A few weeks back, it was collectively decided that 'we' would buy a lottery ticket (not something that normally happens around here) because in the big scheme of things, we were just as likely to win the almighty £42 million as anybody else.
I figured you could do a lot of damage with £42,000,000 so I sat down to figure out what I would actually do with it... which as a 'non-consuming kind of guy' was quite revealing. Here's what my frivolous list shaped up like:
1. For the longest time now, top of my list if I ever came into a decent amount of cash, has been to buy an apartment that would double as an office on the top floor of The Grand in Folkestone - which is more or less where H.G. Wells dished out his best works. Cost of that is around £350,000 and to round it up with fixing up the insides so it looked like 221B Baker Street, brought it to £500,000. Half a million down, £41,500,000 to go - though I'm guessing a house with a lot of rooms would really be on the cards with that kind of money. Eleanor would make sure of that.
2. A new car. Not that I need one really - I like my car - but given that I have £42,000,000 to play with, it would be dumb not to. I'm not even sure what I'd buy given that amount of disposable income. Maybe something in which Hector can't put his paws over my eyes from the back seat when he gets excited when we get near the beach. For now, I'd grab a Volvo XC60 and drive it into the ground - which knowing Volvo, would probably take the rest of my life. The XC60 is £50,000 off the shelf. Man... how do people afford new cars? There's a guy up my street with one - his wife takes the kids to school in it which is an extravagant if not wasteful use of a 4x4. Maybe I'm not thinking out of the box enough but millionaire or not, Hector would still want to do the same things.
I should really be thinking electric. I'm sure if I actually had £42m I'd have more than enough time on my hands to research it properly.
3. I'm struggling now, so I'm just going to put £100,000 in my current account just to not have to think about anything in the short term... I'm not even sure I'd spend more than £10,000 of this pocket money on guitars.
4. With my iniital 'cravings' satsified, I would of course help out my family and friends in the short term by paying off mortgages and things like that but even that doesn't dent it much. Maybe I would round up some friends and go see Kiss in New York and other similar 'bloody hell I've won £42,000,000' type things...
So far, at the absolute most, I think I have spent something like £2 million and I don't know what else to do with it, thus:
Item 5: I wrote, "Put the £40,000,000 somewhere useful and live your life. Travel and make sure everybody you care about is taken care of financially...". I'm sure I'd feel good about this but it's hardly changing the world in the way I always wanted to.
Anyway, I didn't win £42 million (in fact nobody won the £42 million) and that's OK. I'd really like that apartment at The Grand but it's no big deal. The car? I need to put a couple of new tyres on the car I do have this week but it's as solid as it ever was and I still wouldn't be able to play difficult songs yet no matter what guitar I bought.
Easy come, easy go right?
I think what I'd most appreciate about that kind of money is the freedom to live my life in the physical world the way I do in my head. I'd still go and see Venom and No Time To Die next month (though I might buy all the tickets so idiots didn't annoy us). I'd still want to finish the book I'm reading but getting around the world would definitely become a big thing. I would still want to write about the things I see in it and would have the same battles in my head over getting the work out there. I'd still write supernatural murder ballads for kicks.
Just because you're a multi-millionaire, doesn't mean people would want to listen - or not listen - to the things you have to say any more than if you were hoping you could make this months pay cheque last all the way to the next.
Business as usual then - more or less. As time went on, maybe I could figure out a way to deal in rare antiquarian occult books around the world and open a used books store called The Ninth Gate in a forgotten corner of a cool European city or New York and be known as 'the book guy with the raven tattoos who publishes his own work' because you can't ignore the things in your heart no matter how much money you happen upon.
It's an interesting experiment - go find a pen and be honest with yourself and £42,000,000.
I've not finished with the exercise yet but what I have learned from it, is that most things you want - if you're not being a total dick about the money - are actually well within your grasp. It's just stuff that looks great or is in better condition than the stuff you've already got and trust me... nobody cares what you've got if you're unable to have a coffee with somebody for more than five minutes without them thinking you're a fool.
So cheer the hell up out there. Screw taking a chance on a six numbered game of thrones you're unlikely to win and start living.
The world is waiting and the clock is ticking.
The clock is always ticking.