Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lotto Mania

To my son Tommy,

What would you do with a half billion dollars?  That is the question of the day.  The PowerBall lottery game is up that high in the jackpot amount.  People will spend the day dreaming of what they would do with their millions and how great life will be. 

I am guilty of mentally pre-spending my wealth before I actually win the lottery.  It would take far less than the extreme amounts of today's jackpot to make me happy.  I would squirrel away a decent amount for our family, enough that we would not have to worry about money and can work at jobs we truly love.  If money were not an issue, I imagine myself working as a librarian, or a teacher, or just volunteering my time to charity after charity becoming a permanent full time non-paid humanitarian.  I would then set up as many people as I could in the family so they too could do whatever they like without worry.  Perhaps then we could all volunteer time together.  Then the fun would start.

Eccentric would probably be too tame of a description for how I would spend my money.  Actually my eccentricity would not be based in bling and luxury.  I would focus on doing things to help others, be they stranger or charities or whatever.  Assuming we could fly under the radar with that type of windfall, I would start in our neighborhood and try to do everything anonymously.  I would have you open a hotdog and lemonade stand one day and give out free food and drink to anyone passing by.  Hand them a flyer and tell them to pass it forward.  I would go through our neighbors and see which ones would accept free solar panels installed on their roofs.  I would go to the local farm and buy out their produce and bring it to church and give it away after mass.  I would walk into a local school and hand them 100 iPads or some other tablet to do with what they will.  I would sign up to be one of those "Santas" that give out $100 bills to deserving people around Christmas. Weird, exciting, off the wall, I would just have fun with my charitable giving and my own personal crusade to save the world one small thing at a time.  Many would benefit and it would be one hell of a ride. 

But the truth of the matter is, with odds somewhere around 1 to 125 million,  you have a better chance of being struck by lightning. You'd be better socking away your dollars in a savings account than spending it on lotto tickets.  With the power of compound interest, you might actually be able to do something with the money.  Another unpleasant truth is money is the root of all evil and could spoil me.  I am just hoping that the powers that be give me the chance to prove to them that it won't spoil me one iota.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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