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## A fifth of a BILLION euros

The EuroMillions lottery has bumped up its prize to a staggering €200,000,000 (count those zeros!). Even more astonishing is that this Friday will be the third draw. Nobody has won it yet.
To give a clue as to how many people must be playing, the second tier prize (5+1) was €5,684,144 on Tuesday. Usually it is something in the order of 180-320 thousand depending on how many people win. A month ago on the 10th of November, two people won just under 280K. Yesterday, four people won 5.68 million.
Of course, that lucky number ball makes all the difference. If you had all five numbers but no star number, you would "only" have won €19,431.
Sure, it's a decent amount for a €2,50 ticket, but there's a ridiculous disparity in the five-number prizes between zero, one, and two stars. Nineteen thousand, five and a half million, a fifth of a billion...

As for what to do with it... well, there's the problem. The wise thing to do would be to drop a few million into a bank account for a "restrained" spending spree (restrained as in "not blowing fifty mil on a private jet just because you can), and invest the rest. Even very conservative investment (1%) would bring in just short of two million a year. If we then imagine that the government screws you for 75% taxation, you'd still "earn" just under five hundred thousand a year doing absolutely nothing (and still have €195,000,000 tucked away). That's forty grand a month. A nice holiday? Like, all the time? A decent non-poser car? Like, every month?

I suppose the real answer to that question depends entirely upon the person. Every so often the newspapers run stories of absolutely miserable lottery winners that have either managed to blow all their money on stupid stuff (concept cars that depreciate faster than they can be driven, lots of alcohol and drugs, etc) or still have a tidy amount of money and are suspicious, paranoid, alone, and deeply unhappy.

Me? Well, assuming I don't have a heart attack and die, the first thing I'd do is put the kettle on. A realisation of winning a sum like that would need tea. Lots of tea.
Afterwards? I guess I'd make plans to fix this place up. I'd also tell my boss that I would like to wear headphones and listen to music while I'm working on my own, and no more dealing with pure chemicals. Somebody else can take those risks. And I'd get a new car. New Aixam are shockingly expensive. But somehow I doubt ~16K would be noticed.
Beyond that... invest it, I guess. I don't have any problem with forty grand a month. That's like thirty times what I currently make.

I can promise a few things. No fast cars. Speed doesn't interest me, brute force does, so I might buy a tractor. Much more useful around here than a Maserati that would get stuck on the speed humps in town... ☺
No hookers/drugs/booze/wild parties. I'm perfectly happy by myself, thank you. I might buy myself a decent spec computer in order to edit my videos with a bit of panache (all the stuff I currently do is edited on my phone).
I might bump up my Netflix to UHD and get a big TV to watch it on. Or for the ultimate in lazy, an HD projector that I can aim at the ceiling so I can lie in bed and watch my favourite programmes. Would probably need to talk to Orange to get bumped up the queue for the mythical fibre, as somehow I don't quite think "3ish megabit" is going to cut it.
And, no, I won't turn this place into some sort of weird English country cottage. A number of expats do stuff like that, and it just looks so out of keeping with the surroundings. This is a quaint French farmhouse, not a quaint English cottage. There will never be brick-look wallpaper and three ducks flying over a fake (electric) fire.
And, yes, I'd go on holiday. To a bunch of different places. Canada, Finland, Italy, and of course that place very far to the east. Mostly normal holidays, though a part of me would like to buy a JR open ticket, just get on a train, and bugger off to some small town in the back of nowhere to see things that are away from the usual tourist spots. Mom was big on that in coming to France and going to Spain. I've never been to Paris, drove right through Madrid, never seen Barcelona, but met some interesting Basque sheep farmers and a few slightly nutty Andalucían gypsies. In other words, real people and real places. Like here, I'm surrounded by Frenchies, and the only remarkable thing about this place is how far one needs to go to find something even remotely touristic. Remember that Japanese garden? A hundred kilometres away. I think the beach might be further. But everything around, from the girls at work to the demented pig farmers, they're real people doing real things. Not fantasies put on to please tourists. And out in the country there are local town fetes for some really strange reasons. The fete of the sheep, the fete of the bread oven, the fete of the "remember what it was like in 1910" (nobody alive does!); and if that isn't enough, you might be able to walk up the lane on a sunny Saturday to find it blocked by three large tractors. The drivers? Sitting on the wheel arch of one enjoying "a verre", and then they'll offer you some.
Real people, real places.

So, sorry if it sounds a little boring. I don't plan to go crazy. It would be enough just to know that I can think of stuff to do and not have to worry about "how will I pay for that?". But, alas, that does assume winning that ridiculous sum in the first place. I have played. Myself and countless millions of others. Somebody will win it on Friday, it would be extraordinary to have it roll over yet again. iNews suggests that 80,000,000 to 100,000,000 people buy lottery tickets. With a prize like that, I can imagine an easy third extra, so, yeah, somebody has surely got to hit the right numbers.

Then I guess we'll be back to the starting sum of €17,000,000. That's not to be sneezed at either.

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 Johm, 10th December 2020, 00:20 In your position I'd get some heating!  You can get 1% interest? Rick, 10th December 2020, 06:41 I'd imagine if you have that sort of money to invest, you won't be screwed quite as much as regular savers... David Pilling, 10th December 2020, 22:41 What is the EU guarantee on bank accounts about 80K (?) Boy you're going to have to open a lot of accounts to keep that 200M safe.  With ImpĂ´t de solidaritĂ© sur la fortune at 1.5%, inflation and poor interest rates, you're looking at being poor.  On the bright side the Euro is climbing, you could buy something in the UK. Rick, 13th December 2020, 11:49 Well, one person won enough money that, in a couple of years, they could buy England.  Wasn't me, though. Ah well, back to work tomorrow... David Pilling, 13th December 2020, 18:44 What would you do with it (England), didn't work out well for the Normans.

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Last read at 15:44 on 2021/04/12.

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