It might also be a strategic error too, now I come to think of it.
A bit of background for those not in the UK. Just over a week ago, the National Lottery rollover fund stood at over £66M. That’s a whole lot of dosh, but the chances of winning were very low indeed, as I pointed out earlier. But lo and behold! Two tickets beat the odds, so the holder of each was going to get a cool £33M.
One of the prizes hasn’t been claimed yet, but one has. Now, if I’d won that amount of cash I’d have kept very quiet about it indeed. I’d have ticked the ‘No publicity’ box. Also, if I ran Camelot, I’d advise the winner to keep shtum.
Camelot of course did no such thing, and the known winners were announced as David and Carol Martin. They live (for the time being) in Hawick in the Scottish borders. The press shindig not only identifies these nouveau pretty riche, but also conveniently told everybody where they live.
If I were the Martins, I’d brace myself for the flood of begging letters from complete strangers, obscure charities, odd religions, and vested interest groups. They are going to get the hell badgered out of them, aren’t they? Especially as Carol said the first thing she would do would be buy a new pair of shoes. All the more left for the beggars.
I’ll also bet they find they have more friends than they ever knew, all with their hands out. There will be a lot of very very distant relations making their presence felt too.
Then it all gets unpleasant, or even more unpleasant. Earlier winners have received death threats, and I doubt that winning the biggest payout ever will endear the Martins to the lunatic fringe, nor to losing players who feel a sense of entitlement.
If I were the Martins, I might also be investing part of that £33M in some heavyweight security. When you’re somebody who helps disabled people with home improvements, as David did, then you and your family are not likely to be prime candidates for a kidnapping. Things have changed a bit now though.
In their position, I’d up sticks, sod off to where nobody knows who I am, change my name, and bunker down. Or I might make it known I’d given the whole lot to a charity of my choice.
I sure as hell wouldn’t have let Camelot exploit me for their own publicity purposes.