Many people dream of winning the lottery jackpot, for a very few people each week this dream actually becomes achievable, in an instant your financial worries are no longer holding you back, the world is now within your reach, everything you ever wanted is now easily available to you, the best of the best. This may not be as luxurious as it seems, will your dreams turn to nightmares? How would you cope with such a colossal change? In this essay I will attempt to explore the positive and negative sides to winning a large sum of money. Will money make you happy or not?
The greatest advantage to winning such a large amount of money is the spending power, which comes with it, the access to almost every product on the market, giving you the highest quality of life which money has to offer. You may purchase any item without worrying if you may find it cheaper somewhere else. In a Channel Four documentary ‘Cutting Edge’ a number of lottery winners and lottery addicts talked about their wins, losses and lifestyles. Lee Ryan won 6. 5 million pounds on the National Lottery; he said it gave him and his family the chance to turn their ‘dreams into reality’ and that ‘Money enables you to do things.
Before Lee Ryan’s big win, him and his family lived on a council estate, and he had a history of dealing in stolen vehicles. Soon after he won the money he moved out of the council house into a large mansion with several acres of garden, a heated swimming pool, and a fleet of expensive sports cars. Many people dream of living a life of luxury like the Ryan’s, however, many people’s only chance of turning their dreams into reality, is to play the lottery and hope for the jackpot.
The lottery jackpot is always perceived of as being a colossal change in lifestyles, however this is not so true as found by ‘Woman’s Own Magazine’ when Elaine and Derek Thompson won 2. 7 million pounds on the National Lottery. Instead of indulging them selves in a life of luxury, Derek still gets up to go to work as an accountant, at 6:30 in the morning, but not in a Ferrari or Rolls-Royce, but instead he chooses to go in his normal road car. The Thompson’s win had only brought even more happiness to them. When you win a large sum of money financial worries instantly become an issue of the past.
Your mind may now rest with the knowledge that each morning when the bills come through the mailbox, you can pay them without worrying about the damage caused to your balance in your account. Paying off your mortgage in one easy payment is a great advantage, but for most people paying off your mortgage may perhaps take a lifetime. Knowing that you may have a fruitful future and have many great times ahead of you without the constant pressure of financial matters, this alone would make the family atmosphere a more comfortable and stress free environment, as Mel Addison and her family found when she won 2. million pounds on the National lottery, in the ‘Cutting Edge’ programme Mel explained that it ‘makes life more comfortable’.
Another major advantage of winning a large sum of money is the independence and extravagance, a ‘Passport out of the rat race’. The days are now yours to do whatever you wish, if you choose not to work, which is most winners’ decision. Your day may consist of what ever you desire, maybe a day filled with exciting adrenaline rush activities, such as white water rafting, or hang gliding. Or maybe just a day of relaxation at a health farm.
Your evenings are yours knowing that you don’t have to be up early the next morning to go to the office. Many multi-millionaires help charities such as Children in Need. Many ordinary people would like to give money to charity, but with very little spare time and not an awful lot of money loitering in their bank accounts, this may be very difficult. This is not however the case for most lottery winners, now charity work could become your purpose and could bring you great joy in knowing that your luck and good fortune is going directly to those in need.
Lee Ryan was to experience this great joy, as he was soon to leave England on charity work in Africa and in particular Sudan. This makes Mr. Ryan feel more worthwhile and has replaced his normal work job. With all that cash creating interest in your bank account and with little to do but sit around your heated swimming pool sipping gin and tonic, you might like to pick up a new hobby to fill your free time in with. Numerous millionaires become members of very expensive sports clubs and associations. Many hobbies can be taken up which would otherwise be once in a lifetime experiences mostly due to their expense.
Lee Ryan decided to take up helicopter flying in his own private helicopter, for his children he was creating a motor-cross track in their garden, and for his wife a top of the market six-hob cooker was being installed in the kitchen. Winning a large quantity of money gives you freedom to do as you wish, at almost any cost, the world becomes your oyster. Imagine visiting exotic locations all over the world and staying in the best holiday resorts on the beach, at any time you like. Or take your private motor yacht on a cruise of the Mediterranean. This would be an experience, which would probably not be possible prior to the win.
Because of the popularity of the National Lottery throughout England, any jackpot win naturally attracts the attention of the press and media, this fame and publicity may only last for a week or so until the next person strikes it lucky, as Andy Warhol commented ‘Fifteen minutes of fame’. Numerous newspapers and magazines publish stories about Lottery winners, most of these stories are of the unhappiness created by a lottery win, this creates negative publicity about the lottery when very few Lottery winners become unhappy due to their win, as it is mostly only shocking stories which are published.
