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£1m? Is that all?

Yesterday, I did something that I haven't done in a good few years - I bought a lottery ticket.

To be honest, I largely can't be arsed with the National Lottery. Camelot seem more and more obsessed with introducing more and more games to the point that there's no sense of occasion, unless you're a seriously committed gambler. It's a sorry state of affairs. The prize fund has continually diminished - where once you had the quantifiable sum of £10m as a weekly jackpot, it's now been reduced to the staff at Camelot having a whip-around at the office and you now just win your weight in free biros. With so many jackpots, the whole thing has been diluted - although every cloud has a silver lining. It might just put Dale Winton out of a job on Saturday night.

That said, there is one prize fund still worth winning - The Euro Millions. The problem here is that it seems to work in the opposite way - nobody ever seems to win it. There's talk that this week the jackpot is £120m, because it's rolled over so much. Now we're talking. If you're going to win money, make it an obscene amount. It's even convinced me to invest the princely sum of £1.50 on a ticket. You can tell that I don't do this sort of thing much - I had no idea how many numbers to tick, how much the fee was, what the odds were or what winning options there were. It'll probably take me 10 minutes to check the ticket when the numbers are announced.

The thing is, what constitutes a prize that's large enough to retire on?

I'm of the opinion that you need at least £2.5m, but you need £5m to do it properly.

Once upon a time, just about any gambling emporium would tout £1m as their holy grail. Sad really, a million quid just isn't what it used to be. If you pay off your mortgage and have a splurge, changes are you'll have £750,000 left - then you have to think about the rest of your life. Naturally, what you want to do is set yourself up with an income so that it keeps topping itself up.



Most banks pay 5% on that amount if it's kept in savings. Deducting 2.4% for the current rate of inflation, that leaves you with 2.6% left per year - and you'll probably want to put in more than 2.4%, otherwise you'll be getting poorer over the years. So, say you put 3% back in that leaves you with 2% as your yearly income. That's £15,000 a year, hardly a princely sum. That's about the going rate for working in a call-centre. Great.



So, using my logic and multiplying everything up, winning £2.5m would give a nice comfortable income (~£40k/year after a splurge), but £5m allows you to have some serious fun.

Of course, should £120m come my way, I shan't be declining it as obscene. I shall keep my job on a part-time basis and say irritating things such as,"of course, I know I don't have to work, but I find it just helps me keep a handle on normality". I'd want to kill me already.
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