A Lottery Ticket and a Dream

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Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy

The Mega Millions jackpot last night was 1.28 billion dollars. That’s right, I said Billion, not million. I can’t even imagine winning a million dollars, let alone a billion dollars but it’s fun to plop a few dollars down for a chance. Spoiler alert: We didn’t win.

I’ve done a couple of these blog posts in the past when the jackpots got big so I thought I would do another for tonight’s big drawing and then go back afterwards to see if time and age and circumstances have changed my thoughts on what I would do if I won big dollars. You can read my previous posts here and here and here if you would like to see what I wrote before.

How Much Money Are We Talking About??

So, for last night’s drawing I split 2 $10 tickets with 2 separate friends so my winnings would have been half the jackpot. The cash option is $747 million, and assuming 35% in taxes, that would leave approximately $485.5 million and half of that would leave me with about $243 million to spend. Wow, that billion dollars dropped quickly, didn’t it? And yes, these are rough numbers to play with.

First Thing’s First (Or the Boring Stuff)

So, the first step would be to convince either of my co-winners, who would also be a new multi-millionaire, to take a breath and convince them we both need to hire lawyers and financial advisors/CPA’s before we go pick up our checks. Okay, that’s done, now what? Now the fun part, deciding how to spend this money.

Step one is to pay off all my debt and my kids debt. For me that’s a few credit cards, a small condo, and the remainder of a small student loan for me, and quite a few Parent Plus loans for Michael’s college. The boys’ debt is a car loan for Michael and more student loans, and then some smaller loans for Nick. Let’s say $200K takes care of that.

The Fun Stuff

I think we could splurge and get new cars for everybody with this much money too. Disclaimer…I’ve never bought my kids a car. They’ve always bought their own. I’ll budget $100K for this since Michael and I could trade in our cars to take some money off these purchases and honestly, I just want a new Honda Accord or Civic, I’m not fancy, lol.

I would definitely upgrade my living arrangements. I think $400K would easily keep me in my neighborhood after I sell my place. I’m not someone who needs anything fancy though. I’ve written before about my dream home, you can read it here.

My kids are grown now and gainfully employed and I’ve already paid off all their debt so it’s tricky deciding what I would do for them at this point. I think I’d probably set up a trust for them where they were able to draw out a certain amount each year with the caveat that they needed to remain gainfully employed. Maybe $100K after I gave them each nice down payment money so they could purchase their own homes. This would let them choose career paths that they loved or enable them to start their own companies, something I’m sure my youngest would do.

I would definitely take at least a year off of work to try out writing full-time. Traveling more would also be on the agenda since I’ve never had the money to do this. I would love to take a cruise or all-inclusive vacation with my boys and friends. Definitely going to eat out more often and probably more expensive restaurants with friends.

Other Family and Friends That Are Like Family

I’d definitely set my parents up in a nice, detached patio home. No maintenance or upstairs neighbors to worry about.

My in-laws and good friends would be on a case-to-case basis. I don’t think you should just throw money at people, I think it’s important to see what it is they can really use. I know one could use a house of her own for her and her kids, others might just need college/schooling paid for their kids, one-time extravagant trips, who knows.

There’s Still A Lot of Money Left

I find it a bit ridiculous that I can’t even figure out how to spend this much money. I’ve lived the single mom life for so long that I honestly believe I’d still be hedging on money decisions and checking the sale ads to see what’s on sale at Target/Kroger each week before I make out my shopping list. What would be great would be the opportunity to anonymously bless people with what they need. I know I’ve had so many people, family and friends, that have blessed me over the years and I would love to be able to pay this forward.

What would you do with a ridiculous amount of money?


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