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.
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?
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.