Every once in a while, my wife and I watch a show called How the Lottery Changed My Life. I believe it’s broadcast on the National Geographic Channel. The format is a simple one, each episode introduces viewers to two or three lottery winners, some are individuals, some couples, and still others are groups. We are then shown exactly how they used their lottery winnings to either enrich their lives or the lives of others, or, in some cases, how they frittered away millions of dollars on poorly thought out schemes to get even richer. It is a fun show, but it gives one pause to think: “What would I do if I won the lottery?”
Because, despite the disparaging remarks from my friends, I do occasionally buy a lottery ticket or two, and because I believe it is inevitable that I WILL WIN, here is precisely what I will do when I win (with apologies to my wife, of course). After all, this is my fantasy. She can do with her winnings whatever she likes (although, truth be told, we’re pretty much on the same page).
First, assuming the amount was in the multiple of millions, I would take it as a lump sum. Let’s take a number: $25,000,000. Using the current maximum federal tax rate of 39.1%, the lump sum would be about $15,100,000. I would get in touch with a good investment lawyer and establish trusts for each of my children in the amount of $500,000 each (don’t want to spoil ’em!). Since I have four children, that would lop off a cool $2,000,000, leaving me with roughly 13 million dollars to play with. Not bad for a two dollar investment!
PURCHASES—Because I am a man of rather simple tastes, there are not many material possessions I desire (I don’t even own a smart phone). But there are some things I would buy if money were no object:
- New fly fishing vest
- New fly fishing net (the kind with the soft plastic netting for catch and release)
- New eyeglasses: everyday, reading, computer, prescription sunglasses (I’ve had the ones I have for far too long
- An iPad and iPhone (just because everyone says I ought to have them)
- A pool table (just a small one that will fit in my existing basement). I’ve always wanted one and never been able to afford one
- New portable phones for each room in the house (because all the phones we have stink!)
- New wardrobe (one that actually fits!)
- All new collection of baseball style hats for fishing (all the ones I have now are sweat-stained and nearly worn out)
- A new set of kitchen knives (same reason as the phones)
- A piano for Becky
CHANGES— There are some alterations I would make to my existing house and other things:
- Convert the two guest bedrooms into one large master bedroom suite with jacuzzi tub and double walk-in closet (one for me, one for her), with a king-size bed, all over a double garage beneath the bedroom.
- Add six feet to the existing master bedroom and make it a guest suite with an enlarged bathroom with its own jacuzzi tub
- Have all the large trees removed, the lawn sodded, and have a watering system installed.
- Have my driveway repaved
- Have my 1998 Ford Ranger XLT pickup completely restored. It’s the best truck I’ve ever owned.
ACQUISITIONS—There is only ONE major acquisition that I desire: a modest three-bedroom log home somewhere near my wonderful Catskill rivers in Roscoe, New York, where my wife, Becky, and I could spend the entire fly fishing season, from April to September, every year.
The rest of the money would be invested in interest-bearing stocks and bonds, the income from which we would use to do whatever traveling we desired . . . and to shower any future grandchildren with whatever they needed.
To some degree or another, we are all winners in life’s lottery, but, just for fun, what would you do if YOU won the lottery? I’d love to know.
NOTE – Joe Perrone Jr is the author of the Matt Davis Mystery Series: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day (a 2012 Indie B.R.A.G. medallion winner), Twice Bitten, and Broken Promises. All four are available in paperback and E-book from Amazon.com. As the Twig is Bent and Opening Day are also in audiobook from Audible.com, with Twice Bitten and Broken Promises currently in production. If humor is your cup of tea, consider Joe’s rip-roaring, coming-of-age novel, Escaping Innocence: A Story of Awakening, set in the tumultuous Sixties, or A “Real” Man’s Guide to Divorce (First, you bend over and . . . ). Both are available in print, E-book, and audio book editions.
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