Rumour has it that the winner of the Euromillions Draw No. 327 of Friday 14th May 2010 is attempting to carry on two separate lives simultaneously! The winner of the massive: £84,451,321.60 prize fund may have organised his own dismissal from his employer for poor time-keeping and since then – the end of May – has been attempting to put in place the accoutrements that go with a multi-millionaire alter ego. This includes the purchase (sale about to be completed?) of a multi-million £ house and a super luxury car – that is garaged in a rented industrial unit near his home! Rumour also has it that he has told his friends family and former partner – by whom he might have had more than one child – that his new job involves a lot of travelling and therefore requires him to be away from home a lot! This “home” being a modest one – it is unclear as whether it is rented or being bought on a mortgage. Rumour has it that he has spent the time since the win – when not on shopping trips on short “flying visits” to such as New York and Rio de Janeiro.
The accuracy of such rumours is unquantifiable until the winner is eventually “outed” by such as a tabloid newspaper. What is clear however is the personal misery that will result when everything reaches the light of day. Clearly, the lawyers will have a field day!
What is also clear is the unsatisfactory nature of the National Lottery. From the start, the politicians – starting with Stephen Dorrell, the Secretary of State for National Heritage when the Saturday draws started on 19th November 1994 and his successor, Virginia Bottomley when the Wednesday draws started on 5th February 1997 – looked to maximise the revenue therefrom ignoring evidence put forward by such as the charity, Gamblers Anonymous that allowing punters to select their own choice of random numbers would result in greater numbers of addictive gamblers (feeling compelled to “play” the same numbers time after time, fearing that were they to miss a draw the numbers would “come up” and they would miss out on their “win”). Since that time, billions have been raised for what is known as “the good causes.”
The “good causes” are of course selected by unelected unaccountable members of the political establishment who to demonstrate how “in touch” with public opinion they are will favour groups seeking to educate persons in the Somali language rather than groups who wish to restore and maintain the many corporate war memorials that were put up by companies long gone but whose plaques commemorating the fallen (especially of the 1914-18 war) remain.
Three reforms are urgently needed to the National Lottery:
Firstly, the right of anonymity should be removed. Why? You ask. For two reasons: one to enforce honesty and secondly, to inform those to whom a lottery winner may owe money or otherwise has responsibilities towards of the winner’s success. This second reason is all the more important so far as the far greater numbers of winners whose prizes fall in the £500,000 to £1,000,000 category. This is because at these more modest levels legitimate claimants could well “eat into” such winnings to a considerable degree and there is therefore a motivation for those winning such to seek anonymity.
Secondly (and this follows on from the first), all major winners should be subject to a Criminal Records Bureau check (Enhanced Disclosure (as defined under Section 115(6) of the Police Act 1997). This will give: the prescribed details of every conviction (including a spent conviction), caution, warning and reprimand which is recorded in central records. Where such a winner has a criminal record, they should not immediately receive their winnings. Instead the winnings should be paid into court and it should be up to a judge to decide what share of the winnings should go to the offender and what share should go to the offender’s victims. Naturally, both offender and victims will be able to make representations in court and the legal costs would be met by the lottery organisers.
Thirdly, the proceeds to the “good causes” should no longer be decided by the “great and the good” of the political establishment – friends and fellow travellers of our treasonous politicians. Rather than have elections for a benevolent body that would inevitably be dominated by the politicians from the major parties, a Lottery Council should be set up by an act of parliament that would be restricted (by statute) into making donations to charities registered in England and Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Lottery Council should have a secretariat made up of a small number of public sector workers (twelve full time employees should be more than enough). Decisions as to what charities benefit should be taken by the actual members of the Lottery Council that can sit as a committee between six to twelve times a year. Who are to be the members of the Lottery Council? Why, the Lottery Jackpot winners themselves WHO DO NOT HAVE ANY CRIMINAL (non motoring) CONVICTIONS. There are two factors which lend admirably to this: One. They are likely to have a lot more spare time following their win! They are ordinary people – picked at random. What better method could you have!
For more details please see our page on reform of the National Lottery.