If I win/won a/the lottery, I will/would start a business.
1. Which words in bold should I use?
2. How should I phrase the sentence if I am referring to the first prize in the lottery draw?
2. 'If I won the jackpot. . .'
If I won a lottery, I would start a business.
I was taught that if one uses 'won', it means it is unlikely that it will turn out to be a reality.
For example, "If I pass my driving test, I will give you a treat" implies that I think I can pass the test. If I write "If I passed my driving test, I would give you a treat" it is the other way round; I am not confident of passing the test.
Have I been taught wrongly?
Could someone please help? Thanks.
No- you have been taught correctly. With the lottery, the second conditional makes more sense logically because the chances of winning are very small, but a particularly optimistic or hopeful gambler might use the first to make the chances sound better. Won/would makes a more sensible sentence to me.