Lottery Fever

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Lottery fever struck the United States the past two weeks. It culminated in 3 winning tickets for a 1.6 BILLION Powerball jackpot. That is insane. I can’t even fathom winning that amount of money.

My department at work has a lottery pool. Ten of us throw in $2 a week and we play the Powerball. I play an occasional scratch-off ticket as well and scratch off tickets are always a fun stocking stuffer in our family. I did not, however, spend any additional money on Powerball tickets as the jackpot climbed over the last couple weeks. As I’ve made clear, I’m on a pretty strict budget and although it’s fun to think about all my money worries vanishing overnight, I realize it’s probably not going to happen.

It’s impossible not to dream though when you are holding a ticket so that’s what I did a little bit this week. What would I have done with my share? I honestly don’t believe I would go crazy with the winnings. I’ve been living pretty simply for quite awhile and I’m not someone who needs a fur coat or 10 fancy cars in the driveway or a mansion. I think if I had an extra million dollars in my bank account, I would still be using my Target cartwheel app and checking the clearance racks before the regular shelves.

I would find a lawyer and trusted financial advisor before I came forward, that’s for sure. I’d set aside a decent amount in trusts for my sons that they can only access after they have their college degrees. I would make sure their college tuitions are paid for. They each have vehicles right now so although I would pay off the small loans they have on them, I would not be buying them fancy sports cars.

I would sell my condo at a discount to someone who NEEDS a home. I would purchase a home in a near-by neighborhood and renovate it if necessary since homes in these neighborhoods tend to have their original late 70’s/early 80’s décor. We’re talking about maybe 1800 square feet, not a mansion. I’d like something with 3 bedrooms so even after my kids fly the nest they know they always have a room to come home to. I’d also like an office space, and a nice big living space to host friends and family and a nice deck for the same reason.

I like my job and co-workers so I wouldn’t be in a big hurry to quit but it would be nice to take a year sabbatical to try and write a novel. How wonderful to be able to try out your dream job worry-free.  Not worrying about paying for expensive health insurance would also be a dream come true.

The hardest, yet most fun part, would be to decide how to help my friends and family. There are some that I would be happy to give a lump sum to and let them choose how they spend their money. I have some friends and family that I feel would probably be better served if I were to perhaps pay a mortgage payment or bill instead. I know of a family specifically that could use some money paying medical bills, I have a friend that I know could use a new vehicle, and others that have similar needs.

No one needs 1.6 Billion dollars, most just need some breathing room… a bit of a break so that they don’t feel so overwhelmed trying to make ends meet. I’ve been there, heck, I’m currently there and I have wonderful friends and family that have been there for me when things have gotten especially tough and it would be wonderful to be able to pay it forward. I pray that the winners of this current jackpot are smart with their money and choices right now. You hear way too many stories of people losing the money by spending carelessly or spending millions on bail money for their boyfriend. Seriously?? I have to admit that I do hope my dating circle might expand a bit if I became a millionaire. Not that I would want someone who would just want me for my money but surely I could find someone to date that doesn’t need bail money for all their drug dealings like a recent lottery winner in the news.

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