When I hit the Lottery jackpot, I'll show all the other winners how it's supposed to be done

The crucial difference between Grace Dent and the previous umpteen-thousand suckers who have won millions is that she would spend the money properly

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Shortly after watching BBC3's rather melancholy documentary on Jane Park, the 17-year-old lottery winner who won £1 million, then bought a chihuahua, a Louis Vuitton handbag – the dog later curling a poo into its silk lining – and a boozy extended girls' holiday in Magaluf, I began buying Lottery tickets again.

Two lucky dips a week. None of your "same numbers every week" malarkey, as that way madness and superstition lie. My father has played the same lines since 1995. He would reroute a funeral cortège past a newsagent if need be, to place his lines by 6pm on a Wednesday night.

I say "shortly" after watching the doc, rather than "immediately", because shortly after – as is obligatory on hearing Lottery stories – I spent some time hand-wringing over whether this money could give Jane, or anyone, contentment. And whether it was ethical to give Jane, a slip of a girl from Edinburgh, a whopping cheque like that at all. "Ethical" and "contentment" being two of the words Jane would have struggled to pronounce after 11 shots of Slippery Nipple down at Magaluf's Boomerang nightclub. "You might as well have given her a gun," Jane's gran sighed on hearing of Jane's good fortune. A little research revealed that Jane was now working in a chippy. And also that she has had a boob job and then tattooed HIBS EVERY WEEKEND down the side of one of them. Shortly after this, I checked, casually, that my neglected online Lottery account still existed.

The crucial difference between me and the previous umpteen-thousand suckers who won millions on the Lottery and were quickly catapulted into existential oblivion, is that I would spend the money properly, and be the "best case scenario" EuroMillions winner.

I would, so my plan goes, greet the news of my windfall with quiet jubilation and an innate humbleness. I would tick the "no publicity" box, hide it from friends, pooh-pooh attention and glean satisfaction from the joy of giving. Think "Audrey Hepburn hugging Unicef orphans in the 1980s". Think simple shirt dresses, bun hair and ethereal grace.

I will not develop a roaring cocaine habit and lie around knickerless in my garden snorting lines off the back of Harper's Bazaar while waiting for a man called "Naughty Frank" to post more grams through the letterbox, as I'm too paranoid and septum-less to open the front door. I will not start breakfasting on valium and lying about watching Crazy Like a Fox reruns, circling pictures of Gresso alligator-hide iPhone 6 cases in the FT "How To Spend It" supplement. I will not allow my nieces and nephews to see me as a hapless, anthropomorphised ATM, resulting in one of them sponging flying lessons and a helicopter off me and, with some inevitability, steering into the side of a Lake District peak.

I will carry on working. I certainly will not crack soon after banking the cheque, enter the newsroom and deliver what I call in EastEnders "a roundhouse revelation", spinning a full 360 degrees while pointing at colleagues, "And you! Who do you think you are anyway? And him! Him with the beard! He can shove his job right up his 'arris, mate, because I HAVE MORE MONEY THAN GOD!"

So yes, the money – which I'm destined to win – won't affect me at all. I'll just be me but a better me, with whiter teeth. And straighter teeth, because no one who won EuroMillions can wander about with teeth that look like they could eat an apple through a barbed wire fence. And a smaller arse, too, because after I'm fired – although technically I'll have resigned – I'll have plenty of time to do squats and begin one of those diet plans that rich idiots sign up for, where you pay a bored trust fund entrepreneur £1,500 a month to courier you three portions of calorie-counted gruel.

"I'm not sure any of this sounds like fun," my partner said. "Well what do you want to do with the money when I win?" I said. "Nothing," he said, "I just want life to stay like this." There was a moment of mutually recognised bliss. "And a lifetime Liverpool FC season ticket," he added.

From there it quickly unravelled. "So you'll be away about 25 weekends a year? Following a team that causes you actual heartbreak?" I said. "They do not cause me heartbreak," he bristled, "I'm just loyal! Anyway, you just said you're buying a Range Rover. You can't even drive! What are you going to do? Sit outside the house in it listening to Spotify?" This was a low blow. "I'll get a driver! Kate Moss has a driver. I'll need a driver anyway as you'll be in Stoke watching Liverpool get beat," I shouted. We bickered for some time over our post-Lottery life: the planned animal sanctuary for cats and dogs with poorly paws, that he won't condone ("we will both smell of shit"), his planned full-arm tattoo ("Why would you cover up tattoos you don't like with bigger tattoos?"). Going forward, I have decided to keep my Lottery win secret from everybody, including him. It really could be me. But unlike all those other losers who became multimillionaires, I'll be brilliant at it.