The view from the Whitsundays is a treat this morning. From my slow-swinging hammock I can see a breathtaking blend of ocean, beach, rainforest and reef, as I imagine the gridlocked cars of commuters heading into town for a day’s work, just as I used to head into town for a day’s work.

$70 million? That's nothing

But then I snapped up this private island with petty cash from my Oz Lotto win. I’ve left the place pretty much as it was, though I did have to chainsaw a few palm trees to make space for my runway and Versace windsock. (I made a seven-digit donation to Greenpeace to appease my conscience.)

In fact, as I speak down to you, my private jet is being readied by my personal pilot. I’m golfing in New Zealand this afternoon, before a few days in Hawai… AARRGGHH!! Sorry to startle you but Jeeves just spilt a fine-bone China cup of rare Tibetan tea all over my Savile Row budgie smugglers. Think I’ll fire the ignoramus. Or set the hounds upon him. He can swim to the mainland across the Coral Sea (aka my moat) just as soon as he’s finished peeling those grapes…

We’ve all daydreamed about our winning numbers coming up, about that big red ball rolling our way. Some of us go it alone, playing the same combination of birthdays and wedding anniversaries week in, week out.

Others are in Lotto syndicates at work, putting their hard-earned in the tin every week, safe in the knowledge that they probably won’t win but terrorised by the thought that if they skip a week their colleagues will triumph and they’ll be left answering their phones while they’re in some far-flung archipelago sending boastful postcards stained with caviar and cocktails.

I’m in one of those syndicates. Every so often we win some paltry amount that keeps us believing in the big one. It’s like a random caress from a partner who otherwise ignores you. When I recently went on leave I left enough money to cover the weeks I’d be away. I couldn’t bear the thought of returning to the office to find empty champagne bottles and a list of instructions.

Sadly, however, we are yet to hit the jackpot. And no doubt so are you. So let’s all plod along and hope we win tomorrow, or next week, or the week after that…

As a kid I was taught that money can’t buy happiness. Then I became an adult and realised it sure bloody helps. Even if you’ve never put money first, the rising cost of living and the global financial crisis keep buggering up my list of priorities and dislodging “swimming with dolphins” from first place.

In the past decade the average Australian’s water and sewerage costs have risen by 111 per cent, electricity by 103 per cent, secondary education 95 per cent, medical and hospital services 85 per cent, fuel 68 per cent and veggies 65 per cent. As an adult you screw up your face at the sight of greens for very different reasons than when you were a kid.

These cost of living pressures make that sign outside the newsagent singing of $70 million in one fell swoop more attractive than ever, and it entraps many of us like a deer in Xenon headlamps.
 
Okay, my Whitsundays whimsy is a tad over the top, and if I won I’d do all the sensible things we all swear we’d do if we won big, such as ensure our family members were comfortable, be charitable to charities, continue to help old ladies across the street, invest wisely, take a break from work but not quit, keep our feet on the ground and not let it change us.

Yep, it’d be regular ole me in that private jet.

Whoops. Sorry. See how tempting it is to dish out the dosh? It’s simply impossible to stay the same when they hand you that gargantuan cheque. Indeed, its size is symbolic. Try casually folding up that sucker, slipping it into your wallet and making a mental note to bank it next time you’re in town.

Keeping things in perspective must be difficult for overnight millionaires. Stories abound of lotto winners whose lives have been ruined rather than improved by an elephantine sum of money suddenly entering their lives.

Take Willie Hurt, for example, whose very name begs a question the answer to which is – yes, he will. The Michigan man won $3.1 million and within two years had divorced his wife, lost custody of his kids, was charged with murder and snorted the last of his winnings up his snoz.

Much better to win an amount that makes you comfortable rather than rich. A former colleague, with whom I wasn’t in a syndicate unfortunately, won Lotto twice. Each time he pocketed about $100,000, which he used to pay off his mortgage, educate his kids, and buy some broccoli.

That would be a sensible Lotto win. But who can blame us if our eyes light up when we see the Oz Lotto jackpot rollover to $70 million? Wouldn’t we all like to see if we could manage the big one?

I’ll tell you how I get on when I win it tomorrow.

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55 comments

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    • acotrel says:

      05:44am | 29/10/12

      ’ Jeeves just spilt a fine-bone China cup of rare Tibetan tea all over my Savile Row budgie smugglers’

      Another misogynist ?

    • nihonin says:

      06:45am | 29/10/12

      If you had said Jane instead, perhaps, there appears to be only one main misogynist (see Tonyist) round here, acotrel.  You must have some hang up on the guy, did he reject you or something sometime in the past?  This type of behaviour is usually associated with the stalkers.

    • TimB says:

      07:24am | 29/10/12

      The Macquarie dictionary has much to answer for.

