Friday, 16 October 2015

16/10/15 - No Publicity



Lottery winners are, on the whole, idiots. I say this largely because I’m not one and I’m jealous, but also because, well, it’s just true. At least, it is for the ones we hear about.

You see, if you win the lottery jackpot you’re presented with a very clear choice: publicity or no publicity. If you tick the publicity box, your face will be plastered all over the papers, accompanied by popping Champagne corks and novelty oversized cheques. (Incidentally, isn’t it lovely that we’re still impressed by the idea of a big cheque in 2015? I can’t remember the last time I gave or received an actual cheque, but if someone does send me one, I want the thing to be four feet wide and presented by the local mayor.)
This will inevitably lead to a raft of unnecessary details emerging about the private lives of said winners. We’ll find out what they do for a living, where they live, which of their friends or family members they’ve wronged in the past, and so on. Paparazzi will follow them around, snapping them shopping on Bond Street in their tracksuits, finding out in which predictable tourist hotspots they’ve decided to buy luxury apartments, and generally shitting on about these wealthy strangers far more than is necessary. This lays bare the annoying truth that being a lottery winner is just an extension of the I-want-something-for-nothing culture that characterises modern living; they want the free cash but are rubbish at spending it. They haven’t thought it through – in essence, they’re far happier complaining about being downtrodden than they are with the cosmos suddenly saying ‘Fine, alright, have whatever you want, stop going on about it’.
It also points out a glaringly obvious fact: if you tick the publicity box, you’re really stupid. The only reason you’d do it is to show off. It’s just a very public way of saying ‘look at me, look how much money I’ve got now’. You know that Harry Enfield character that’s ‘considerably richer than you’? Yeah, that.

Why stupid? Because you’re going to be hounded by scroungers, that’s why. Whenever someone goes public about winning the lottery, I always make a point of finding out where they live (which is generally laughably easy) and writing a letter to them asking for money - ‘come on, a few hundred quid is nothing to you’ – not because I think it’s an acceptable thing to do or that they’ll actually give me anything, but because they fucking deserve to be flooded with begging letters. Arrogant cretins. (I don’t really do this. I’m not mental. But I could.)
Also, it’s surely very obvious to even the stupidest of folk that if you brag about winning £100,000,000 or whatever, you will be hunted down by the sort of groups and organisations that require such funding and are in a position to take it from you, violently and lethally if necessary: the IRA, terrorist cells, the Mafia... they’ll come to your door with guns and take your millions from you. Why wouldn’t they? It’s not as if you’re hard to find.

The thing that really irritates me is the fact that they always – always – say ‘I won’t let it change me’. Oh, do piss off. It’s supposed to change you, that’s the point. If you’re just going to continue with your life the same as before, why did you bother buying a ticket in the first place? Let someone else have a pop at the riches, you selfish arse; someone who’ll actually have the imagination to spend it. I know exactly what I’m going to be buying when my numbers come up (and I say ‘when’, not ‘if’ – I’ve been loyally playing for years and years, it’s bound to be my turn sooner or later). And it’s going to change me enormously. Because I’ll be wealthy as fuck.

A big house is first on the list. A bonkers Grand Designs affair in south-west London, all modern and futurey and that, with Kevin McCloud’s full approval – and what the hell, a country abode too; a lovely old manor house in the Cotswolds with an extravagantly large entrance hall and lots of super period features. And things carved from wood. And a big fucking hedge maze. It’ll be like a less scary version of The Shining.
I’ll buy a couple of dozen cars, and pay off all my friends’ credit card bills. I’ll build up a really good record collection, and a vast library of books. I’ll take my family around the world, creating a lifetime of happy holiday memories. Half the money can go to charity, because £100m is a stupid amount and no-one needs that much.

See, it’s not hard is it? I’m totally ready to be stinking rich, not like those lottoberks we see bumbling along Oxford Street, smoking Sovereigns like chimneys in their velour leisurewear, buying sale items in River Island, clearly totally unable to grasp the fact that they could buy the fucking shop and it’d barely make a dent in their wealth.
There should be some kind of aptitude test for buying lottery tickets. And there should be a tickbox at the bottom that says ‘I promise that I will let a jackpot win change me’. Because that is the point.



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