Winning a large sum of money not only gives you and your family the most excellent clothes, lifestyle, and treatment, but it can also give your children better education opportunities, this may mean sending them to a private school, or for some parents boarding school may be the preferred choice. Private healthcare is a further major benefit of winning a large amount of money creates, you would normally have to wait on a waiting list, for treatment on the NHS, it may be expensive to receive private treatment, but this removes the waiting time.
This is a great benefit if a family member urgently needs medical treatment. Despite all these positive points the are still bad points to winning a large amount of money, some points are more directly related to the win, some are less direct. One of the most obvious disadvantages is the media and press harassment, this can be very traumatic and frustrating. The press may attempt to dig up your past to try and find some dirt on you that would look good on the front page of the local paper, as Lee Ryan found when several tabloid newspapers published articles about his past history of dealing in stolen vehicles.
His wife told the ‘Cutting Edge’ documentary, you ‘become public property if you win the lottery’, they later had to move house, as they felt that they needed more privacy. Lee Ryan felt that an outstanding court case for exporting two stolen cars out of England and selling them, was badly influenced by the awful publicity, which he received from the tabloid newspapers, and he was certain that because of this media attention he had been given an unfair and imbalanced trial.
He was later found guilty and sentenced to eighteen months in jail. When you win the lottery, the moment you cash that cheque into your bank account you are no longer in the same class as you previously were, this wealth means that you will no longer be treated in the same manner as you formerly were. Shop clerks who recognise you from their local paper may treat you very differently, knowing that you can afford the best of the best and may perhaps try to overcharge you.
Your family and friends will most likely be the most affected by your win, they no longer see you as an equal to them, and may feel inferior to you, as found by a friend of the Ryan’s when she visited their lavish new mansion, and mentioned that it ‘feels like I live in a shed’ and that it was like ‘walking into the Queen’s palace’ as she approached the large chandelier in the hall way. You may well think that it would be a generous and less selfish of you to distribute a portion of your winnings amongst your good friends and family, though this may just make them feel like a charity case and even more inferior to you.
This immense change has occurred so rapidly that you hardly have had the time to realise that you no longer feel that you are on the same wavelength as your friends, due to the difference in your bank balances, although you may find that you have very little in common with the people in your new class, as they may feel that you are have done nothing to earn the money when they have worked so hard and for so long and you may possibly find that you are now socially unaccepted in both classes.
It is very important to teach your children the importance of money at an early age, but this is made more difficult if the child is brought up within a wealthy family. The child may not understand the importance of their education, if they know that their parents will always be there to help them financially, and bail them out of any difficult situations. Therefore money must be invested sensibly. The parents must also be cautious that they do not spoil the child with the best of everything, as this may make the child even less aware of the value of money.
Carol Cartman and her boyfriend were both addicted to buying scratch cards, they both had an agreement that anything they won, they would keep it to themselves and not share it between each other. That was the agreement until Carol scratched fifty thousand pounds on a Lottery scratch card. The boyfriend Stefan Brunaski demanded eighteen thousand pound in cheques, which he claimed they were for several different bills, and gift for his brother of two thousand pound.
She then refused to pay him the money arguing that ‘I won the money not you’ and ended the relationship. Stefan threatened to take her to court if she didn’t pay up, but Carol was determined not to give in to him, this was until he started sending threatening letters to her and threw a brick through her house window. The lottery is an immense change for anyone, but could you handle it? Because it may change your life for the worst as many people have found, the lottery has fallen responsible for many relationship break ups, family breakdowns and crises.
It may not all be easy going, the fear of an unexpected danger, what if something goes drastically wrong? Would all the sudden change all be too much for you? Lisa Tuckley is a single mother of three, is unemployed, on income support and is addicted to lottery scratch cards, as she feels that it is the only escape from the poverty, which she dwells in. Shy can barely pay her house bills and afford to look after her children, but she can’t stop buying the scratch cards in fear that the ticket she doesn’t buy will be a winner.
The most she has ever one is twenty-five pounds, even this made her shake and she felt faint. If she had one the jackpot she would have probably not been able to take such a large alteration. My final conclusion after examining all the evidence within this essay, is that whether or not winning a large amount of money makes you happy, depends ultimately upon the stability of your relationship amongst your friends and family, and the sensibility of your spending, also your capability and adaptability to vast change.
I am certain that winning a lot of money would make me happy as I am in no doubt that I could handle the immense change in the standard of living, and I could manage media interference. I have always been a wise spender and the lottery would be no exception. No matter what happened I would be sure that winning a large amount of money wouldn’t upset my relationship with my friends and family, as they are more important than money and material matter, nevertheless I would still have great pleasure in living a lavish standard of living and spending the money, in a wise manner of course.