      Poor Acotrel doesn’t know what any words mean anymore.

    • Bill says:

      07:27am | 29/10/12

      More of the sad obsession that acotrol has with Tony Abbott. I truly pity the guy come next election when Tony smashes that incompetent, back-stabbing liar Gillard and acotrol’s anger goes into overdrive.

      Stay clear of Benalla then, folks.

    • acotrel says:

      09:00am | 29/10/12

      ’ I truly pity the guy come next election when Tony smashes that incompetent, back-stabbing liar Gillard and acotrol’s anger goes into overdrive.’

      I’m going to emigrate to Greece. It would be a much better option than living in a country with that moron as leaders.

    • acotrel says:

      09:02am | 29/10/12

      @TimB
      ‘Poor Acotrel doesn’t know what any words mean anymore.’

      Yes I do:
      Misogynist - man with sore bottie.

    • acotrel says:

      09:05am | 29/10/12

      I think Abbott must have a great big dent in the top of his head where Gillard pecked him while she was kicking his backside ! Anyway it was not all bad, because now he is a GLOBAL JOKE !

    • masse says:

      09:26am | 29/10/12

      acotrel
      Everywhere this Abbott goes on the world stage, there will be whispering and pointing at the exposed sexist.
      Although I imagine he will be welcomed by the Mullah Mohammed Omar and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

    • LC says:

      09:49am | 29/10/12

      You know our government is bad when they lash out at the opposition and accuse the opposition leader of being a sexist with no evidence to back that up, while at the same time having no qualms at having a known misogynist (Slipper) on their team.

    • acotrel says:

      10:07am | 29/10/12

      @LC
      Your post gives me mixed messages.  Perhaps a licence is needed before calling a member of the LNP a misogynist , but not needed if you want to call a member of the ALP that ?
      Freedom of speech only applies to Alan Jones ?

    • LC says:

      10:19am | 29/10/12

      @actorel

      Nope. You just need evidence. Because this little thing known as defamation can apply when you shoot your mouth off about someone without backing it up with proof.

    • vivien says:

      10:33am | 29/10/12

      @acotrel
      Attention seeking again !

    • neo says:

      12:14pm | 29/10/12

      I hate you all. This was about winning the lotto… :(

    • Testfest says:

      12:42pm | 29/10/12

      And here I was, worrying that Acotrel had moved on to something new. Good to see you are continuing to flog the misogyny horse, old boy.

      Bear in mind that my previous advice is still good - feel free to spice things up with a bit of “sexist” or “patriarchy” or “chauvinist”.

      As always kids, remember what Uncle Acotrel says: “Vote Labor in 2013, because misogyny.”

    • nihonin says:

      01:05pm | 29/10/12

      ‘As always kids, remember what Uncle Acotrel says: “Vote Labor in 2013, because misogyny.”

      acotrel in 2013 is apparently going to vote for an independent, oh I forgot to mention, the independent has to preference the ALP too.  That’s if he still backs up what he states.

    • P. Walker says:

      02:51pm | 29/10/12

      Yes I do:
      “Misogynist - man with sore bottie.”

      It can only be acotrel auggesting that his bottie is twitching away once again pining for Abbott.  Get over it man, he’s turned you down.
      Some how it aint going to fit man, drop it!!

      You are going to have to get to know the Benalla pink community better or seek it out to get over your fetish of Abbott.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      06:42am | 29/10/12

      Well, sometimes i suppose we all dream of winning such a large amount of money from anywhere. But you are right, money doesn’t always buy happiness but it can help removing the financial hardships and also if people who are not used to handling large sums win then it has been seen to bring down their lives.

      I was thinking the other night re this and i thought of others first and how i could help them with the Oz lotto win if it came about and i think it was 40 million dollars. Firstly, my kids and Grandchildren and my friend who needs a place and charities such as the Lukemia foundation, hospitals and the underprivledged then i would buy myself and my girl a farm and head back to the land and maybe travel a bit more.

      How could one contemplate such a large sum belonging to them. But it doesn’t cost anything to dream and we can all do that and how wonderful it is even tho the money isn’t there at the moment. Dreams are great aren’t they?. You can close your eyes and in a flash be anywhere in the world in any situation that you want. The only thing about travelling is that you need a plane to take your body along, otherwise you can be anywhere at any time.

      Oz lotto is 50 million this tuesday. Buy a ticket. It you have one you have a chance and if your numbers come up well whahoo and as my name suggests well Youdy Beaudy.! I wish you all well with that and hope that it will make your dreams come true. Best wishes to all and good luck.!

