Winning the lottery is something we all dream about at some point in our lives. It’s a fantasy that only comes true for very few people, allowing them to go from rags to riches, help their families, quit their jobs and go off on permanent vacations. Everyone has different ideas about what they would do with the money if they won the lottery. Assuming I won a jackpot of at least several million dollars, I can think of five ways the prize money would instantly improve my life.
1. Investing in the future
Many who win the lottery make the mistake of running through their winnings quickly and without thought to the future. They go from rags to riches and back to rags again in short time. If I won the lottery, I would make sure to set aside much of the money I received in different investments: stocks, money market accounts, and income-generating real estate such as rental apartments. As much as I would want to enjoy the money myself, I would also want to make sure my children’s future was taken care of as well. I would want my lottery winnings to grow with time, not disappear, so I would be careful not to spend the money too quickly or unwisely. I would make sure my investments were diverse so that as one market might be suffering, such as real estate is currently, another would hopefully be on an upswing and keep my money growing.
2. Being able to complete work on my dream house
I am in the process of buying a beautiful home which I hope will truly be a dream house for my fiance, myself, and perhaps our children for much of the rest of our lives. However, with the money we are laying out to purchase the home, we don’t have much ready cash available to remodel the house to our exact desires. Some of the things we dream of doing include finishing the basement, landscaping the large but fairly bare grounds, and building a backyard deck. Winning the lottery would allow us to get whatever work we wanted done on the house without worrying about the cost. I dream of having an authentic Italian wood-fired pizza oven in my backyard, for instance, like the models sold at Forno Bravo. Instead of a simple wooden deck, I would splurge on an EP Henry paver stone patio. In the basement, I would love to build a home music studio and isolation booth so I could practice my drums without disturbing anyone else. While I was at it, I would like to upgrade from an electronic drum kit to a high-end acoustic kit, maybe even one of Tama’s Limited Editions like The Stewart Copeland Signature Kit.
3. Taking dream vacation getaways – whenever I wanted
My fiance and I both love Italy, yet budget is always a consideration in deciding how frequently we can travel there. Winning the lottery would allow us to plan vacations to Italy whenever we wanted, giving us the chance to revisit old favorite cities like Florence and Venice as well as explore new-to-us areas like the beaches of Ancona, or Lake Como. We would likely explore more of the rest of Europe as well, to see the great museums and enjoy the history of England, France, Germany and elsewhere.
4. Contributing to my favorite charitable causes
Winning the lottery would allow me to contribute generously to some of the charities I hold near and dear to my heart. As an artist and lover of classical painting, I would contribute funds to such organizations as the Friends of Florence, Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, and Save Venice. These organizations do wonderful work restoring and trying to save important works of art which could otherwise be lost due to damage and aging through the centuries. Most of them have “wish lists” of projects they would love to work on if someone could sponsor them, so I would use some of my lottery winnings to “adopt” such a project.
I also am a supporter of several great animal charities such as City Kitties, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania charity which rescues, treats, and finds homes for feral cats in the city. With even a contribution of a few thousand dollars, City Kitties would be able to afford life-saving surgeries for felines in need and support more foster parents for cats waiting to be adopted. I would also donate to Alley Cat Allies, a wonderful organization which supports humane treatment of feral cats who cannot be domesticated, and promotes the Trap-Neuter-Return method of controlling feral cat populations.
5. Never having to worry about health care costs again
Winning the lottery would change my life as I’d never have to worry about having enough insurance – or enough money – for my health care needs. Having the financial security to know I could pay for whatever health care, surgeries, or treatments I would need in my life would be incredible. As someone with pre-existing health conditions, I currently am unable to secure more than catastrophic health insurance and at a very high premium. I have to pay for regular office visits and small procedures mostly out of my own pocket, which can be very difficult at times. When I needed surgery two years ago, it ended up costing me close to ten thousand dollars as my insurance would not cover the procedure. With these problems currently, I would love never having to worry about the cost of my health care again. Winning the lottery would hopefully allow me to do just that.