If I Win The Lottery Tonight...
Gary Strivens, restaurateur
Saturday 05 December 1998
Being a sensible chap, I would pay off the mortgage, clear my overdraft, reduce my credit card balances to zero and, in the short term at least, put a big smile on my bank manager's face by depositing the whole lot in my local bank account.
Being a philanthropic type of chap, I would put aside a generous amount for a number of charities, for which I have a great deal of respect: Save the Children and The Omerod School at Oxford, which does fantastic work with physically and mentally handicapped kids, to name just two.
I'd then purchase the dream midnight-blue Aston Martin convertible and replenish my wardrobe with beautifully made shirts - a passion of mine.
Something I've never been able to contemplate acquiring but would love to collect is Impressionist art. A Monet would be fantastic - if it could ever be taken out of the bank vault that is.
Realistically I couldn't just give up my job because I need the stimulation and enjoy the challenges that running a group of restaurants brings. I have, though, always yearned to travel; not taking a year out was a big mistake. A few months out and about would be good - preferably involving trekking and backpacking in the Himalayas. It would be relaxing and invigorating, a perfect way to find out something about myself and to recharge my batteries for whatever direction I choose to go in, post-expedition.
First though: a colossal fireworks party - to go with a bang. My eight-year-old son, Henry, would push the button that sets it off - he would love that. Then I'd buy myself a violin, which would perhaps be the biggest benefit of winning the Lottery. It provokes the thought that Lottery win or not, I can still go trekking, (as long as the love of my life will come with me), and fulfil my dream. The violin would still be put to good use, of course, paying for our keep.
Beyond that - who knows, a restaurant or bar somewhere hot, in Europe perhaps. I'd like to be the convivial maitre d' of a bustling hostelry. If there is one thing I find really hard to come to terms with here in England, it is the appalling weather we constantly endure. It never ceases to amaze me how regularly we manage to achieve new records, be it for the wettest, coldest or least number of sunshine hours.
Gary Strivens runs the Browns restaurant chain. A new branch opens in Edinburgh on Thursday.
Interview by Diona Gregory
Life & Style blogs
Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
Professional wine tasters putting teeth at risk, study finds
NHS property sale could raise £7.5bn to help pay off its growing deficit and free up space for housing
Clocks change: how to make sure iPhone and smartphones automatically ‘spring forward’
Gay marriage, one year on: Couples mark first anniversary of same-sex marriages
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...