Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath: Why you should be happy you didn't win Lotto

Just being here on this planet is a win on a much larger scale than Lotto. Photo / NASA
Just being here on this planet is a win on a much larger scale than Lotto. Photo / NASA

Recently a couple of things have had us New Zealanders fantasising about big money.

Steven Adams and $140 million dollar four year deal and the $38 million Powerball jackpot. With all that cash in the news it can be hard to be happy with what you've got.

Yet most Kiwis are already very lucky compared to the vast majority of humans. You've won the lottery just by being here. It's so much better than being in Syria, Iraq, Somalia or Westeros. The world is packed with poor bastards who would be amazed we have it so good and still want more.

A 2009 Honda Odyssey gets you around fine but we for some reason we all want Hosking-style vehicles or something more tasteful like a Bentley Continental GT.

Maybe it's time for some perspective.

Just being here on this planet is a win on a much larger scale than Lotto. The big bang had to happen, the stuff that came out had to form supernovas, the stuff that blasted out of the supernovas had to eventually calm down and settled as our solar system.

We are amazingly lucky to have a sun this size and a planet made of the right stuff with enough water arriving here at some point to support the start of life that ultimately led to you being the kind of being who is able to buy a losing Lotto ticket.

Centillions and centillions and centillions of things had to happen just right so you can feel unhappy about what you drive. An Aston Martin DB9 isn't much use if the planet never formed for you to drive it on.

The luck doesn't stop there. All your direct ancestors had to not die before they reproduced for you to be here to not win Lotto.

Richard Dawkins talks about the fish who was your 185-million-greats-grandfather. In a world full of predators and natural dangers this guy had to live long enough to reproduce. One fish doing this once is lucky. For you to be here, your fish ancestor had to have a fish child who did it too. Another 50 million ancestors did the same.

Over time the fish children slowly become less fishy, evolving into shrew type creatures, then monkey creatures, then apes, then Homo erectus and then Homo sapiens.

All of those 185-million-greats-grandfather of yours in a direct line had to not be killed, eaten or fall out of a tree for you to eventually be here in a position to wish you had a flasher car.

Then there's your mum and dad.

Before you can even hope to win $38 million your mum and dad had to meet. Once together and keen, a badly timed wind gust, red light or even something good on TV could have stopped them doing what they needed to do, at the time they needed to for you to be born. Seconds before or after and the specific DNA carrier from your Dad wouldn't have made it's way to the DNA of your Mum to make exactly you.

A Jaguar XJR LWB would be very cool but you have to exist to enjoy it.

We're so lucky to live in this great country, astronomically lucky to have the planet we do, mindbogglingly lucky our millions of forefathers and mothers didn't get eaten at sea, squashed in the jungle or shot in the thousands of wars they have faced.

Thank god your mum was at the pub the night your dad was, they liked each other and didn't crash on the way home. We have all been lucky beyond all comprehension before we even get the chance to try and win Lotto. We should be grateful. We should be happy. You should be ashamed with yourself for wanting more.

Having said all that I'm still pissed off I didn't bloody win. I'd have bought a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, a BMW M5 "Competition Edition" and 3 Ford Ranger Wildtraks.

- NZ Herald

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Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath is a breakfast radio host on Radio Hauraki, and a television producer, writer and director. He made a name for himself with Back of The Y Masterpiece Television, Balls of Steel UK and the feature film The Devil Dared Me To. Matt was guitarist and singer for the band Deja Voodoo which released two top twenty albums. He is currently a producer on Best Bits, a cricket commentator for The Alternative Commentary Collective, and the director of Vinewood Motion Graphics. Matt is a father of two living in Auckland City.

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