I enjoy observing human behaviour when the cloying whiff of obscene amounts of money is in the air. Over the past few days the radio station I’m forced to listen to at work has had callers talking about what they’d do with $90 million if they won this week’s lottery bonanza.
So far, all the dreams I’ve heard have been stock-standard ‘I want everyone to think I’m a nice and deserving person’ responses of paying off the house, helping out the family, giving money to charity and making sure Aunt Mavis gets that cataract surgery so she can crochet doilies for the goodwill shop again.
Okay, that’s what, a million bucks — what about the rest? Australians often have too strong a leaning towards social desirability and gloss over normal and sometimes entertaining human traits of selfishness and greed (gawd, just cringe at the local versions of The Biggest Loser and Big Brother when contestants apologise profusely and cry before evicting people when they’ve been plotting callously for days beforehand).
I think in this instance the truth will make far better radio. No one has said they’ll piss gross amounts of cash against the wall on world cruises, a different Ferrari for each day of the week and the holiday shack on a private island with a 90-foot luxury yacht berthed alongside. And, like a lot of lottery winners end up, they’ll probably be broke and miserable a couple of years later with families fractured, friendships destroyed, missing their former social structure and lifestyle and still dealing with guilt and other emotions associated with the heavy responsibility of instant wealth. See, my truth is far more fun. I want to be the barrel girl for this draw!
If I won (not likely at this stage because I don’t know what day the draw is) I wouldn’t tell a soul. I don’t have the strength to deal with a stream of long-lost third cousins twice removed and ‘friends’ I barely know who see my name in the paper. I don’t want every charity in town hunting me because I already donate to the ones I support and I’ll choose where I’ll anonymously direct more money. People I want to help will find little and big acts of kindness done and maybe years down the track they’ll find out by whom. And I really don’t want to see myself in the weekly magazines’ celebs without makeup issues when I’m busted down at the shops in tracky pants, gardening clogs and a pirate beanie on my head.
But if you see a new benevolent organisation called the Gout Foundation you’ll know who won the bucks .
Crank-o-meter: waiting for my numbers to come up