In case you missed it, apparently there is a HUGE Powerball jackpot on the line tonight – fifth largest in lottery history! My mother has been texting me throughout the day reminding me to get a ticket. She’s been telling me to play the lottery forever, but I usually just resist. I’m not into losing money if I can help it, but that said, every time I go into a casino, I’ve always left with more money than I came with. I’ve always been lucky, but the lottery just never seemed worth it.
So today, right after work, I bought a Powerball ticket. I bought TWO quick picks. TWO!! I’m going crazy here for $6! [Please read that last sentence as fraught with sarcasm.]
I’ve always thought it would be so amazing to win the lottery (I mean, come on!), but I have to be realistic. I spent a little time today thinking about all the things I would do if I won the lottery. It was a lot of fun to talk about some of these out loud today with my co-workers.
If I won the lottery tonight, I would:
- SCREAM. CRY. FREAK OUT. DUH!
- Call into work tomorrow. I would have to, but I wouldn’t plan on quitting just yet. I’d stay employed for a bit.
- Call my attorney ASAP. Why? I would have him (or an associate) go with me to claim the prize and hopefully have him claim it in my stead. If he claims it for his “anonymous client,” my personal life would hopefully be less disrupted by becoming instantly famous. My co-workers were a little surprised by this response from me, but I think it’s one of the best things one could do if they won the lottery. I don’t need every business, estranged family member, or nonprofit knocking on my door right away.
- Talk to attorney about any and all tax liabilities and get those covered ASAP. I figure that taking the lump sum right away would be my best bet. Since I’m taking it in as a lump sum, I’m sure they would be an upfront tax hit on my part. I’d want to have that addressed and set aside as soon as possible so that i could start putting that money back to work in my life.
- Put 75% (maybe more) of it into an untouchable savings account for at least a month. Yes, I would set most of it aside for just a minute. That would still leave me with several million dollars not set aside to use for something. I feel like it would be VERY important to not make ANY rash decisions. If I set it aside for a little while, I would be able to devise a plan on where I should spend or save it for long-term purposes.
- Hire a CFP to help me create that plan mentioned above to make sure my money is working for me, rather than all being spent lavishly.
- With what remains, I would pay off all of my debts. College, credit cards, medical bills, student loans, etc. – all of that would be eliminated. Obviously.
- Hire a housekeeper, personal trainer, and personal assistant. This sounds silly, but they are all things I would like to have in my life at some point.
- Fully fund my nephew’s 529 plan. Another obvious one! Also with a tax break! 😉
- Set-up long-term care and housing for my grandmother. She’s one of the few people who retired with a pension, but I’m fairly certain she’ll outlive it. I would want her last years to be as amazing as possible.
- Pay off my parents’ PLUS loans for my college and their mortgage. I feel like that’s the right thing to do.
- Make a few large charitable donations. At the top of my list would be my alma mater, a couple of the organizations that I currently volunteer with, and maybe I’d “buy” a hospital wing. I always thought that would be cool to have my name on an important place.
- Invest in a start-up business. I think so many people have great ideas and I’d love to help someone realize their dream!
- Buy a loft condo. Not a house, a condo. I don’t want a yard to maintain. This is a deal breaker for me! I would also have an interior designer help me with this new place.
…then…I don’t know. I would be set for life if that happened. I don’t think I would want a very lavish life. I would be much more comfortable in a home that I owned, with all of my own furnishings, and living peacefully doing things that I would WANT to do…rather than things that I HAD to do. Money would be the best tool for that.
Anyways, that was fun. You never know, it could happen. That said, the odds of being struck by lightning or playing in the NBA are actually much higher than winning the lottery. 🙂
Let’s discuss! Did you buy a lottery ticket for tonight’s drawing? What would you do if YOU won?