Tom Jones is a millionaire many, many times over. He’s worth in excess of £150 million but one day it dawned on him that he’ll never get around to spending all the money he’s got. So two years ago he decided to start giving it away. He doesn’t give it to charity or to any particular good causes, he just randomly gives it away to people he’s never seen before, and some of the ways he does it is unconventional to say the least. From ‘rewarding’ people who have been kind enough to help him in some way, and sending thousands of pounds inside Christmas cards to people in places he’s never been to, to hiding wads of £20 notes inside newspapers on the London Underground for people to find, and leaving it hanging out of cash dispensers for people to take, to walking up to complete strangers in the street and giving them a thousand pounds. He also cleared one family’s debts and then paid for them to go to Disneyworld in Florida (which totalled over £10,000) took another family he’d never met before out on his yacht for the day in Majorca and then paid for their holiday, costing him £5,000, and he’s put a homeless man up in a hotel in Brighton for a week! He’s also thrown $50 dollar bills out of his hotel window in Thailand to the local Thai people, and he once sat in a shop doorway dressed as a tramp and then walked into a posh Bistro and gave a lady £100 to pay for her and her friend’s lunch after she was kind enough to give him some change – and nearly gave her a heart attack into the bargain!
One of his aims when he decided to give his money away was to ‘brighten up someone’s day and put a smile on their face.’ And he does this by surprising them by giving them cash or gifts. But he also wanted to have a bit of fun whilst doing it and is sometimes slightly mischievous and he’ll set a ‘test’ like the one above where he dressed as a tramp, hence the title of the chapter being ‘Did Worzel Gummidge Just Pay For My Lunch? And in the chapter ‘Can You Spare A Multi Millionaire A Pound Please?’ he tells of another of his tests that he sometimes does on pay and display car parks where he’ll pretend he’s forgotten his wallet and ask someone if they could give him a pound to get a ticket and if they do he’ll take it – only to give it back to them a moment or two later along with a couple of fifty pound notes and then walk off leaving them totally bewildered!
He also details how he made his millions, and in the chapter ‘Life Is Just A Lottery’ he explains the differences between becoming a millionaire by winning the lottery (which he still plays religiously every week despite his enormous wealth) and becoming a millionaire by earning it or inheriting it. And if you’ve ever received a lottery ticket in the post from Tom and you’ve won the top prize we hope that, A, you don’t start behaving like one particular lottery winner did who Tom talks about. And B, that you remembered to put your clothes back on before you FaceTimed your friends telling them about your win! (Everything will make sense in chapter eleven).
As well as playing the lottery he also likes a ‘sensible’ flutter on the horses, and every Saturday he visits the bookies. Unfortunately, not everyone gamble’s sensibly and he tells of seeing firsthand the despair of those that are addicted to the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (roulette machines) that have been in the news recently. And that why in upmarket, affluent neighbourhoods you might see one betting shop if you’re lucky, yet in the not so affluent areas you’ll see several on the same high street. (Ever wondered why you might see two or three William Hills or Corals within the space of a few hundred yards of each other? He’ll tell you why.)
In the chapter ‘There’s A Right Way And There’s A Wrong Way To Give Money Away’ it includes the story of him throwing $50 dollar bills out of his hotel window in Thailand. He also refers to something that utterly disgusted him that was in the newspapers a few years ago where a group of ‘yuppie’ London bankers threw money off their hotel roof in Indonesia to the ‘poor little people’ below as they described them, and videoed themselves laughing and spraying champagne on them – and urinating on them – as they watched them fight each other for the money. As the title of this one suggests, Tom did it in a totally different manner. It also includes the story of how he once paid for a woman and her young son’s flights to Vancouver (business class, costing nearly £6,000) after the flight they were supposed to be on was overbooked – and he’d only just met the woman ten minutes earlier when he was checking in for his own flight.
And just why are airline companies allowed to overbook anyway? If a house builder took 310 deposits off people knowing they were only going to build 300 houses they’d get sued wouldn’t they? So if an aeroplane only has 300 seats on it why are airlines allowed to sell 310 tickets? Tom gives you an insight.
And in chapter eight ‘All The Postman Ever Brings Me Is Bills’ you can read how Tom came up with his own version of the Postcode Lottery and sent Christmas cards out containing a total of £40,000 inside them. He went through the letters of the alphabet starting at A, Aberdeen, B, Birmingham, C, Carlisle, etc and with the help of Google’s ‘little yellow fella’ on street view and Royal Mail’s postcode finder he sent them all over the UK. And in the process he came across some very interesting places. For example did you know there was a ‘Bell End’ in Worcester? (Yes, we know that every town in the UK has probably got its fair share of bell ends but Worcester has got an official one!) There’s also a Nob End in Lanarkshire and a Brown Willy in Cornwall!
And amongst other things, Tom tells how he gave a woman in Tesco’s a hundred pounds because she sneezed, carried a nurse’s shopping to her car for her and then gave her £250, watched a road sweeper dive into his own litter bin after he told him he’d just thrown a thousand pounds in it, bought an elderly couple a rather expensive plasma television in Curry’s, how he goes into shops and hides money inside clothes and books, and why he paid for fifty MOT’s at a garage. Oh, and he once bought someone an ice cream cornet in the Lake District! (There’s a bit more to that one but we won’t spoil it for you.)
Bizarre? Yes. Eccentric? Maybe. Slightly Odd? Possibly. Does Tom’s generosity cheer people up and put a smile on their faces? Definitely, and to Tom, that’s all that matters. It’s one of the most remarkable stories you’ll ever read and it’s available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle via the link below. And you can read the introduction and the first chapter for free by clicking on the ‘look inside’ tab on the Kindle version page. Alternatively get a free sample sent direct to your phone using the free Kindle app. You can also read the whole book for free on Kindle Unlimited.