Sunday, July 17, 2011

A dream that could become a nightmare

Colin and Christine Weir from Largs in Scotland won £161million on the Euromillions lottery and decided to go public with their win because they feared that keeping it a secret would involve lying to their relatives.

The problem for them now is that everyone knows where they live. Already the postman has sacks of begging letters and their house is being constantly watched by curious observers. Every time they leave the house and walk down the street, they will feel the glare upon them. A trip to the local fish and chip shop for their favourite take away will be no longer possible.

In an attempt to flee all of this, the couple have escaped to Spain with their children but clearly that is just a temporary measure. Like all big winners, they have said things like, “we have no intention of moving house” but they will. However much they love their home town and the house they have, their lives will become increasingly impossible for them if they stay there.

There are going to be lots of tempting possibilities for the Weirs, with that sort of cash in the bank they could buy any property they liked but would that suit them and would they fit in? Without the acquired social graces, it will be difficult for them to just slot in with the class of people who already own that sort of money.

The Weirs will also find that they have friends that they they never knew and many of those that they did know will be wary of them. Growing up with the rich is one thing, suddenly becoming one of them is something else.

We all have aspirations but they are usually just beyond our means. We might dream of a better car or of a bigger house but not of owning a Buggati or a stately mansion. Being able to go well beyond our expectations must be very hard to handle.

Having that sort of money overnight can surely bring as many problems as solutions. Presumably the pair were happy with their lives before the big win, will they be as happy now afterwards? I really am not sure on this one, I think a more modest win would be easier to cope with. This may sound stupid but I’d rather win a few million, I could deal with that.

PS Since I don't even buy a ticket, even that is not going to happen!

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