Yesterday, two people won (and ultimately have to split) $400 million in the lottery. There has also been a lot of talk recently of the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge for March Madness. Last night at dinner, this led my parents and I into the discussion of “What Would You Do if You Won a Billion Dollars?” and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
Listen, I may be a writer (by desire, if not in practice), but I think as a general rule, I tend to be much more analytical/logical than impulsive/romantic. Which is why my immediate answer to that question was: “put it in the bank.” That answer isn’t particularly interesting, though, is it?
I can honestly tell you that I wouldn’t blow my money on stuff. My father and 2/3 of my siblings are CPAs, so I have a sense on how to manage my money. We weren’t raised to make frivolous purchases or to covet material things over people. I’d be more than happy to raise my potential future family in a house like the one I grew up in. I don’t need, or particularly want, a huge house or a fancy car or expensive gadgets.
I’m really not trying to be self-congratulating here, just honest. Stuff doesn’t appeal to me. I have all the stuff I need, except for maybe customized soccer cleats from Nike, which would cost, max, $300 (my cleats would be so pretty).
I don’t think I’d stop working either. I’d get way too bored. I’d have the ability to actually do whatever I wanted, though, as opposed to working just to earn a living like most people.
What I really think I would do is travel to all the places on my list (including, but not limited to: California, Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, Costa Rica, Morocco, South Africa, and Greece). I hope that I can go to all of these places, and more, without winning a billion dollars, but that money sure would help.
My dad and I also discussed the idea of starting a charity that either involved puppies or poor children. But not giving puppies to poor children, because that would probably not benefit either party.
Seriously, though, I’d like to think that after my financial advisor (or, as I call him, “Dad”) and I determined the amount that I would need to set aside for my family and I to live a comfortably normal life, I’d do something important with the rest. And also buy myself a puggle.
I think that amount of money is just so hard to fathom actually possessing. Perhaps I wouldn’t actually be smart with the money at all and just by myself a giraffe and a helicopter or something.
What would you do if you won the lottery (or even more improbably, managed to guess the March Madness bracket perfectly)? I hope it’s something more interesting than what I said.