What Would You Do?

So I read an article today (forgot the link, sorry) about how some lottery winners just completely ruin their lives. The article outlined about a dozen winners over the past ten years or so who completely wasted the money and now live with their kids or in a trailer, or on food stamps. And these are people that won smaller jackpots like $3M or $5M.

And the more I read the article, the more I decided that were Denis and I to win the lottery, you’d never know it. I’ve decided that if we are fortunate enough to win the $149M jackpot on Friday ($66M after taxes for NJ folks) that I would quietly contact a financial advisor (one I know), form an anonymous trust (no, it would not be “Cootiehog Trust”), and would tell no one that we won. Not a single soul. Maybe not even my immediately family (or Denis’).

Because who needs that kind of hassle?

And I’d keep my job. Just to keep up the pretense that nothing has changed. But after forming the trust I would then contact a lawyer and put together trust funds for CootieGirl and CootieBoy to ensure their college educations are completely paid for, with some extra tossed in on their 25th birthdays. I would donate anonymously to charities and churches.

And then we would contact an architect in another state that Denis and I agree on, and begin building our dream house on a couple acres of land. We’d do it quietly – taking our time to make sure it’s the exact house we can live in for 50 years. And then once it’s done, we’d move there. Quietly, no big deal. So that the new neighbors have no idea they are living next to lottery winners. And then we’d quietly give some money to our families and get our friends some REALLY nice Christmas and birthday gifts.

Of course, I’ve just given away the whole plan – so our immediate families might guess we won the lottery if we start building a house in 2005. But since we probably won’t ever win in our whole lives (or until we’re 88 and 91 respectively, and too old to enjoy it), it doesn’t really matter.

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  1. Two problems. One, the lottery people own you for their own marketing purposes and you can’t just be anonymous. Two, I’d tell everyone and quit my job. Otherwise, I like your plan.

  2. Not quite true – if a person sets up a trust through a lawyer, then the lawyer goes to the lottery office to “pick up the check” on behalf of the trust. The true winners can remain completely anonymous.

    And technically, you can quit your job today and not bother telling anyone. That’s the beauty of working for yourself. *lol*

  3. Those lottery-winners-turned-sad-saps articles are all over the place lately. Must be a sign, hmmm? Maybe a few what-not-to-do articles before the windfall…

    Good luck. And don’t pose with the big check!!!

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What Would You Do?

So MegaMillions is up to $150M for Friday’s drawing. For those living in New Jersey, that’s a $66,750,000 take home prize. Not bad for a $5 entry. So what would you do with that much cash?

Here’s my list (and yes, I actually took the time to write this all out):

  • $6,675,000 split between my church and my parents church
  • $6,675,000 split between various charities (and most likely a wacky donation request to my college just to mess with their heads – like a statue of me on the quad)
  • $300,000 for a house for my sister
  • $300,000 for a retirement house for my folks
  • $1,000,000 college fund for Denis’ sister’s kids
  • $500,000 for Denis’ sister and her husband
  • $500,000 for Denis’ mom and brother for their generosity over the years
  • $6,000,000 divided into two trust funds – one for CootieGirl, and one for The Bean. Available to them on their 25th birthday.
  • $1,000,000 divided into $10,000 gifts for various family and friends
  • $6,000,000 for a permanent apartment in NYC – yes, they cost that much. The understanding would be that this apartment would be available for use by all friends and family who wished to come visit NYC at any time, whether we were in town or not.
  • $2,000,000 for a house in the south – yes, it’s that much cheaper to live in the south. This house would be infinitely larger than the NYC apartment, but you know what it’s all about – location, location, location. The house in the south would have lots of acreage so I could have lots and lots of animals – horses, dogs, cats, chickens, pigs – you name it, I want it.

    Here’s where we get to be a bit flighty spending money on wild things, like:

  • a house in Scotland with acreage, Arran cliff views, and gardens – I found one online for less than $2,000,000 which I feel is quite reasonable! Sure, it’s Scotland, but the outside of the house is so delightfully Austenesque.
  • a Jet to fly my family and friends around to various locales (NYC, Scotland, the South) for visits and vacations. It would also be fun to say to the youth group at church, “Hey, wanna go to Scotland for the weekend?” and just hop in the plane and GO. All passports must always be current and at arm’s length!

    Even with all those worthy AND frivolous things that we spend money on, we’d still end up with about $29,500,000 left in the bank for regular expenses, investments and further gift-giving as needed.

    It’s fun to dream, isn’t it?

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    1. You even sold me on the dream. Note to self: buy lottery ticket tomorrow. I’d like to get my pilot’s license and fly that jet. Whoo Hoo!!!

