Thursday, 14 July 2011

‘In it to Win it’

Somewhere there is an individual, or perhaps a syndicate, who has just landed themselves £161m on the Euromillions (12th July).  Can you get your head around even a fraction of that being in your bank account?  Can you envisage your reaction on realising you’d won? 

I know I couldn’t.

Seven years ago times were tough in our household.  Admittedly, not as tough as they are now but, by our standards then, tough enough.  My husband had been made redundant and the lease on our car was coming up for renewal.  With no spare cash, we knew that there was no way we could commit to monthly payments on another vehicle.

A bit of a dilemma.  We had an eight year old to get to school, cubs, piano lessons etc and an elderly mother to take shopping, to doctor’s appointments and the all important hairdressers! (the Friday shampoo and set is vital and indeed, ‘life giving’ when you reach a certain age!)  Then, of course, family to visit and friends to see - we had to be allowed some kind of social life since all other spending had been curbed.

So the summer approached and the panic set in.  Not only were we about to lose our wheels but we were also stuck for ideas to entertain ‘the boy’ in the hols.  A quick surf on the web provided us with a bargain-bucket last minute offer to his (then) favourite place - Legoland, Windsor.

Off we set for a day filled with fun, frolics and the inevitable queuing.  It was a beautiful day (by British standards) and we meandered our way through the crowds to the main entrance.

As we approached, we saw that there were two cars on display with ‘glamour pusses’ handing out competition entry forms to win said cars.

Now, hubbie is a sucker for a competition and will enter anything.  He’s also a sucker for a dolly bird … don’t quite like the way that one’s going, so moving swiftly along . . .  after he’d filled in his form (or ‘out his form’ for my US fans) he insisted that I complete one too.

After much moaning and “Oh, but nobody ever wins.  Why bother?  We’re missing the rides”, I relented and filled in the stupid form.

Stupid form resulted in a letter arriving at our house about a week later saying that I, … yes … I, had won one of the cars!

Well naturally (being the sceptical and negative person that I am) I read, read and re-read the letter.  Hubbie was out getting the other car serviced for return to the lease company so I couldn’t turn to ‘my rock’ for guidance.  Instead, before calling anyone and screaming my news hysterically down the phone, I called the number on the letterhead.

The lovely person who took my call told me that, yes, I had indeed won the car and would I be able to return to Legoland on a FREE day-pass to have publicity photos taken with my family.

When my husband returned from the garage with ‘Stupid Superfluous Car’, he must have thought that I was finally in need of medication. 

“ We … blur … blab … won …. don’t need …blah… blum…  we … oh!” 

Well, suffice it to say, it took me a while to get hubbie to finally realise what I was telling him and it resulted in much hugging, swirling around in the road and generally very soppy behaviour.

The rest of the day was spent telling friends and family and generally kicking our heels and having a jolly old celebration while walking around in a hazy-daze of disbelief.

We’re still running around in our lucky car (a Fiat Active Idea) and, as we face new and increasing financial hardship, we often look back with fondness at our happy day.  It was more than just a car; it was independence for us and our family when we most needed it.  A lucky break when we couldn’t see the wood for the trees.

But it has got me thinking.  If I reacted like that when I won a ten grand car, what would I be like if I won the lottery?

If you enjoy my blog, why not take a look at my book on Amazon.  “Diary of a Mummy Misfit”.  Check out my reviews, you won’t be disappointed!
Now also available in paperback at Lulu.


  1. Congratulations on your good fortune! That's a wonderful story. Gives me hope to hear someone indeed wins!

  2. I completely see where u are coming from..Michael and I have mentioned a few times lately what would we do with so much money!! He did mention paying off all families mortgages and having a fabulous holiday but that would only scratch the surface I guess! Charity would be on my list too, somewhere! Oh to dream!! What I do know is that having gone through what we have the past 4 years, the money would be spent with much more care and thoughts of 'what if'!! x