    • nihonin says:

      07:08am | 29/10/12

      ‘I was thinking the other night re this and i thought of others first and how i could help them with the Oz lotto win if it came about and i think it was 40 million dollars. Firstly, my kids and Grandchildren and my friend who needs a place and charities such as the Lukemia foundation, hospitals and the underprivledged then i would buy myself and my girl a farm and head back to the land and maybe travel a bit more.’

      +1

    • patsy says:

      10:47am | 29/10/12

      @youdy beaudy-Oz lotto is $70 million tommorrow so your dreams just got a whole lot bigger.

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      06:57am | 29/10/12

      Sounds like the old adage “give your children just enough money so that they can do something with their lives but not so much that they do nothing with their lives”.
      But I JUST KNOW I can handle the ‘big one’ tomorrow night. The guy in Michigan was probably going to end up that way regardless, I would say.

    • Michael S says:

      07:15am | 29/10/12

      I’ll buy a ticket in it. I sometimes buy tickets when there’s a ridiculous jackpot on offer if I’ve got a bit of spare cash lying around. I don’t expect I’ll win, but I’m paying for a dream.

      But the big trick would be how to keep a big win secret. If you didn’t, you’d suddenly be innundated with aquaintances, people you hadn’t seen for years appearing out of the woodwork, and bombarded with requests for money from charities and shonky investment people.

    • Achmed says:

      08:17am | 29/10/12

      There are always the begging letters.  But as the Scotsman said to his missus after they won Lotto - keep sending them

    • LC says:

      09:27am | 29/10/12

      70 million would be a lot of money to keep under wraps. I can’t see anyone keeping that a secret for long. Especially considering that if you win the jackpot, you’ll probably find your name will make the paper.

      1-1.5 million, on the other hand…

    • vivien says:

      10:39am | 29/10/12

      @ Achmed
      “There are always the begging letters.”

      Winning such an amount of money would mean, it would be the only time I would take the time and read the begging letters, simply because I know I would be able to help in a meaningful way.

    • I hate pies says:

      02:36pm | 29/10/12

      ...and the lefties. They’ll be queuing up out the door - they love other peoples money.

    • Alex says:

      07:31am | 29/10/12

      Money wont buy me happyness, but I’d rather cry myself to sleep in a mansion.

    • Rebecca says:

      11:04am | 29/10/12

      Money does buy happiness and anyone who says otherwise is a liar. 6 months ago I was below the poverty line, but now I have a job and can afford my rent and food. Surprise surprise, I’m happier!

    • neo says:

      12:18pm | 29/10/12

      Money, on it’s own can never make anyone happy.

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:30pm | 29/10/12

      The only people who say “money doesn’t buy happiness”:
      1) Never had any money and don’t know what they’re talking about; or
      2) Were born with a lot of money and don’t know what it’s like to be poor; or
      3) Are financially clueless and need to speak with a financial planner to map out their future so they see the iceberg they’re heading toward; or
      4) Never had to work because someone else just gives them the things they want (usually because they married it)

      Enough money to buy you freedom from the rat race and a lot of cool toys = happiness

    • Rebecca says:

      02:32pm | 29/10/12

      Screw toys Tubesteak, I would travel to every country on earth (okay, most countries) and go on awesome adventures. Skydive, snowboard, swim with sharks. Maybe be a space tourist. All first class, of course.

      Sigh, a girl can dream. Back to my office cubicle!

    • neo says:

      06:00pm | 29/10/12

      I have a lot of money, but I only started being truly happy when I met my other half. Money is nothing without love.

    • Tubesteak says:

      06:48pm | 29/10/12

      Rebecca - Travel is ok. But I’d still need my Ferrari and big screen tv back home

      neo - being shackled to one woman is a waste of a lot of money

    • Mahhrat says:

      07:52am | 29/10/12

      “Money will not buy you happiness, but it will let you choose your own particular brand of misery.” - someone smarter than me.

    • fml says:

      10:58am | 29/10/12

      Unhappiness is unavoidable. I would rather be unhappy flying around the world first class and driving a ferrari than unhappy and struggling and poor.

    • Katherine says:

      08:02am | 29/10/12

      I think it was Spike Milligan who said “money won’t buy you friends but it will buy you a better class of enemies’.

    • patsy says:

      10:52am | 29/10/12

      And Wallce Simpson, Duchess of Windsor said, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” I’ve got the thin bit down but I’d like too try the rich part now.

    • Sarah says:

      08:09am | 29/10/12

      “In the past decade the average Australian’s water and sewerage costs have risen by 111 per cent, electricity by 103 per cent, secondary education 95 per cent, medical and hospital services 85 per cent, fuel 68 per cent and veggies 65 per cent.”

