Last week, a British couple won £161,653,000.00 in the Euromillions lottery making them Britain’s biggest ever winners. After about a week of deliberations and deep thought, they decided to go public with their win as they didn’t want to lie to their friends and family. Bad move! Just yesterday the media reported that the couple have gone into hiding to escape the avalanche of ‘begging letters’ which have since been pouring in.
When it was announced that a single ticket had won that amount, Mo Cushla and I discussed what we would do if we won. Never mind the miniscule detail that we hadn’t actually purchased a ticket so were not even remotely in with a real chance of winning!
Undeterred, we apportioned, distributed, gave away, invested, set up trust funds, paid off debts and the children’s private school fees, travelled the world, bought a bigger house, changed our cars, reapportioned, redistributed and still had loads of money left which we decided would be put in some deposit account and live off the interest. In all of the plotting and planning the spending of our millions of pounds we hadn’t actually won, one thing we both agreed and were unequivocally convinced about was that we wouldn’t go public with our win.
How do you announce to the world that you are suddenly £166,000,000.00 richer and not expect to have people hound you for some of it? As sure as night follows day, you can expect to have a few hundred letters from people making their case as to why they, too, should be beneficiaries of your overnight windfall. After all, they reckon they are only asking for an infinitesimal part of your very large winnings.
Much as I had dreamed and fantasized about being in possession of the Weirs winning ticket, I am thankful I am not in their shoes now. What a complete tragedy to have all that money but very little freedom to enjoy it in the way they deem fit! Sad indeed! I feel really sorry for them.
However their experience further cements our resolve not to go public in the event that we find ourselves coming into a large sum of money. In the meantime, I hope things settle down for them soon so they can begin to enjoy all the possibilities that their winnings can open up for them.
What would you do if you won lots of money? Go public? Keep it quiet?
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