

Cheer up, says Terence Blacker. Our country’s economic outlook may look grim, but on the bright side, someone has just been awarded an unearned bonus of £101m! Newscasters put on “the sickly smiles and gurgling tones usually reserved for stories about baby pandas” as they revealed last week that “ordinary couple” Dave and Angela Dawes had scooped the EuroMillions prize.

There was the “obligatory champagne shot”, and excited speculation about how the winners will spend their fortune. It was, in short, yet another “peak-time advertisement” for the National Lottery, provided by the media. Buy enough tickets, the message goes, and it could be you. Never mind that this coverage encourages those who can least afford it to throw even more of their money down the drain.

At a time when headlines tell of alienated communities afflicted by a sense of powerlessness, these “and finally” lottery stories are supposed to show a different, more cheerful side of life. The truth, though, is that there is “a connection between the news bulletins’ gloomy lead items and the sugared pill of fake hope they provide at the end”.

What’s your opinion? Do you do the Lottery? Why? Do share…

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