Every time the Powerball or Mega-Millions gets really high–you know, 300 million or so–I always go out and buy a ticket and spend roughly the next 24 hours or so fantasizing about what I might do with the money, if by some miracle I happened to win. I mean, honestly, if I really did win all my plans would probably go right out the window, but, you know, it’s fun to dream.
First, even if the pot is 300 million, once you take the cash option and then pay Mr. Tax Man, the amount left would be probably closer to 120. And since I usually go in on my lottery tickets with two other people, we are looking at roughly 40 million–you know, chump change.
The very first thing I’d do is pay off all of my debts. Pretend I’m being responsible. Car, student loans, credit cards, etc. Pay everything off.
Second, I would quit my second job (sorry, Kate!) to free up some time for writing, and maybe to allow me to have a social life, too.
Third, I would buy a house. A nice home with an entryway. As a kid I always dreamed of playing a grand piano, and winning the lottery would be a perfect opportunity to make that particular dream a reality.
Fourth, I would set up college savings accounts for both my niece and nephew. College can be expensive so if I can, I’d like to save them the hassle of figuring out how to pay for it.
After all that, I would go on vacation. As those who have previously traveled with me can attest, I’m a pretty cheap traveler as I’m always looking for the best deal (which is not always the most inexpensive, but definitely the best value). I would like to visit Hawaii, and France, and Alaska, and Australia, and…
For my last big “expenditure” I would take a million dollars and donate it to some of my favorite charities–my church, Project Linus, etc.
I assume at this point I will have gone through about 5 million or so, leaving still a significant sum remaining. This money I would like to invest. Ideally, with a variety of sound investments, I would be able to live off the interest. This idea appeals to me because it would allow me to stop working to pay the bills, and allow me more time to volunteer, catch up on my reading and spend time with my families.
What would you do if you won the lottery? Let me know in the comments below!