Tuesday, January 12, 2016

When I Win Millions of Dollars

Powerball Fever has gripped America.  The jackpot for Wednesday evening's drawing in 40 states is reportedly 1.3 Billion -- yes, BILLION -- dollars.  To me, this is an obscene amount of money, period.  My thoughts immediately go to the possibility that 10 to 20 people will be lucky winners on Wednesday evening and split that humungus total.  Of course, I hope I am one of them.

The chance of winning is ridiculously low, maybe even subzero low, like the weather today in Minnesota.  But with $65 million, I could special order two or three pair of winter boots exactly the way I want them made with fleece lining every inch inside them, and soles with treads that won't wear down to smooth after 2 or 3 winters, among other things.  I have very narrow feet and most -- actually 95% -- of shoe retailers do not carry my width.  I must search out stores that carry narrow widths and even then I usually don't find what I'm looking for.  So, I note the 292.2 million chances to 1 of winning the Powerball jackpot tomorrow evening then go on dreaming.  Or should I say, planning for the inevitable.

Human beings are wired to hope.  It takes a lot for us to lose hope, to convince ourselves that there is absolutely no chance, none whatsoever, that something may happen.  I deserve to be a winner.  So do a lot of people.  The reason I think it'd be great if 10 to 20 people split the 1.3 Billion dollar jackpot -- and I'm one of them, of course.

What would I do with $65 million?

First of all, nothing major for at least 6 months, i.e. no major spending or giving.  I would deposit in a savings account what I'd need for the rest of the year to pay off my debt, pay my living expenses, and to publish my novel as a paperback along with some marketing/promo expenses, but I plan to continue working at my part-time job and my freelance writing job.

Second, I'd search for, interview and hire a finance/tax lawyer and a financial advisor.

Third, I'd review all my current ideas for managing my money.  This would include 1) taking care of myself first and foremost; 2) setting up a foundation for charitable giving; and, 3) reviewing my current list of preferred charities.

Fourth, buckle down and do the serious work of fulfilling my third point above.  This would involve setting up some sort of annuity for myself, decide about my living situation -- I need a larger place but do I want to rent or buy? -- take care of my tax liability, take care of medical expenses either with new medical insurance and/or an annuity account, and finally, build up investments.

A lot of work, eh?  Wealth does not guarantee a life of leisure or a trouble-free life.  In fact, wealth brings with it its own challenges, problems, responsibilities, and learning opportunities.  It would be a relief to me, however, to be able to devote 75% of my time to writing fiction.

Everyone dreams, everyone hopes.  What would you do with $65 million dollars?

January 14 Addendum: Aw, didn't win.  Only three won the big jackpot and I was hoping for at least 10 people.  In my state, apparently 12 people won the $50K prize.  I understand that nationally there were numerous $1 million winners. 

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