Monday, January 30, 2012

What Would You Have Done?


This morning, I heard an astounding story on local TV news.  A man who had won a multimillion dollar lottery jackpot (wish I'd been listening more closely at the beginning to get the exact amount he won) had notified the lottery office in Nebraska (I think) that he was donating the entire amount to charity.  He wanted them to pay out the money to the charities directly.  They said they couldn't do that.  He'd won the jackpot, not the charities.  They'd pay the money to him or he could decline the jackpot.  He chose to decline the jackpot.

What would you have done?

My reaction: why on earth did he decline the jackpot?  The idiot!  What?  Didn't he want to deal with the paperwork involved with donating that money to the charities of his choice?  What paperwork?  If I'd won that jackpot, and I'd wanted the proceeds to go directly to charities, and I'd been given the choice he was given, I'd have accepted the proceeds, then swiftly written those charitable donation checks.  I would have established a separate checking account that the proceeds could be transferred into so the money never touched my own personal banking accounts. 

What would you have done?  You, yes, you!

My suspicion was that the guy who wanted to give his lottery proceeds to charity didn't need millions of dollars.  He already occupied a place as a one-percenter.  He didn't need it.  And, God love him, he wanted to give the money from the lottery office to his favorite charities so that...so that...I can't think of a single reason why he'd want to do that, actually.  Charitable donations can be deducted from one's income taxes.  Would he have to pay taxes on the original winnings before he donated them?  Wouldn't the deduction offset the taxes?  I think so..... 

Fantasizing about winning the lottery -- who hasn't done it?  I know I have.  I know exactly what I'd do if I won a multimillion dollar jackpot.  I would not give it all to charity but I have my causes.  The Great Recession has not been kind to me, along with millions of other people.  I'd want to replenish my retirement fund that I've been robbing and make certain I fulfilled my financial goals.  Then I think I'd set up a foundation through which I'd make all my charitable contributions.  After that, I'd return to my writing.... 

What would you do?

Credit: Disney

2 comments:

Mary-Ann said...

Love the conversational tone of this entry (the millionaire)! I'm not quite sure why the fellow was hesitant about accepting the money straight out - maybe he was concerned about taxes - though with the winnings he certainly could have afforded the taxes. Interesting. In answer to the question - "What would (I) do?" with one million dollars - well - I certainly wouldn't have given it back. I would pay off our debt, help our kids/grandkids, make sure our retirement fund was in good shape, give to several charities - and live happily ever after ~ ~ what a nice dream! Thanks for the entry - good stuff, Cinda!!

Gina said...

Thanks, Mary-Ann! Glad to see you here. I'll put your website under my "Check this out" section....