2:44am UK, Wednesday October 01, 2008

Have you ever fancied owning £1m but have never been lucky enough to win the Lottery?

The £1m note

Yours for around £40,000

Well now is your chance.

A rare £1m bank note is going on auction today - but you will probably need around £40,000 to buy it.

The so-called Number Eight £1m note was issued in connection with the Marshall Aid Plan after World War II.

The Marshall Plan, named after its architect, American Secretary of State George Marshall, was the programme of aid given to western Europe by America between 1948 and 1951.

Nine notes were printed and they were intended for internal use as 'records of movement' for a period of just six weeks.

Only two notes, Number Seven (No 000007) and Number Eight (No 000008), are believed to have survived.

They were given as mementoes to the respective US and UK Treasury Secretaries.

The Number Seven was first sold in 1977 and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the highest denomination note in private hands.

Note Number Eight, which is dated 30 August 1948, is being auctioned in London by specialist auctioneers Spink .

It is described as "one of the rarest examples of British currency around today" by Barnaby Faull, director of banknotes at Spink.