McGregor Says: Easy come, easy go

Unconfirmed reports at the time I’m writing this, say that 30 refinery workers from Come By Chance Newfoundland have won the $60 million Lotto Max jackpot. Recent census shows that the population of Come By Chance is approximately 250.

We’ve all heard the Stompin Tom songs about The Gumboot Cloggeroo, so we can only imagine the party if almost 15 per cent of the population of that town are now millionaires. Good for them, not too many good stories for the east coast folks lately.

The bad news for us here in the west is that, located in this town is Newfoundland’s only oil refinery, the Come By Chance Refinery operated by North Atlantic Refining Company, which has a capacity of 115,000 barrels per day.

Now if the boys are ‘getting’ stinko’ as Tom tells us, we know that not much oil is going to be moving through the pipes in that refinery.

Even though we never likely see any gasoline from this facility we know that Big Oil will use this as an excuse to raise gas prices.

I can write the press release for them now: “Due to an unexpected sudden increase in sick time at our Come By Chance Refinery, we have had to shut down a large portion of the refining process of our crude oil facility. There is no time line for a return to production as a large number of employees unfortunately have told their supervisors exactly what they can do with their jobs.

As you can imagine, attracting employees to come to work at Placentia Bay is not easy and the delay in supply may see a cost increase as we see a greater demand for product.”

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Someone wins a lot of money so someone loses a lot of money.

The Lotto people tell us that they now provide investment advice for big winners and a seminar on how to adjust to their new lifestyle.

One view, held by Richard Tunney, a professor of psychology, is that the people who go wild and squander their jackpots are basically the sort who would have behaved irresponsibly anyway, whether rich or poor.

But for the publicity of the lotto win, no one would have paid much attention. Basically, money tends to disrupt your life, and the more you let it change you, the worse you become.

My favourite lottery winner was a 70-year-old farmer from Yorkton Sask. He was standing in front of the camera holding his big cheque, wearing his Saskatchewan Wheat Pool cap, his John Deere plastic pocket protector was tucked into the pocket of his western shirt and the horse on his string tie was shining.

When the reporter asked him what he was going to do with his $5 million, he drawled, “Well, I guess I’ll just keep farming til it’s all gone.”

Now that is a Canadian attitude.

If you win, give it to your kids and charity and just keep working.

At least that’s what McGregor says.

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