I don't do the lottery, I have occasionally on the spur of the moment bought a ticket. It probably happened more often when I was a smoker and was buying my 20 woodbine from the local supermarket counter where the handily placed lottery machine catered for those with two addictions, modern convenience eh.
I don't often find myself thinking about what I'd do with large sums of money, I seem to be in amongst a small minority that thinks we're all pretty much affluent enough in the west and need to realise it. I guess this comes from spending a fair bit of time in countries with 'low labour costs' the term the industry I worked in used for paying what was often a pittance to people in Bangladesh, China, Romania, Morocco etc. Have a bit drive round the suburbs of Bangladesh and if you have any shred of intelligence and morality you'll soon stop whingeing about life over here.
However forty five million pounds is big dosh and I've found myself wondering what it might achieve in conservation terms. You could build 45 Saltholmes for a start, maybe even 46 if you didn't put Brabantia bins in them all. Perhaps buying up nine 7550 acre Northumbrian Estates in order to provide a safe haven for Hen Harriers would be more up your street?
You could find the last Slender-billed Curlew for 45m and have change to save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. How many IBA's could be conserved, improved and perhaps expanded for 45,000,000? Makes you wonder.
Given the popularity of lotteries generally I also wonder why RSPB or Birdlife don't operate their own with the proceeds going to conservation, I might actually be tempted to buy the odd ticket if I felt the money was going to end up supporting things that matter as opposed to say a theatre in Stratford that is only ever going to be visited by a few thousand people most of whom are in the top 2% of the world's affluent anyway. It would be a fitting irony if a lottery could actually end the survival lottery that many of the planet's bird species are threatened with wouldn't it.