Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

I'm so glad I didn't win Euromillions - aren't you?

And so the massivest, soddingest lottery win imaginable has gone to a plump West of Scotland couple who plan to spend it responsibly and stay in their "nice wee house". For this, I am truly relieved. Not for their sakes, you understand, but for my own.

The £161m Euromillions jackpot, which accrues interest of around 15 grand a day, has gone to Chris and Colin Weir, whose immediate indulgence was a bottle of celebratory wine at home in Largs, Ayrshire.

The mother of two, who is 55 and retired as an NHS senior manager in psychiatric nursing because of ill health, has said that they won't spend it recklessly. For once, it just might be true. Chris said: "I worked for 37 years in the public sector. It is very easy to throw money around, but we will give in a planned way. We are not afraid of this money. It seems mammoth, it is absolutely fantastical, but we will enjoy it."

Her 64-year-old husband, Colin, who had given up his job as a television cameraman to care for her, says despite their new-found fortune he'll be sticking with his six-year-old motor. "If you have a reliable car, what is the point of changing?" he asked the assembled media. "You don't want to break down."

It is hard to imagine such parsimony had the Euromillions winner been Italian or Greek. Or from Romford. Or me.

Oh, I was dying to enter. I had read all about how this was going to be Europe's biggest lottery win ever. I actually kept myself awake one night last week making mental lists of all the things I would do once I got the cash. But when it came down to it, the thought of winning scared and thrilled me so much I decided it best to keep my blood pressure down by not actually buying a ticket. (So inevitable was my winning, you see.)

Of course, I was full of very worthy ideas, about how I would use it to refurbish every school in Hackney and fund campaigns for political reform "after buying myself a few houses". But let's face it, those few properties would have involved multiple reconnaissance missions to the Balearic Islands, the Hollywood Hills and some tropical Central American swamplands to "investigate and maximise" thoroughly my "real estate opportunities".

This, in turn, would doubtless have left me with an industrial-strength cocaine habit and a horde of hangers-on to rival the entire cast of The Only Way Is Essex.

Remember that early lottery winner from Norfolk who became regular tabloid fodder after the money went to his head? He ended up spending most of his winnings on drugs, gambling and prostitutes. On the way, he collected an Asbo, a failed marriage, an empty bank account and the RSPCA coming after his 10 neglected dogs. There, but for the grace of God, would have gone I.

And so it is right and proper that it has gone to a lovely couple who have joked about trying for another baby, since they are now as wealthy as Posh and Becks.

I know you may be weeping into your toast just thinking about all the things you would have done with that much money, but spare the tears.

You would, in truth, have grown as fat and constipated as Elvis, as bewildered as Robbie Williams in his lost years, as hopeless as Jim Davidson sitting and weeping in his mock Tudor mansion as his latest marriage goes the way of all flesh. If anybody in the world could be said to be deserving of 161m quid, which of course they can't, because the whole thing is completely and utterly bonkers, it's the Weirs of Largs.

To paraphrase that Feed the World song, tonight, thank God, it's them, instead of us.

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