Sunday, April 01, 2012
First Monday - Lotto Fever
Yes, I succumbed to the Mega Millions Lottery fever. The last total I heard was $640 million to be given away to the lucky winners. I took my $10 that I allowed myself for this folly and stood in line for a surprisingly brief 2 minutes before collecting 10 numbers printed on two little slips of paper.
It's seductive, this thought that I could win. My practical side scoffed at my daydreaming side and stated emphatically that there was no way in hell I'd ever win a big ol' bucket of money, no matter how many tickets I bought. My dad chimed in when my brother mentioned going to get tickets on Facebook with something along the lines of "Why would anyone want that much money?" I know for a fact that my dad has been poor before. He isn't now - but neither is he rich. He has enough to get by and that's all he needs. Really, it's all that anyone needs.
But if your days of struggling are in the present or the recent past, the idea of being rich.. of not having to spend every waking moment worrying about having enough money to even cover the basics - THAT'S the thing that drives the dream. And I've struggled. A lot of people I know have. This economy has made sure that plenty of people spend time wondering if they'll be able to feed their children or pay the electric bill. That's what drove the amounts of this lottery so high - a lot of people hoping for a little relief put their pennies together and bought tickets.
I was sure I wouldn't win (and I didn't), but that didn't stop me from thinking about what I'd do with that money. Somewhere I heard that a lump sum pay out would be around $300 million. That's a hefty chunk of change and difficult to wrap your head around - but someone somewhere would have to do just that. And I was thinking... If that were me doing the head-wrapping, what would I do with that money?
Obviously, I would take care of me and mine. A comfortable retirement account set up. Debts paid off. An account for my son's college expenses. Care for my parents and my in-laws. Comfortable lives for my brothers and their children. Personally, I'd spend some money to get myself healthy, buy some clothes, a new car for me and my husband. I would definitely pay a pool man to take care of that darned pool (perhaps get a "real" pool put in) and a team of maids to de-hair my house, and a remodeler to do something about my awful kitchen. My husband would have a little house on teh beach and I would have a little summer cabin up north in the mountains so I don't have to wilt into a damp pile of me in the muggy summer (or possibly buy out my father's cousins in the matter of the farm in Wales).
Next would come the "charity" aspect. Some money for friends. A new roof for my church, as well as a healthy donation that would ensure its continuance for years and years to come. The animal shelter. AIDs research. Grace Mission and The Shelter as well as Refuge House would figure prominently in my donations. Each school in my district would receive money as well.
I'm sure I've forgotten a few of the people and places I think about giving money to on a regular basis but when I think of it, I realize that I don't want much money for me. A million would probably cover me for life. $300 million is so unreal to me that I would probably have to devote the rest of my life to giving the stuff away.
What would YOU do with that kind of money?
If you'd like to participate, tell me so in the comments and I'll add your link here!