Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ticket to Ride


So, tonight there are two people a few hundred million dollars richer than they were 24 hours ago.  Me? I’m out twenty bucks. 

Lottery tickets 11-29-12Image courtesy of James Barker at

Still, I don’t really consider the money wasted, because before the big lottery drawing, while those tickets were in my hand, anything was possible.  Before someone else is announced as the big winner, I can think about all the things I’d do if I was the one in the picture with the giant fake check, getting the equally giant sum of real money to go along with it.  Brian always says we’d be broke again before we died, though I am quite certain that even I could not spend $580 million dollars in my lifetime—or even half of it.  But I sure would have a fantastic time trying.

Of course, my to-do list would start with the most practical things: 

  • Setting aside some sort of trust fund for Billy to ensure that his kids’ kids would still be taken care of.
  • Hiring full time, live-in help for my granny.  She doesn’t want to live anywhere else but her home, and if I had that kind of money, she could stay where she wants and I could stop worrying.
  • Paying off my sister’s house so they could quit worrying about money so much, too.
  • Setting up a college fund for my nephew.
  • Buying a car for my friend, Gary.
  • Paying off my other sister’s house, too, and probably a college fund for her, since she’s still pursuing her education.
  • Setting up our own trust fund that would ensure our basic living expenses were covered for the next 50 years, regardless of what we did with the rest of the money.

After that, I’d think a little harder.  I would still want to share my good fortune with my family, and Gary, and my friend, Kim, even beyond their basic needs, so I’d have to do some calculating to know what seemed reasonable. 

And, of course, I would want to travel.  And travel, and then travel some more.  Brian’s not as infatuated as I am with the whole vacationing thing, but he’d probably want to come along most places.  If not, I’m sure someone would be glad to accompany me!  I’d probably start with Australia, because I’ve wanted to go there my whole life, and then maybe a photo safari in Africa.  And Europe, of course, plus all the places here in the States that I want to see.  I’m not sure after that, but I’d find someplace.  I figure I could alternate months, away for 30 days then home for 30.  Honestly, I could travel non-stop for a year, but I would start to miss the folks at home, so I’d try to be reasonable about it. 

I’d probably also build a new house on a giant spread of land.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with our house, but it’s not the one I’d have if I was a gazillionaire. 

And in the midst of all of this would come the part Brian worries about most: the donations.  He always says we’d have to run away somewhere if we struck it rich, because I’d want to give away all our money.  Well, I wouldn’t give it all away, but as I always say to him, what’s the point of having something if you can’t share? 

I’d definitely start finding some cancer research to help out, along with organizations to help families currently battling.  If I could help it, nobody else would ever lose their mother to that horrible disease.  And there are animal protection groups, and elder-care groups, education groups, and environmental groups . . . there are a lot of causes that could be helped with that kind of money.  Naturally, what I’d have to remember is that even with that kind of money, I couldn’t save the world, but I could make it a least a little better.

I suppose if I sat down and did the math, $580 million might go quicker than I think it would, but it would be one heck of a ride.  And all it takes is one ticket.

What’s on your lottery dream list?