Monday, November 08, 2010

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Last week, I saw this headline on Yahoo: Nicest Canadian couple in world dole out lottery winnings.

I remember a writing assignment from when I was in third or fourth grade: What would you do with a million dollars. Our family was living on a thousand dollars a month at the time, so I had no concept of a million. I was giving away a thousand here, a thousand there to friends and family before I gave up and wrote, "It's hard to spend a million dollars!"

Now, I'm an adult, and our family makes six figures a year, and I'm pretty certain I could spend a million without thinking. Occasionally, Rob and I play the lottery--when the winnings pass a hundred million. We dream about how we'd spend the money, and have a basic plan of action in mind. (Thus, I'm sure, ensuring that we never win.)

First, the Must Do:

100,000,000 (Assumed winnings for this exercise)
- 35,000,000 (Taxes as calculated online)
- 15,300,000 (Social Security)
59,700,000 That we can actually spend

Next, the No-Brainers:

59,700,000 to spend
-32,000,000 to charities (And any that call me on the phone get told NO)
- 500,000 for dream house
- 400,000 for kids' college
- 12,000,000 for parents/siblings/children/nieces and nephews
- 7,000,000 for godchildren
- 5,000,000 to pay off friend's bills (We have a list--don't call me.)
- 2,000,000 into savings as a nest egg
800,000 to play with

I'm just about back to my writing assignment in third grade. However, times have changed; prices are higher, and our toys are more expensive:

800,000 to play with
- 500,000 for cars for the family
- 30,000 computers for the family
- 100,000 dream vacation(s) for the family
- 30,000 mad money spending spree for the family ($5000 each)
- 20,000 new furniture (We keep talking about a bedroom set and our living room furniture is piecemeal from when we first married. Our dining set is drop-dead gorgeous, but I'd like to get new seats for it.)
- 50,000 for marketing my books (obviously to be spent over many years)
$70,000 that I have no idea for. If some other insane expense doesn't pop up, like paying for the hospital stay when I have the heart attack over winning a 100 million dollars, then it will go to charity.

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