Winning the lottery is pretty much a universal dream – unless you’re a Soviet Union era communist, in which case, your baked potato dessert is getting cold. For everyone else, hearing your digits called correctly is the closest thing to heaven one can get on Earth – aside from true love, the laughter of a child, or whatever other phony-baloney lie people claim to want over the lottery.
At some point in your life, you’ve probably been asked the all too classic question… “What would you do if you won the lottery?” Now what you’re about to hear is my very honest, very realistic answer. What would I do? Long and hard have I considered that incredibly unlikely possibility. Years of my childhood were invested in contemplating potential wealth while my peers learned about Chris Columbus and their multiplication tables.
To start things off, we’ll set the amount at the classic ‘million dollars’. While a bit disappointing for a lottery payout- that’s a substantial amount of money. You know how you hear people claim ‘a million bucks isn’t that much’? I always find myself laughing at those people. My general reaction is- yeah, you’d definitely turn down that paltry sum of money.
“A million? Nah, I’m good. Now if you’ll excuse me, the commandant needs me to harvest the turnips.”
So I’ve been handed the million. The first thing I do? Put it down- that’s a lot of money and I’d rather not be crushed under the weight of the silver dollars that I insist it be paid in. Most likely I would section off a hundred thousand and disperse it to my relatives. My parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles would all receive a small fortune in silver dollars. Those with excessive debt would be given the extra funds necessary to give them a fresh start.
Next I’d take roughly twenty thousand and it split up amongst my closest friends and a few neighbors. It is at this point that the gift money would probably be brought to a stop. Next on the list? Fixing a few things around the house- maybe. After all, there’s still a rather unpleasant hole in my room after that storm a few months ago. By ‘unpleasant’, I happen to mean a third of my ceiling is gone. It might be nice to do away with that. For those curious about that little story, you can check out my article on it.
It would be at this point that roughly six hundred thousand would be placed in a savings account. I would likely purchase a few dozen savings bonds simply for added financial security. I imagine at this point I might purchase a monocle, top hat, and cane in order to cosplay as the Monopoly guy. Maybe.
So far you may notice something missing that’s usually common for these lottery fantasies. Charity. I’m going to be brutally honest with you- it isn’t so much that I just wouldn’t give anything to charity, it just wouldn’t be my first inclination. First John, his family, and his future get taken care of- then the orphans and sickly can have their silver dollars. Maybe.
I’ve got nothing against the starving and the poor, but I’m not so sure they’re looking out for my best interests. But before some rogue commie with a potato peeler comes after me- I kid, I kid! I’d be sending some moderate donations to several reputable charity organizations. Perhaps I’d finance thirty or forty of those hungry children you see on TV with that one bearded guy. Maybe.
You might be wondering what I’d do in terms of leisure and enjoyment. Not a lot. My greatest pleasures in life are writing, spending time with my family, playing video games, and being angry at The Sopranos’ ending. Beyond that, I’m not much for worldly pleasures. I’d probably take my family out to eat the following Thursday night and do some shopping the next day.
In terms of guilty pleasure purchases, there are a few things I’ve always wanted to own. I’d probably buy a soda machine, an X-Men arcade cabinet, a Godzilla pinball machine, and probably a few other arcade-style purchases. Then, likely, a small arcade to put it all in. Maybe.
My future measures would probably be to spend the rest of my life eating nothing but ramen noodles and drinking tap water. Well, maybe not. I would continue my frugal lifestyle in order to insure I’d never again have money troubles. I would continue writing, hopefully get a few books published, and most likely keep working on Associated Content. As an afterthought, I might visit Egypt or Italy. Italy in a likely vain effort to experience my roots, Egypt because the pyramids probably look cool in person. Russia, I’d probably avoid. They likely wouldn’t appreciate my light, surrealist humor toward them. That and their dancing bears scare me.
On a final note, I would not become my family’s personal bank, nor would I go around trying to save the world just because I happened to win the lottery. I would act as a sympathetic ear to friends and family, helping when I deemed it a worthy cause. Though, in the absolute end, I would live my current life simply without the financial worries if I won the lottery. I most certainly wouldn’t spend the rest of my life eating ramen noodles on a mattress stuffed with silver dollars. Maybe.