      Why are these statistics always bandied about without also mentioning the corresponding rise in average wages, the drop in taxes over the last 10 years, etc?
      Yes, some things cost a bit more, but many things cost a bit less and we now earn more than we used to. OK, some very expensive things (like $2000 TVs) are now seen as “neccessary” whereas 10 yrs ago they were a luxury we were happy to forgo but that’s choice not a need.
      It’s really not THAT big a deal.

    • HereComesDaJudge says:

      10:24am | 29/10/12

      Sarah, you poor ignorant sweet thing!

      The percentage of take home pay that is available just for “spending” is what it all comes down to at days end!

      Before Julia and her incompetent gang destroyed our Australia, the average family (according toGovernment statistics, if you believe them) advised this percentage of “spendies money” was hovering around the 25% of the nett take home pay, but now, inspite of your rankings over increased salaries etc, it is now down to 15% and that is a truly massive drop!

      The number of families now on or near the poverty line is approaching 45% or, almost every second person is living on the edge!

      Australia is the most expensive country in the world to live in, and all this since Labor took power! Wow, what an achievement!

    • fml says:

      11:08am | 29/10/12

      HereComesDaJudge,

      I think you need to revise your definition of poverty.

      “The number of families now on or near the poverty line is approaching 45%” Are you saying that nearly half of Australians are living on or near the poverty line? Because, that is simply not true.

    • George says:

      09:05am | 29/10/12

      If work was that good the rich would take more of it for themselves.

      If I had 70 million I’d get a rolls royce and do doughnuts in it in front of Juliars place late at night. Maybe chew up her lawn.

    • LC says:

      09:34am | 29/10/12

      What a waste of good engineering. Buy a Toyota Aurion and do it with that instead. God knows they need the sales. raspberry

    • LC says:

      09:18am | 29/10/12

      Actually, if one was in massive amounts of debt, and having to work two jobs to keep a roof over their family’s heads, food on their tables and electicity to power their home (and so on and so forth), then arguably the money could by them happiness. Not having to stress to much over debt and havign more time to spend with your family would make anybody in that position happy.

      If I won, being able to finally afford to get out of this rental unit in Middleofnowhereistan, Melbourne and to somewhere closer to civlization may make me happy. I don’t need the 70 million, just 1.25-1.5 million will get me into a comfortable place closer to the CBD, get my car a mechanical restoration by a professional, get my fiancee something nice for her birthday, with change to invest for my future. If that’s all I get, then I’ll be more than happy, I’ll be estatic!

    • fml says:

      11:12am | 29/10/12

      Yep 1.5 million is all I would need, I would buy three properties at about 500k each, rent them out then get a mortgage for the place I really wanted and allow those three properties to pay the mortgage off.

      I would still work, though I wouldn’t be so stressed and would maybe even consider a change of career and to work part time, maybe in a more physical job. Of course, nothing is stopping me from doing this now (Except the 1.5 mill), it would just take much longer.

    • gnome says:

      10:41am | 29/10/12

      I hope whoever runs the Lotto thing has paid you well for this article.

    • Baloo says:

      10:52am | 29/10/12

      I want to buy a ticket but I have no money :(

    • HereComesDaJudge says:

      12:04pm | 29/10/12

      If I won the big one,  the begging letters would certainly become an issue ........... think I’d just keep sending them out all the same!

    • Gordon says:

      12:11pm | 29/10/12

      The addiction of our State governments to the licensed fraud that is mass-consumption gambling is a sad state of affairs. Yes, I know it’s voluntary, and good luck to those who enjoy it.

    • Jasmine says:

      12:38pm | 29/10/12

      “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, and rich is better” - Mae West.

    • Wickerman says:

      12:52pm | 29/10/12

      Money might not buy me happiness, but it will buy a damn good substitute. Then again, isnt gambling just a tax on the mathmatically ignorant?

    • Sam says:

      01:03pm | 29/10/12

      My dad used to say, “If I win lotto tonight, I will ring everyone I know and assure them I haven’t won anything.”

    • Rebecca says:

      02:37pm | 29/10/12

      I’d only tell my parents. Buy them a nice retirement property in, say, Italy or France. Let them live their dream after 22 years of the nightmare that was raising me wink

      Apart from that, telling friends and extended relatives would be a very silly idea!

    • Steve of QBN says:

      01:12pm | 29/10/12

      While $70m is a whole lotto cash smile I only need $500k to pay out all my debts. After that, it’s all cream.  Would I say no to 70 mil?  Not on your life.

    • youdy beaudyc says:

      06:42pm | 29/10/12

      Well, Nihoan and Patsy, Thanks for the positive vibes there. I hope that you have bought a ticket and you win something for yourselves. A lot of money to be sure.

      We live in hope that our fortunes will change for the better and i’m sure that if you win you will do the right thing. Good wishes to you both and i hope that you are successful in yours resolve. Bye Youdy.

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      01:49pm | 08/01/13

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