If I Win The Lottery Tonight... Michael Winner, film director
Saturday 15 August 1998
The only thing I can't do from my own resources that I would like to do is have some really wonderful works of art. In the case of Lottery prizes, I could only buy one. That is the only thing that I want which I can't afford because the price of top painters has become so astronomical.
One of those mad Van Gogh landscapes with the trees all sort of twisted, I like those very much; a Renoir, of Paris dance halls; a Rembrandt self- portrait would be quite nice; I'd certainly take a Vermeer. The Lottery never gives you more than pounds 14m, which doesn't buy that much!
I would have to see what came on the market. These really good paintings don't come on the market often. I would spend it all on art, which I'd leave to the nation. I would leave it to the Royal Academy because they are always nice to me when I go there.
As regards any other purchases, I live in as fine a house as I could wish to live in; I certainly don't want the responsibility of another house, however much money I had. I can't stand boats; I would rather rent a private plane than buy one; and there's no country I would rather be in than here.
I would certainly keep playing because I'd be even more enthusiastic. I think the most I've ever won is pounds 30. I've won a few dollops of pounds 10, and I have six entries a week. I don't even know what my numbers are - I chose them when I started, and you're allowed to register them at head office. Hopefully their computer is accurate; for all I know, I might be getting the pounds 10s and missing the pounds 14m. I have to trust the computer.
Like all of us, I think I used my birthdate: 30/10/35 - but I've no idea what my other numbers are. I'm spending pounds 312 a year and, believe me, I'm well out of pocket.
Everybody likes something for nothing; I don't care how rich they are. We all like the idea of something where we don't have to go out and toil. Of course, we are paying through the nose for it.
The truth is, I can afford to buy anything I wish to buy at the moment. I don't need the Lottery to help me to buy something for somebody else. I would spend every penny on a painting and leave it to the nation. To keep it would be absolutely immoral in my position; to keep any money other than those little pounds 10s."
Michael Winner has recently finished making the comedy film `Parting Shots', starring John Cleese, Bob Hoskins, Ben Kingsley, Diana Rigg and Joanna Lumley, which will be showing in cinemas from January. He was talking to Rachelle Thackeray.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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