I never play the lottery, believing the government gets enough of my money without me voluntarily handing over more of it. However, this has not kept me from making elaborate plans for what I would do with my winnings if I somehow won a jackpot.
I never play the lottery, believing the government gets enough of my money without me voluntarily handing over more of it.
However, this has not kept me from making elaborate plans for what I would do with my winnings if I somehow won a jackpot.
Of course, I’ve needed to come up with several plans, depending on whether I would win the Little Lotto or one of the bigger drawings.
I’m not alone. Even people who would be uncomfortable with great wealth can’t help but think about what it would be like to win the lottery. Every person I have talked to about this, lottery player or not, has plans in place for what he or she would do with the winnings.
As I write this, the Little Lotto is at $300,000. If I won that, I would continue working but would take much better vacations. I’d have enough to pay off my house, put my children through college, make some nice gifts to several good causes and friends, and bring home a Mini Cooper to join the lonely Neon in my driveway. Whatever would be left would serve as an infusion to my anemic retirement account.
The Lotto is at $3.5 million. Here we’re looking at enough to do everything above, plus hire a crew to fully restore our old Victorian, which at the rate we’re going will otherwise take my husband and me approximately three lifetimes to complete on our own. I’d be able to retire early and just write all day while living comfortably, with enough money to visit my husband’s European family every year.
But the Mega Millions jackpot is today at $16 million. And it’s here where I get to go wild with my plans.
I might buy not just one but TWO Mini Coopers! (Sorry, Neon. You’d get passed along to one of the kids.) And I’d likely go ahead and buy a Victorian beauty that somebody else has already restored. But nothing too huge, please. I don’t want more house than I can care for myself (which with my poor housekeeping skills means I should probably move into a small trailer, but never mind).
The sum of $16 million is more than anybody needs, so I wouldn’t keep that amount for long. After doing pretty much the same stuff as above, I’d endow a foundation with the bulk of the money.
Most of the annual disbursements would go to a handful of organizations I admire, but some would go toward righting wrongs in my little corner of the world.
From my vantage point as a small-town newspaper editor, the world is full of small injustices that a bit of judiciously applied cash could help solve. It would be a great pleasure to be able to secretly solve some of them.
The sad thing is that a lot of lottery winners go wild with material things and eventually go bankrupt, their money ultimately bringing them more pain than pleasure. A good financial adviser and a solidly run charitable foundation — both of which I’ve made plans for in my head — should keep that from happening in my case.
So I’m all set. Now all I need is to find a winning lottery ticket on the sidewalk on my way home tonight.
Michelle Teheux may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.