"BLIMEY!" THAT'S what I'll be saying if I win the Lottery tonight. And they say lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place. I can't remember how much I won last time, but it must have been a few million. Of course, it wasn't called the Lottery then. In those days it was the football pools. Littlewoods, I think it was. I was in the newsagents buying some sweets and a copy of Practical Boatbuilding (not for me, but for my new neighbour, Errol Flynn, who'd just moved into the area and was building a 40ft schooner in his back garden).

Anyway, there was a woman in the shop handing in her pools coupon, and I thought, "Why don't I have a go at that?" The man behind the counter had to show me how to fill in the coupon, because it's all to do with score draws and permutations and I don't really know much about football, to be honest. I've played for one or two of the major clubs in the past, but I can't say I was ever that interested in the game.

Anyway, wherever I put my crosses must have been right because I won. A man came round to the house with a giant cheque. Since I'd guessed the scores, I think they thought I was some kind of football expert because they asked me to go on Match of the Day with Jimmy Hill. I didn't know what I was talking about so I just used to make stuff up. Nobody seemed to notice. I think Jimmy was making it up half the time.

Would I spend the money differently if I won again? Good question. The important thing is to take care of your friends, isn't it? Last time, I bought a load of yacht varnish for Errol. God knows how many times he painted that boat. I think in the end the fumes were addling his brain.

There are so many things I could spend the money on. I have such varied interests. I've always been pretty up-to-the-minute, fashion-wise; running up my own stupendous creations at home. Perhaps I'd buy myself a deluxe sewing machine and lots of material in all different colours.

But does material wealth make you happy? I've learned the hard way. What really matters is friendship. Old Errol may be long gone, but his boat still sails the seven seas. And like our friendship, the many coats of varnish have weathered the sands of time, teaching me the only important lesson in life. Money doesn't buy you happiness, it just buys you loads of stuff. And without true friendship, that giant cheque isn't worth the hardboard it's written on.

Graham Rawle's new book, `Diary of an Amateur Photographer', is published by Picador at pounds 14.99

Interview by

Diona Gregory