Wednesday, August 7, 2013

425 Million Reasons

Many people today are dreaming of winning big.  The Powerball giant jackpot lottery will pay the winner $425 million dollars, one of the highest amounts in history.  The winner will also have the option of a one-time payment which, after taxes, equals about $244 million.  That's unreal and hard to comprehend.  It's making people who don't usually play the lottery purchase Powerball tickets in hope that they'll be the big winner, and many are talking about what they would do with the money.  Most talk about buying a new house, or new car(s), or take a big trip.  Others say they'll give at least some of it to charities.

It's really hard for me to imagine that much money.  What would I do with it?  This seemed like a fun exercise, so I gave it some thought.

The first thing I'd do, right off the top, is get a lawyer.  I'd probably call my buddy, Tucker.  He's the only lawyer I know who I trust.  If he's not honest with me, I know his mother and I'll tell on him.  Next, I would divvy up the money into different accounts.  One would be for a college fund for my daughter.  One would be for my church and any charities.  One would be for my family.  I'd want them, particularly my parents, to be taken care of.  Another percentage of the money would go toward savings.  And, finally, I'd have a percentage for fun and spending.

So what would I buy?  I don't think I'd go crazy.  I've heard about people going a little crazy with that much money, and it IS a lot, but you still have maintain some sanity and not go crazy.  I already have a fairly detailed retirement plan, so I think I would just start that plan a little earlier.

My log cabin home up in the mountains of Pennsylvania would be a reality.  And I'd want to have my dream car:  a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 convertible.  I'd want season tickets for my favorite sports teams:  the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins.  Finally, I'd supplement the existing scholarship in my wife's name at Reservoir High School to cover a full ride.  After all that, I'd want to do some traveling, but not just for fun.  I'd want to do some mission work, too.  Since I wouldn't need my job anymore, I'd want to use my time for volunteer work.

Of course, $425 million is a lot of money, so there may be a little room to go crazy.  Maybe I'd buy my own amusement park, and design my own roller coaster!  Maybe I could get my own airplane, so I could fly wherever and whenever I wanted!  Or my very own cruise ship!  I could buy my own sports franchise (like Mark Cuban)!  Or my own restaurant!  There are just so many ideas.  The sky's the limit.

So what are the chances of winning?  1 in 175 million.  Hmmmm...I just read there's a greater chance of you growing an extra finger on each hand.  And what are MY chances of winning?  Zero.  Nada.  No chance at all.  Why?  I didn't buy a ticket.  I know, you have to play to win.  But....I've decided I'm just not going to do it.

Good luck to you if you bought a ticket, though!  Feel free to call me if you need help coming up with ideas on how to spend it!

Have a great evening, everyone!

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