28 October 2022

Odds on that you'll win big? Good luck with that

| Sally Hopman
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Lotto balls

So, you think you have the power to win big? Is it your number one dream? Just don’t count on it. Photo: The Lott Media.

If you’re reading this, one thing’s for sure: I didn’t win the $160 million Powerball on Thursday night. Nor was I one of the lucky few now sharing the prize.

I had planned on winning it but when I weighed it all up, it seemed hardly fair – $160 million in one big obscene lump? I don’t think so. I could not have lived with myself. I could not have lived with myself a lot more comfortably, as would the animals and people I love, but that’s another story.

Don’t you think it’s wrong that one person can win so much? Surely it should be that 160 people win a million each. A million can almost buy you a house in the bush, an apartment in Canberra or a kennel in Sydney.

How would I spend it? Let me count the ways.

I’d get rid of potholes, greed, songs that have lyrics including (but not limited to) walking on the beach, sunsets, gravelly voices (unless it’s Mr Waits) and mirrors – not necessarily in that order.

Then I’d rescue every animal that ever needed rescuing. Except for snakes and rats. They can fend for themselves – actually, we might be able to organise some perfect recycling if we leave them together in an enclosed space for a bit. Then have some croc outside the door to finish off the snakes after they’ve finished off the rats after they’ve finished off the ….. sorry, got a bit carried away, just like I hope the snakes will be!

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The rest of most of the money would go to animal rescue groups, Lindt and wildly impractical dreams. In a bid to improve international relations, I’d also give a bucketload of money to that bloke from the Asher House. Have you heard of him? He’s created a sanctuary in the wilds of the United States, housing all animals that need love and care. He says he will rehome the rehome-able ones but you know they’re all going to be foster fails. That is, he keeps ’em.

Think I’ll use the remainder of my winnings to do that too. How expensive could it possibly be? We’d just need a huge property. It would have to be sort-of near-civilisation so we had access to things we needed. You can only live off the grid for so long in winter without your important bits snapping off (winter), melting (summer).

Animals would rule, OK, and list their own requirements. My tiny request would be that the land overlooks the ocean. OK, there are a few more little requests. Like a bunch of live-in vets, barns big enough to house Clydesdales – with special mats at the entrance so they can wipe their feathery feet, and Keanu Reeves. Sorry, I was kidding – about the special mats.

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I’d do a Germaine Greer – no not that one, the one where she opens her house to anyone and everyone who needs somewhere to stay. People would behave because they’d be too scared not too – my ancient dog with two teeth and coke bottle glasses would protect me. If he was awake – and I could work out a way to keep his glasses on, I’m sure he would try.

Finally, I would pay to have these words excluded from a newsagent’s vernacular: “Sorry, it’s not a winning ticket.”

People talk about their magic systems to win big. Seriously? The talk only goes so far, I mean if it did work they wouldn’t need the system in the first place. And they wouldn’t tell anyone anyway.

Good luck.

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