I didn’t win.
But . . .
Fantasy is good for us. It exercises our mind, makes us smile, and improves our mood. We know (well, most of us – some are blissfully ignorant and shall remain that way) that we’re not going to win. We know that NOT buying a ticket and buying a ticket gives us ALMOST the exact same chance at winning. That odds of one in 292 million are probably less than the odds of Jurassic Park actually happening for real and you being able to afford to attend and then getting eaten by a Pterodactyl named Steve.
But we play anyway, and we fantasize about what we would do with the money, and we ignore the statistics that say that many, if not most, lottery winners end up broke, dead, or in jail.
So what would I do if I won? Let’s round it off and ignore taxes and fees and the annuity vs. cash discussion. Let’s say I won a billion dollars. No. A Billion. Because that much money deserves to be capitalized.
What would I do with my winnings?
ONE BILLION DOLLARS
Give 100M to a money manager for safe and secure long-term investments that would result in a continuous return.
900 MILLION DOLLARS
Pay off my debts and the debts of my family and friends and a couple of my enemies just to mess with their heads.
899 MILLION DOLLARS
Buy a house in Los Angeles, an apartment in New York City, and a jet to travel back and forth between the two, and hire a staff for each home and pilots and crew for the jet.
799 MILLION DOLLARS
Start a company to produce, market and distribute any decent projects submitted by my friends and the people I respect, whether it’s movies, TV shows, music, art, books or any other creative pursuit.
599 MILLION DOLLARS
Fund a scholarship for elementary-aged students in the United States that rewards success in science and math and provides tutoring, college tuition, and grant money to those who demonstrate high aptitude.
574 MILLION DOLLARS
Begin a charitable foundation for single parents that provides education for their children and high quality meals, services, and products for those in need.
474 MILLION DOLLARS
Tip someone at a restaurant in a small town really, really, really well.
473 MILLION DOLLARS
Buy an small island in a comfortable climate. Name it the Avitable Island for Wayward Humans and make it into a commune that accepts applicants who want to escape the world, focus on creative pursuits, and probably just be naked all the time too.
423 MILLION DOLLARS
Flood the American market with prescription drugs that are identical to those sold in the United States except much, much cheaper. Make them so available that pharmaceutical companies have no choice but to re-evaluate their pricing and the way they earn money. Cackle with villainous glee. Take more Adderall.
223 MILLION DOLLARS
Hire investigative agencies to uncover the dirty secrets of every single politician in the United States who encourages or supports discrimination of any person in the name of religious freedom or who seems to be okay with children being killed in the name of the second amendment. Post all of the secrets online.
123 MILLION DOLLARS
Give Anonymous 100M in support of their work exposing liars, thieves, bigots, and other terrible people. Start wearing a Guy Fawkes mask around the house.
23 MILLION DOLLARS
Take two to three years and travel around the world. Try to live with locals, experience their lives without staying in nice hotels or spending lots of money, and traveling on a budget. I mean, spoil yourself a little, though.
22 MILLION DOLLARS
Send ten of my friends on a scavenger hunt and tell them the winner gets a million dollars. GIve them all a million instead.
12 MILLION DOLLARS
Buy a Tesla Model S with every possible feature. Hurt your arm patting yourself on the back.
11.8 MILLION DOLLARS
Pay off the layaway plans for every Walmart and Kmart in a thirty-mile radius from you.
11.1 MILLION DOLLARS
Build a giant enclosure to house any wounded dolphins or those that can’t survive in the wild. Become best friends with them and develop a way for them to communicate with you.
6.1 MILLION DOLLARS
Have a robot body made for yourself. Just in case the technology arrives before you get too old.
Send a friend’s son or daughter to college because they couldn’t afford to go otherwise.
Finally beat Candy Crush.
Buy a tranquility pod.
Get a new wardrobe, include tailored clothes and two custom tailored suits.
Buy drinks for everyone in the bar one night.
Take your closest friends out for steaks.
Buy 50 more Powerball tickets.
Does anyone else think the word “dollars” looks really, really weird right now? Dollars. Doooolllllarrrrs. Daahhhhlllllaahhhhrrrs.
What would you do if you won? Which you won’t. But if you did?
This is part of a series in which I will attempt to write something every single day of 2016. Will I be able to do it? You’ll only know if you subscribe using the form below!