Lotto fever hit our house this week. With the Euromillions jackpot skyrocketing above the £160 million mark I made sure I was top of the queue to buy my ticket before lying back on my bed and fantasizing about what I would do if such a fortune were to make its way into my life.
Generally I don’t ever like to enter into Lotto winning fantasies. There is a part of my brain which says if God sees you wanting something too much he won’t give it to you... but this week is different. This week I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time thinking about the champagne lifestyle I could lead if my numbers came up.
Now I won’t get all holier than thou. It goes without saying that a decent portion would go to family and friends and several charities would benefit. Now that we have that out of the way, here’s a more honest rundown of what a difference the money would make to my life.
“Joseph,” I asked the boy as we chatted. “If I won the Euromillions you could have anything in the world that you wanted.” His eyes widened and he looked at me in wonder. “Really?”
“Could I have a full Derry City kit then?” he asked as I nodded and told him that if I won £150 million I would buy him a full Derry City... never mind just the kit.
My own ambitions were not as cute nor as humble. I’d buy a certain house in Donegal where I just spent a weekend with my family. And I’d definitely upgrade our current living arrangements from our bijoux and compact terraced house in the Waterside to something boasting a large garden, perhaps a football pitch for the boy (if only to save my windows) and my very own writing quarters. (Not just a room, you see... I’ll have quarters complete with a kitchenette stocked with wine and chocolate and some token fruit. I’ll also have a massage table and a hunky masseuse on hand at all times to knead out of the kinks in my neck from all that hunching over a laptop). We’d have a (indoor) swimming pool and I’d have a dressing room, with Hollywood starlet type lights around my dressing table.
My car would be upgraded from slightly battered (thanks to the feckers who used it as a dancefloor on Saturday night) family sensible car to something a little sportier which would be declared a child-free zone. My children could be ferried around by a chauffeur who wouldn’t be easily offended by their squabbling/ incessant nursery rhymes/ faint whiff of cheesey Wotsits.
I would buy a pair of Louboutin’s - or two pairs of Louboutins. Sparkly ones which I would find impossible to walk in but which would make my feet look amazing. I would revel in the fact that my most expensive pair of shoes now cost more than £35 from Next and I would carry out an exceptional amount of toe waggling.
I’d get veneers on my teeth. I would also, given my pathological fear of dentists, pay someone to knock me out at an unexpected time and take me there and get all the work done without me knowing it was going to happen.
I’d travel - in style. No Ryanair not-so-cheap flights for me. It would be first class all the way and I’d see places in the world I’d only ever dreamed about. I’d buy George Clooney. Honest. And perhaps a cameo role in Grey’s Anatomy where McSteamy realises he is passionately in love with a chubby Irish girl who speaks funny (on account of getting used to her new veneers).
I’d hire a team of cleaners so that I would never need to lay eyes on, never mind hands on, the Toilet Duck or the iron again. It would be nothing short of bliss - pure unadulterated bliss.
Of course there will be those who will say, rightly, that money cannot buy you happiness. And I don’t dispute this for a second. Money can’t cure all ills. It can’t stop your toddler thinking that four in the morning is play time especially when you are exhausted. It doesn’t protect those you love or ensure that you will always be loved and cared for.
I imagine being disgustingly wealthy makes it hard to really know who to trust any more or how to know who really wants to be your friend for all the right reasons.
All that said, I could do with a little comfort in my misery. I’d like not to have the occasional need to hit the Credit Union for a loan. I would love to have the time to watch my children grow up properly. (And not have my son lay on the mega guilt trip because mammy is working and it’s the summer holidays and “It’s. Just. Not. Fair.”).
I’d love to book them that dream holiday to Florida and be like the smug parents in the ads on the TV who watch their children jump around with the glee at the notion of getting to meet Mickey Mouse. (As lovely as the Downings is, the reactions when an announcement is made that we’re off for the weekend to Donegal is not quite at the same level).
It would be hard not to spoil my children with material things, but it would make it exceptionally easy for me to spoil them with my time and attention.
And I’d really love those Louboutins. Promise, if my numbers come up tonight I will buy youse all a drink!