“A great fortune is a great servitude.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 3 BC – 65 AD) Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman and dramatist
The above remarkable photograph of a fox amid hounds illustrates well the present “state of play” vis-à-vis the latest British winner of the EuroMillions jackpot and the Murdoch press who will be determined to “out” the winner. The EuroMillions draw number 348 of Friday 8th October resulted in one winning ticket for prize of £113,019,926.
As of a 1:00PM, Camelot had not heard from the winner. This of course may be for numerous reasons: the winner has not checked their numbers or that they are still in a state of shock. This of course would be a very normal reaction as the winner will have realised that £113,019,926 will make a profound difference to their life from now on.
The British Gazette has in the past advocated that those winning huge sums on the lottery should follow the example of such as Nigel Page and Justine Laycock who won £56 million in February this year. It does so again with adding the rider that the higher the amount the more important it is to “go public.”
To many British Gazette readers this advice would appear to be counter intuitive due to the inevitable problems with begging letters and such like. However, those who request anonymity from Camelot – presumably to avoid such along with the media attention – are paying for this short term disruption to their lives with a lifetime in the shadows.
Anyone considering the winner’s situation for more than a moment will realise that the greater the fortune won the greater will be the problems associated with hiding it. If the winner is determined (like the winner of EuroMillions Draw number 327 of Friday 14th May 2010 who won £84,451,321.60) to remain anonymous it means a lifetime of deception. This is because it will be practically impossible to keep it a secret if they inform their family and friends. Any person working with confidential information or secrets will know that the more people who know about something the more difficult it is to keep it a secret. Binding all one’s family and friends with onerous non disclosure agreements is not a practical option. Therefore, if the winner is determined to remain anonymous they must keep their win a secret and disclose it only to those they need to: the tax man, their bank, their accountant, their lawyer, their insurance broker and their financial adviser.
Of course, then there is the practical problem of spending it. Most lottery winners go out and buy a very expensive luxury motor car. How will they explain this to friends, family and neighbours? Most very large lottery winners move house. This actually is a very sensible “move” (pardon the pun). Most lottery winners do not move far from their old address. Again, if they are acting sensibly and are not seeking anonymity, this is a sensible move as they will be near their established friends and family. If however the winner is determined to remain anonymous and at the same time enjoy the material advantages their newly acquired fortune can give them, a move to a distant city is to be advised. Note we state a distant city. Moving to a grand house in or near a village in the country would put their anonymity in jeopardy as country people living in small villages are curiously friendly and take an enquiring interest in any newcomer. To remain unnoticed and anonymous the winner will have to move into one of the upmarket suburbs of a large city. Here people do not know the names or occupations of people three or four doors away. Everybody minds their own business and not the business of others. This is why those under the witness protection scheme are relocated to city locations. Loneliness will ensue until such time as they make new friends for their old friends will have to be sacrificed on the altar of anonymity.
So there you have it, mystery lottery winner: To gain (and maintain) anonymity means the loss of your friends and family by severing all contact with them. It means a life of deception and fabricating stories on what you have done and how you made your money. If you are not a professional person you will have great difficulty maintaining a convincing storyline. Oh, and you will need a very good memory – to memorise the lies you will have to tell. Be sensible mystery lottery winner: Bite the bullet of media publicity. Have your “fifteen minutes of fame”, endure the begging letters – which will soon dissipate and enjoy the rest of your life.
Of course, there is another couple of solutions so far as remaining anonymous is concerned: Don’t spend any significant quantity of money on yourself but instead give it to charity. This could be done by either giving most (say £110 million) to a charity or group of charities or by giving the vast bulk of the enormous income this sum would generate if properly invested to charity. Both options can be done anonymously.