‘That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.’ That’s husband Bill speaking and if you’re following my writing you’ll know it’s something he says often. Especially to me.
‘It’s true,’ I say, ‘I hope we don’t win.’
We are sitting at the table and Bill is hunched over a 10-number auto pick ticket with a pen, marking off the lottery numbers that have just been drawn.
His eyes bug out of his head. ’70 million dollars! How could you honestly say you don’t want that? We can get a fancy house, a fancy car… I’d get a kick-arse boat with a crew!’
‘It’ll just cause problems. And it’s not like I’m unhappy right now.’
What would it be like to win 70 million dollars?
Bill puts down his pen for a moment, leans back in his chair and folds his hands behind his head.
‘For one, I’d buy us a massive house. Big enough for us and Baby Prince G and all the dogs you want. On the waterfront.’
I shrug. ‘Crime’s pretty high there. We’d have to start locking the front door. And a big house sounds hard to clean.’
‘We’d get a cleaner! And a security guard. Hell, we’d get 5 security guards! And a black Mercedes C63, but I’d never have to clean it either ‘cause I’d get a car man to look after it.’
I take it this Mercedes C63 has room for the Prince G’s car seat?
‘Hell no! Babies aren’t allowed in the coupe! He can come in the Lamborghini. A yellow one. He’d like that. But that would be for Sunday drives only… it’d be too nice to park in town. So we’d need a round-the-town car.’
He picks the pen up again, and goes back to marking off numbers.
‘There’s no way you’d be happy with a cleaner. They’d never do a good enough job.’
‘If they didn’t I’d sack them.’
You’d spend your days hiring and firing staff?
‘That sounds painful. It’d be a fulltime job just doing that!’
‘Think of all the awesome holidays and parties we’d have. We could tell everyone to come away with us for a week on our yacht!’
‘They’d have to find babysitters and get time off work… that wouldn’t happen.’
I feel tired just thinking of all the responsibility. I feel pretty tired to start with. I suspect Prince G might be teething. And 70 million isn’t going to stop that.
Would I have to start wearing make-up?
‘I couldn’t be a passenger in a Lamborghini dressed like this?’ I look down at my baggy pajama pants and Bill’s old t-shirt.
I shudder at the thought of having to move my personal appearance up my ladder of priorities. You could say I like my comforts.
‘You see Bill, money would not make me any happier. And that’s the goal here, right? I have everything I could possibly need, right here. A nicer house and a few more holidays would be good.’
But it’s not like they’d make me significantly happier.
I recently read on Wait But Why an article about why Gen Y are unhappy. The bit that stuck for me was that happiness occurs when your reality is better than your expectations, and sadness is when your expectations are higher than your reality. The 70 million would certainly increase expectations, but the improvement on reality couldn’t be guaranteed.
I have an idea. ‘In fact, what’d make me happier is donating 65 million to charity and helping thousands of people instead.’ The other 5 million I could handle without having to hire staff or alienate my friends.
Bill rolls his eyes.
To say we have differing thoughts on charity donations is an understatement.
‘But Kitty,’ he says ‘the best thing of all is that we’d never have to work again!’
I put my elbows on the table and rest my chin in my hands. ‘I reckon I’d keep working. I like my job.’
I almost see the steam rise from Bill’s ears.
‘Now that,’ he says, ‘is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!’
He grunts and throws the pen down on the table with a clatter.
‘It doesn’t matter anyway. We didn’t win a thing.’
I actually feel relieved.
But I don’t tell him that. I’ve stirred him up enough for one night.
I simply stand up, kiss him goodnight on the forehead and head off to bed.
6 responses to “More money, more problems: why I don’t want to win the lottery.”
Jessie, love the wisdom and the humorous way you’ve presented it. So many of us live in the past (with regrets, bitterness or guilt over things we can’t change) or in the future (things will be better when … ) which has no bearing on reality. Live in the moment and be contented with what you have is a sure way to wellbeing.
Absolutely Di! Not always easy to do but certainly something to aspire to…
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I remember this lottery draw, i didn’t win either but I had the same conversations and my old father used to say the same as you, only he’d say it would ruin everything wouldn’t to have to deal with that much money….good point.
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