My Week: Computer Games Millionaire

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The Independent Culture
Sunday

I'm feeling a bit sad today, it's the last day my computer game company will be called Gameplay. From tomorrow it will be floated on the stock exchange as Gameplay.com. I realise that I will no longer be in total control and could be sacked.

I manage to leave work in my home town of Leeds by about seven and catch a train to King's Cross. I love travelling by train, it's the only time I get to be by myself. I turn my mobile off and relax.

Monday

Up at seven, for my big day, I feel a thrill rushing through my body. At 8.30am I head into the City to find out how the company stock is doing. I find the building on fire.

The building is surrounded by fire engines, and stockbrokers all talking maniacally on their mobile phones. We are finally allowed back in to the building at 9.15am, trading has already started and I'm eager to know if the stock is going up or down. I get into the lift, which unfortunately breaks down. This is not quite the start to the day I had expected.

After about 10 minutes, I finally escape and run into the trading room. The stock has opened at pounds 1.35 and has already risen to pounds 2.20. I am extremely pleased, I have made an extra pounds 1.5m in the space of an hour - whilst trapped in a lift.

I feel a bit guilty at first, because it seems so effortless, but this quickly passes and I feel really pleased. My company is very hi-tech and I wasn't sure whether people really understood what we were doing. It's a big relief to know that my family's and friends' life savings are doing well.

At 10am I catch a train to Huntingdon for a meeting with a computer- software company. There is a lot to go through. I get a lift back to my house at 10pm and have not a bottle of champagne, but a peanut-butter sandwich - and then I go to bed. I am absolutely shattered.

Tuesday

Back in work at 8am, the whole world has gone mad. I get loads and loads of phone calls from the media.

I am really shocked, in financial terms: this is not a big company. I think they are going for the angle of a 25-year-old guy running a company worth pounds 50m.

I have a photo shoot with FHM in the afternoon. It is really weird: they want pictures of me pushing a shopping trolley and eating chips. I think they were expecting to find a rich, stuck-up, spoilt brat. Instead they found me and are trying to show that I'm really quite normal. Well I hope that's why they're doing it, and not so they can have a headline along the lines of "stingy millionaire saves his money by eating cheap food". I've still got loads of work to do, but worry that I might end up dying from a heart attack before I have a chance to celebrate. I get a call from the bank to say that all the money has arrived, I have made pounds 2.75m. I get a vegetarian pizza on the way home, and then slob out in front of the TV.

Wednesday

I have been banned from driving for speeding (away from work) and get a lift to Huntingdon from my right-hand man, Mike. We get stuck on the M1 for two and a half hours. I see some lucky guy in a helicopter and make a mental note to go and find out how much they cost. I get my first call at 8.20am from my PR, but by now I am sick to death of all the attention.

I finally leave, feeling exhausted, but go back to work for a few hours to sort through the mail. Most is from people telling me how I should invest my money, and most goes in the bin. I would like to hear from my old boss at the mail-order fish food company, who said I would never amount to anything. I think I may even send him a copy of some of my newspaper cuttings.

Thursday

In Huntingdon again for most of the day, but manage to have time to think about spending my money. I had to sell my Ferrari 355 convertible and BMW M3 when I got my driving ban. I think I may opt for something much smaller, like a bicycle

I spend the night in Huntingdon and check out the local nightlife. I don't really drink that much, because of getting up for work in the mornings.

Friday

I head back to Leeds in the afternoon and go to a local hangar with my uncle to look at helicopters. The one I want costs half a million: I decide to give it some more thought. I have a big night out, celebrating with friends - I'll be paying. It's been a very hectic week - the world seems to have gone Gameplay mad.

I need a day off.

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