As many of you in the United States know, there is a huge lottery drawing tonight. I don't usually play the lottery, but our project manager bought each of us a quick-pick ticket the other day (as well as some crazy stress relief toys and candy and stuff) which I thought was exceptionally sweet of her.
So I have a ticket. And that ticket could win. Like I have a chance, but I actually do. Statistically speaking, it is incredibly unlikely... but there is a chance.
And as it happens, when there is a chance or glimmer of hope or something, one gets to thinking. What would I do with all that money?
Now, this is not just a "small" amount of money like 6 million dollars (with which I can build a man stronger, faster, better...). No. This is a literally obscene (in my mind) amount of money. Right now it is about 560 million dollars. Say that out loud to yourself just like Dr. Evil would say it. Good. Now that you've done it, think about the lump-sum amount that you'd walk away with if you opted to go that route. It would be about 340 million dollars. Say that like Dr. Evil would say it. Again, very good. Well done.
What would you do with 340 million dollars?
Where would you even start? Obviously, you sign the ticket, you make a photocopy of the ticket, you photograph yourself with the ticket, and put it under lock and key in a bank safety deposit box. Beyond that, what do you do? What would you do?
It is fun to start to fantasize about what kind of shenanigans and mayhem I could get into and start up. I posted the question on my facebook account and a lot of my friends ran with it with some of the funniest comments I've ever heard.
Here are some of my ponderings as to what I would do with a pantload, boatload, shit ton of cash:
I would lovingly shower the project manager who bought me the ticket with tokens of appreciation in the form of many dead presidents. Without her, I wouldn't be holding a big fat wad of lolly and doing the below. First things first...
Tithe 10% of it to my church. I've never been a good tither, I give where I can but never plan on giving. The Church building is one of the oldest standing barn-style colonial churches in America, and it needs a lot of tender loving care. I think 35 million dollars, or 10% would be more than enough to rehab the entire facility, buy a house or two in the neighborhood so we have a pastor's home and a place for visiting missionaries/guests to stay instead of trying to make that arrangement with families in the church. We need to do so much to restore the building, fix the furnace, fix the leaking roof, renovate the interior ceiling which is water damaged. There are historical documents and paintings that need restored and stored correctly so they'll last. And, this would leave a lot left over for the Deacons and Elders to administer throughout the community and missions field as they so see fit.
I would do this first so I had no excuses later, like running out of money. Done and dusted.
I obviously would would then initiate a financial scorched earth policy of sorts, starting with a certain bank that holds a certain mortgage, ahem. And pay that mother off. I'd give my lawyer a bunch of money to continue with something that we have going on and pay him well for being my Gandalf. In the end, praise God Almighty, I vow and swear to never ever ever have to deal with this certain bank again.
Sadly, after the tithing, this is the first and foremost of my fantasies. Not go on a trip or buy a new car. It is pay off the World's Most Evil Bank and be done with them, dust the sand off my shoes and walk the hell away.
How sad is that?
Anyway, I would also pay off certain other debts in the form of credit cards, student loans, car payments, and other bills and owings that I have. I would wipe my tabula rasa as clean as a slate can be.
Be beholden to no one, and never have to deal again with any of that bullshit. Onward.
I would do the same for my sister, my parents, Doug's sister, Doug's parents and a certain "My Girl C" who has been a staunch supporter, friend, adviser, partner in crime and fun for many years. I would make sure not only their debts are cleared but they have "foldin' money" to do with whatever they please.
There are several other people I know who are struggling, under-employed, on the verge of losing things or everything, and I would like to be able to take care of them too. If you think that you're one of those people and we know one another personally, you probably are already on my mind and in that list.
I would Set aside enough money for my kids and my nieces/nephews to go to college forever, to get as many degrees in whatever they want as they like. And encourage my daughter to figure out what she wants to do. Additionally, I would set aside enough money for my kids to live comfortably, but not stupidly like buy 100 puppies and build a pool shaped like their face (hat tip to Catie for that one). Live simply so others may simply live still applies. Have a nice house, but this isn't "My Super Sweet Sixteen" insanity we're talking about.
And now for the fun.
Two new cars, and once Jess gets her license, a third. Nice, safe, reliable, not over the top fancy... Just two nice new cars.
A certain Ms. Jo would have her current shop built out and expanded in the location where she is, at my expense but with her vision. Seeing her dream cooking school designed and completed would bring me great joy. Then, I would work with her to establish a second location closer to my house, and I would run that joint like a boss and be her right-hand man in the north country. Not because I do not want to work for her, heavens no, I love her and want to work for her, but the commute is killing me and she needs to expand her footprint, her empire, and I'd be the gal to do it. I'd still go in once a week at least just to blab and listen to Prog Rock Insanity all day long. I would hope she would allow my plan to come to fruition. But if I had a driver, or better yet a helicopter! yeah... I could go to Newton all I want.
Like the church, my colonial era house needs a lot of help and work. I would rehab the center fireplace system from ground to chimney, open all five fireplaces in that system (kitchen hearth, parlor, dining room, my bedroom, Jess' bedroom. I would expand the kitchen, and maybe do something with Ms. Jo on Colonial Cooking in my kitchen as a business. Hell yeah. New furnace, rehab both bathrooms and maybe put in a third, just because. Keep it colonial, but modernize past 1950. I have big dreams for that building.
Our Boy Scout Troop and our District... I would make sure they are taken care of. I would give money to Theater in the Open and Rebel Shakespeare Company because of the importance of both in my children's lives and developments. I would take care of the missionaries I know, like Steve and Allyson in Thailand, and my cousin Amy who is working with little babies in a hospital setting in Guatemala.
I would make it so that our school district NEVER AGAIN threatened to cut the arts or foreign languages because of funding. I would see to it that a facility is built where music and theater and all kinds of great things can happen for the kids in our district and set it up so that it is administered in perpetuity. And I don't even want my name on it.
We would then travel. I have an extensive list of places I'd like to go. And I would very much like to avoid the TSA hassle so I would obtain my own plane, my own pilot, and do whatever and go wherever the hell I want. I would like to go all over Europe. Iceland is in my sights. Aaron is out in Oregon so I would love to go visit him and camp on a beach with a giant bonfire and just rule the Pacific Northwest for a while. I've always wanted to go to the north of Japan, see monkeys in the snow and stuff. And then there is Australia and New Zealand. I want to go to Hobbiton and ride a horse across the land with mountains behind me like ole Gandalf did. And I would drink wine.
I would visit my friends in foreign countries and foreign countries where I do not yet have friends.
I would take Dave to many a pub for many a pint.
I would have a freaking good time.
This would leave a lot of money because to be honest I don't think that I would spend it all on the above things. I'm the type of person who gives everything away and is too generous, so I may have to be slightly miserly and stick at least half of the lump sum somewhere so I can live my life out and not become one of these "the lottery ruined my life" TV documentary people that you see.
My friend Michael said that if he won he would go visit every friend he has, and have a cheeseburger with him or her, spend time, move on to the next person. I would hope he'd leave some money with each friend, before leaving, and I told him I want to follow along because it would make a good book, but that's just my opinion. I think I would just want the cheeseburgers.
What would you do?