No harm in dreaming!

So, say you won that big lottery jackpot, a fabulous £165,000,000, or perhaps £65,000,000, or even just £2,900,000, what would you do?  With a huge recent rollover in the Euromillions draw it's been something I've been thinking about, especially when some of those numbers did, indeed, come up. Not that this week's win – a grand total of £9.50 – could really be called life-changing. But it's nice to dream. And we all do that, right?

Obviously, what you might choose to do would depend on just how much money you win. But assume this: your win is a very large sum of money. So much money that you need never worry about money again. And that, given good health, it's enough money to allow yourself just about any treat, trip or indulgence you could want. What would be top of  your list?

Would you move house? Would you buy that antique diamond ring you've always dreamed about? Would you buy into your local football club? Or set up a business? My father and I have often had this game where we'd imagine we ran a restaurant. A restaurant that, of course, was perfect in every way. We'd imagine what the decor would be like, what kind of menu we'd serve, how formal it would be and how the background music would sound. For me, it would be elegant, yet laid-back. With immaculate service, but never stuffy. It would be a great casual lunch spot, and a perfect dinner-date place. People would go there for special celebrations, or simply to hang out with their friends. A place for couples and for families and even for those dining alone, it would be buzzing with atmosphere, while still maintaining a classy calmness. It would serve the very best dishes from many cuisines from Scandinavian to Mexican and would execute every dish to perfection. And where good old fish, chips and mushy peas would sit happily alongside the very fanciest cuisine. Wherever possible it would use locally-sourced produce.

And, of course, it would be my 'ideal' restaurant. The one I search for every time I visit a new city, a new country. One which probably doesn't yet exist. But which could, given that little bit of luck with the lottery numbers. Of course, what constitutes my perfect restaurant, differs from the one my Dad imagines. It'll almost certainly be quite different to the one you'd like to visit, or the one your neighbour prefers. And, of course, while money can buy lots and lots of things, it certainly can't buy perfection. At least not a perfection on which everyone agrees.

And what if you acquire that piece of 'perfection' thanks to that lottery win, and after a while your tastes change, or your needs alter? Well, I suppose if you really had that amount of money then you'd be able to change things to suit. But might there be a danger of becoming bored all too easily once you don't have to live with something until you've saved up enough to change it?

I've considered this too. And I think, in many ways, that's why I've begun to imagine what type and location of house I might want to invest in, should those lucky numbers do the trick. Rather than an idea, a fantasy, that house could be something tangible, something real and practical and, let's face it, sensible. I'd definitely want room for a greenhouse, a decent potting shed, and a wood-fired pizza oven. Okay, I admit, I'm starting to veer away from the sensible again, but I can't help it. It's just so difficult to be sensible when faced with the prospect of all that money. Which is, I suppose, precisely why organisations who run lotteries, like Camelot in the UK, offer advisors and counsellors to those who have huge wins. And I like to think that, should I ever be in that position, I'd behave quite sensibly. Yes, I might have an initial splurge, but with things the way they are these days, and the precarious state of the world's finances, my first priority would be to bullet-proof myself and those I loved from the tumult of the markets. And then worry about what kind of fun I could have. 

And some of you might argue that it's tempting fate even to consider what I might do with money that I have yet to win. And perhaps you're right. But are there really any of us, at least amongst those that 'do' the lottery, who haven't considered what we might do with our winnings? It's human nature, and it's really part of the fun. And it's just a little bit practical too. After all, it'd be silly not to be at least a little bit prepared …