I REALLY hope builder Steve Thomson and his wife Lenka will still be smiling as broadly this time next year, after their life-changing £105m EuroMillions win.
Photos in this week’s newspapers and footage on TV saw them with beaming grins and looking giddy on a cocktail of champagne and loadsamoney.
This crazy amount of cash changes absolutely everything, and I’m sure they will still be coming to terms with being transformed overnight into multi-millionaires.
After the initial shock and euphoria, Steve and Lenka, who have three children, need to sit down and work out exactly what to do with this windfall.
They will, of course, want to take care of friends and family, but with the best will in the world, this sort of cash can cause resentment, envy and fall-outs.
Old family disputes can come to the surface and even good friends might feel awkward around the newly super-rich Steve and Lenka.
Even if they both make a Herculean effort to remain the same people they were before this mammoth win, they’ll find that it’s everyone else around them who inevitably changes.
Some will bow and scrape, others might be stand-offish, worried about accusations of “sucking up”, and there will be those who’ll shamelessly ask for vast quantities of dosh.
They will have to deal with begging letters from good causes and individuals that will be heartbreaking because, even with all that money, they won’t be able to help everyone.
They have been lumbered with instant fame and will forever be known as “the EuroMillions couple”.
That’s a lot to handle, and I really hope they take advice from experts provided by Lottery officials rather than trying to cope on their own.
We’ve seen it many times before.
People winning shedloads of cash, going on a spending bonanza and losing it all, marriages collapsing and families tearing themselves apart.
It’s interesting that while they are delighted for her, Lenka’s relatives — who live in Slovakia — don’t really expect their lives to change all that much.
They won’t be asking for any favours, insisting they make a good enough living from their little family-run garage.
Her mum doesn’t want to move from her small village into a big house in the UK but would simply like her daughter and family to visit more often.
Crucially, they all say they are happy and contented.
And surely that’s what all of us want from life.
It’s an old cliche that money doesn’t automatically bring you happiness, and I’m pretty sure being miserable in comfort isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
I think the Lottery should have made 105 people millionaires instead of giving this massive sum to just one winner.
It’s just too overwhelming.
I sincerely hope that Steve and Lenka will find this money a blessing rather than a curse and that they can be as happy as they were before their big win.
Let’s see where we are in 12 months’ time.
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