The Seven Deadly Sins: #1 Greed

This Friday the Euro Millions lottery is worth over £100 million. That is a phenomenal amount of money and like everyone I guess you have thought about what you would do if you won: a super yacht, a house on every continent, a fleet of cars or a French winery? What about a new creative midfield player for my beloved Crystal Palace? Roy, is that what you need or is it another striker (who can take penalties) alongside Christian Benteke?

Sometimes I buy a lottery ticket and often I delay checking it for weeks after the draw. I know I haven’t won, the chances are of course incredibly small, and I get my value from the £2 ticket by day dreaming of the different things I would buy. I like to think about how I would spend the winnings.

I would need an open top sports car for trips to France and then I would have a 4×4 in the garage for snowy days and trips to the supermarket, and possibly a Jaguar just for trips to the countryside. There again on a summer’s day maybe Sasha would like to ride on the back of a Harley. I must remember to ask her.

We would need a house in the UK, probably in the Kent or maybe the Cotswolds, why not both, and a pad in London to crash out at after a night clubbing or dinner at the latest trendy restaurant. An apartment big enough for entertaining. Then we would also need somewhere in Kiev. I think I know which part of the city is best but again Sasha will help me.

Assuming I could invest at 3%, net of tax I would be adding £8,219 per day to my bank account. Maybe I should concentrate on how, and forever, I could spend that each, and every day. That’s a little more difficult. I was about to check the price of a first-class airline flight to New York but realised, of course, I would charter a jet skipping all that airport hassle and then have a helicopter to transport us seamlessly into the city centre. Why not buy a plane? That would be far better.

But the truth is that these days as soon as I add something to my ‘must have’ list so just as quickly I cross them off.

If greed is wanting too much of something, then as I have gotten older I am far less greedy but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to win on Friday. If I win I won’t be a saint and deny myself some luxury but I have other plans for the lottery winnings.

Each of the children and Annie will get a big chunk but not enough to make them lazy. Then, Ben needs help with his wedding and Stanislaus’ business could do with a capital injection.

I would buy a house but only in the hope and dream that Sasha and I could turn it into a home. We wouldn’t need more than one. You can only be at home in one place and when you leave home, well, isn’t that what hotels are for?

I quite like my old and ancient 1999 Mercedes SLK even if it has just cost me £300 for a new accelerator pedal, and so I would make sure that it had a proper service. I would have to buy a car for Sasha so that could be the 4×4.

Daytime TV is so bad I would have to keep writing books and blogs which in my case is the same as saying I would keep working. Mark and Emma take note because I would be able to confirm that place we discussed on a Doctoral course.

When, in our letters, Sasha and I dream of a future it is not of a whirl spinning life of consumption but often of a beautiful tropical island where the internet and telephones only work a couple of hours each day.

However, you describe it and whichever way you cut it, we want less of the material world and more emotional satisfaction. So, after Sasha and I, Annie and my children are sorted the vast majority will be given away.

I have many ideas, but all will be about helping young people meet their potential. I would much rather find that special footballer for Crystal Palace among the ball kicking kids of South London than just buy him.

For the cynics among my readers I am being truthful.

If you have any belief in ‘the fates’ these are not just pious and virtuous words uttered to convince any Gods that might be listening to my pleas and prayers.

I know how it works. You know to have your prayers granted it is much better to pray like Mother Teresa in the ways you will spend. Promise to give it all to the poor and needy and reward will come, but you keep your fingers crossed and hope the Gods don’t notice. Promise to give everything away to grab your God’s attention to your plight and then, when you win, you spend it all on yourself.

But honesty is more important and if any of the Gods are reading this, here is my promise.

I will give lots of the money to good causes, a large portion to my family and I will only keep what I really need for Sasha and me.

Gods, if you are still reading, I am around all day to discuss how much I really need. I promise I won’t be greedy. There is a lot of comfort in money but there is far more satisfaction in love, family, and relationships.