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'Paradise Syndrome' Stalks $189 Million Eurolottery

Admit it. As well as Googling your own name, one of your guilty little secrets is working out what you would do with your winnings if your lottery numbers came in.

Yachts, villas, Ferraris, or even buying a box on the half-way line at Wembley (if you're a Londoner), they're all suddenly in your grasp.

Apart from the questionable pleasure derived from watching the England football team, all kinds of hedonism are suddenly within your grasp.

That's the scenario facing someone Friday night as the Euromillions lottery hits a potential UK-record £117 million ($189 million).

A British winner would be catapulted up to No. 570 in the Sunday Times Rich List. The prospect of such incredible overnight wealth has apparently sent the UK into a lotto frenzy.

Now, I'm a great believer in money can buy you happiness. "Can" being the operative word. That said, there should be a caveat emptor on every lottery ticket sold that states: "winning this lottery may cause unwanted side-effects such as depression, paranoia and general dissatisfaction."

And with the odds of winning the lottery are in the region of 1-in-14 million, there are those who think it may just not be worth all the furor.

Back in 1996, Dave Stewart, the former Eurhythmics pop star, complained of suffering from "Paradise Syndrome." It's an affliction that only affects the rich and famous as their "perfect lives" made them ill.

So yes, buyer beware. But come off it, Dave. We'd all like a crack at "Paradise Syndrome."

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