    2. Yeppers.

      Can we make that a sisters statue at GW? How hilarious would that be?

      And thanks for the house!

      If you get that house in Scotland, can I be the caretaker or something? I’d live there.

    3. OK, I’m still amused by the wacky donation to the college idea. The possibilities are endless and they’d all have your oh-so-not-southern name on them. It’s too good.

      It would be great to build something really useless – like a bell tower. D’oh! 😉

    4. Jen – if you’d rather just live in Scotland as my caretaker, that can certainly be arranged instead of buying you a house in the US. You can use the money for something else, but then it would have to be given to you in yearly installments. But hey – free room and board in SCOTLAND? Sweet….

    5. Marmie – yes, that’s $66M AFTER taxes. NJ doesn’t take state taxes out of lottery winnings, so we’d only have to take out federal and the lottery secondary prizes. According to the megamillions website, that leaves NJ folks with $66M and change when they take the lump sum.

    6. If you find you still have 1M or so to invest…feel free to buy a vineyard in Tuscany and Jonathan and I will manage the winery for you. We’d make a great Chianti Cootiehog vintage. 😉

    7. Of course, I wouldn’t need a house in the US if I lived in Scotland. But I would definitely make use of that apartment in Manhattan on my trips home.

      I love this fantasy life we’re planning. =)

    8. Oh, and your kids would have to come visit me for a couple of weeks each summer – learn about their Scottish heritage with their Aunt Jen.

    9. And of course, not forgetting the Island of Maui, HI … Matt and Mary would be caretakers of that – Matt would still be in the United States (although not the mainland) which would please him just fine – I would be happy anywhere that has sun, sea and sand !

      You know, we’d take really great care of the place, you guys would have absoloutely nothing to worry about – We’d even go so far as to staying there year round just to make it that bit less taxing on you and D-Man …..

      Just give us a call when all this happens and we will drop everything for y’all !!!!!!!!

    10. Hmmmmmm ….. ok – I *suppose* Sully and I could manage easily enough in that property you posted. It will certainly mean an adjustment in our lives, however we have discussed it in detail with each other earlier today via telephone and we have decided that “Yes, we will look after this property for our friends, D-Man & Miss. J, providing taht we can take Misty our cat with us”.

      Of course, you two ARE going to win tonight – THAT we ALL know ……

    11. Hey Jayne & Denis:

      Just checking in and saw the info that you two are expecting another one. Congrats!

      Just wanted to post to say we are moving back from Fredericksburg VA area back to Denville NJ. We close on our house around the end of Feb.

    12. For those counting, at $177M, that means the takehome prize in New Jersey is $78,750,000 – which means two churches and some charities will get an even heftier donation, and our children’s trust funds get bumped up to $4M each.

      And yes, we’ll seriously consider the vineyard in Tuscany at this new prize level. =)

    13. Can I be the CIO? I’ll take Scotland and the CIO function. Marmie might even go along, as long as the airplane is at the ready to take her to Cootie.

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    What Would You Do?

    So I’m reading a book for my book club, and I find that I’m really not enjoying it. I know I should wait and say this when it comes time for the book discussion to start, but I can’t hold it in anymore. This book is supposed to be a farcical classic and all that, but I just think it’s crap. I’ve been reading it for three weeks now and I find that I dread picking it up to read a chapter. The book has to be done by Wednesday of this week and I’m only halfway through. I just can’t bear it – I can’t/won’t finish this book. When the movie comes out I won’t watch it, despite it supposedly starring one of my favorite actors, Oliver Platt. The main character is contemptable, and I can’t read books when I can’t stand the “hero” of the book.

    So, as of tomorrow you’ll see another book pictured on my sidebar – because “Confederacy of Dunces” is going to the trash heap.

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    1. This is why I’m reluctant to join book clubs. Since you’re going to be looking for something new to read, why don’t you pick up that Taylor Smith novel I loaned you several months ago. That way you’ll be done with it before I come up and I can bring it home with me. =) I guarantee that you will like it.

    2. i agree with Jen about book clubs. i like tobe able to read what i want, when i want, without feeling ‘tied’ to any one single book …. but hey, thats me !

    3. Yes, MBM – I see that. I’ve got another email in to the help board about the null issue – I know Denis mentioned a few weeks ago that he had the same problem. Hopefully I’ll get it fixed today.

    4. I was loaned “Confederacy of Dunces” about ten years ago. I tried to like it. I really did. There are some good bits of writing in it but as a novel it doesn’t make it. Hard to believe anyone would try to make a movie out of it.

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