Living in (or near?) America, you know that the Powerball is currently at $1.4 billion. That’s over $860 million, lump sum. Remember that book from when you were a kid: How Much is a Million? That’s all I could really think about on my walk home today. It’s a pretty uphill battle, so pondering things makes it go much quicker.
It would take me 17,500 years to make $1.4 billion.
A billion seconds is roughly 31 years…which means I haven’t lived a billion seconds yet, and I won’t for 3 more years.
And yet, I am still on the fence about rather or not I would want to play in the lottery. I’ve got until Wednesday to decide, and I doubt that it’ll go unwon again. And to be fair — odds are, it won’t just be one person who wins. And there is the whole “lottery curse” thing. Most of the good lottery stories involve people giving away most of their money. It’s understandable — pay it forward. And to be honest, while my life isn’t perfect or to a point where I don’t worry about money, I really am content in my life. I have a job that pays well and doesn’t require me to work 24/7. My health, while not great, is sustainable.
But still, with a very cold, half mile walk that’s 60% uphill, I couldn’t help but think about what I would do with my (imaginary) winnings. After I disappear for a few months, because I so couldn’t handle the media or anything.
Of course on the personal side, I would:
- pay off all my medical, student, car and regular debt. Duh.
- set my 4 youngest siblings with trust funds for college (or whatever they decide to do), even though two of them don’t really talk to me or anything. And of course, a second trust fund, in case they super screw up (but not for repeat screw ups, come on now.)
- The other 3 siblings would get their past debts paid off, as well as trust funds.
- My dad and step mom would get his ranch in Montana, with all the horses they want, as well as their past debts paid off. And a trust fund, of course.
- I’d take my mom traveling, hiking, shopping — there would a year of “what does my mom want to do or go?” Seriously, my mom, being the woman who gave me life at the least, also changed my bandages after my car accident, gave me blood thinner shots when I couldn’t and wouldn’t, forced me to get up and get better, has been my voice of reason and realism, and has been there for everything. What I’m saying is, I know I owe my mom everything. And a trust fund.
- Mike would get …I dunno, do you want a new house? Maybe just some new cars? Both? Plus his debts paid off and a trust fund.
- My grandparents — all 5 of them, even the estranged ones, wouldn’t have to worry about money, no matter their health issues.
- I’d move to the more yuppy part of Brooklyn or Union Square, set up a travel fund, and make sure I gave myself an annual income still — and set aside a few million that I couldn’t touch unless it’s an emergency.
- I have 5 friends that have stuck with me through so much, seen me through so many problems. I know wouldn’t ask me for money, nor would they expect much from me. They know who they are, and they’d definitely get something.
- The doctors that saved my life? Except a wonderful Christmas gift. (I’m looking at you, Dr. Kamran!)
- Plus a few other random things that I’m sure I’m forgetting.
And then of course, I’d quit my job, travel, write, read and live. But that is at most, what $400 million (hahahahahaha)? That’s a lot of money left over.
So here’s what I’d do with the rest:
- Invest some of the money so that the giving can continue.
- Start a college scholarship (or trades-person scholarship) program for those trying to make something of themselves while battling illness. One of my own prides is that I got through college, despite getting sick and nearly dying in a car accident. Whatever happens to me, that was something I succeeded at.
- Or maybe medical funds. Because what’s paid for treatments can be so much more than what’s paid for college.
- And a WAI scholarship. I am so excited to attend their conference again this year. The atmosphere, the support, all of it is just contagious while you’re there.
- A good portion would go to autoimmune disease awareness and cures. Cause seriously, that shit needs it.
- School systems. Lunches for kids. Seriously. I hate seeing those stories anywhere. There are just under 100K public schools according to the 2009-2010 census (probably closer to 120K now), so $1M per school? And keeping the arts in school.
- HeforShe. Equality, seriously.
- Random acts of kindness. I’d seriously just travel and give it away in random ways at random places.
There are so many other charities and organizations I would consider and think about, but it would take research. But seriously, I would give so much of it away. And have to settle that I’d probably never marry, which I think I’m okay with.
So much is wishful thinking, of course, given that I haven’t even bought a ticket. Maybe I will tomorrow.