Twentysomething Blogger Debate #2

If you won the lottery, would you keep it a secret?

Absolutely. Are you kidding me? People would find out eventually, and there would be a select few people that I would tell straight out, but generally, I wouldn’t advertise. First of all, it isn’t my style, and it isn’t any sort of accomplishment or anything, so you’re basically just revealing to the world that you’re newly loaded. Secondly, I will have bigger fish to fry than an obnoxious press conference at the lottery office.

My father sinks at least $20 a week into the lottery and talks incessantly about what he’ll do with his winnings. The plans get crazier the drunker he gets and have included: running for President, creating a financial services firm, and my personal favorite- opening a few Waffle Houses. He’s won small prizes, but never enough to make up for what he’s paid out. The clincher is that the lottery funds a program that provides any kid that graduates high school with a B average a free ride to school, but I didn’t graduate. If he had put that money in a college fund instead of paying to send other kids to school………….

When I did tell people I planned on doing something for, I would sit down with them, tell them, and tell them what I was going to do for them. This would be least awkward, I think, and it would be like getting to tell them *they* won the lottery. Other people, coworkers, etc., would find out, but I probably wouldn’t directly tell anyone that I didn’t plan on including in my winnings.

I consider the lottery a stupid tax, both because state sponsored lotteries are the only legal kind, and because the chances of winning are nil. Still, like anyone else, I have my price, and when the jackpot nears $300 million, I line up to pay my stupid tax. This has the benefit of being doubly stupid because so many tickets are bought when the jackpots are high, thus increasing the already astronomical statistical tide any lottery player is fighting against. And you can’t write about the lottery without saying what you’d do if you won.

Paying off bills goes without saying. After that, we have to talk about what kind of winnings we’re dealing with. The reality is that 10 million doesn’t leave much wiggle room in terms of never working again unless it’s carefully guarded and well invested. I don’t know that I’d make radical changes in my lifestyle at that point. My current lifestyle is fairly nice except for working, so if I could live the way I do now without having to work, I would prefer that over keeping my job or taking on some investment that requires a ton of attention or management.

There are actually schools that people go to when they win to learn how to handle the winnings. I wouldn’t feel the need to go, but I bet one of the first things they tell you is not to play fairy godmother to everyone you love. Preserve the principal. Live conservatively.

Once you hit 100 million, you’ve reached a whole new level. At this point, I’m buying a huge chunk of real estate nearby but further from the city and closer to the national park, building an inn/lodge, some cabins, our private home, and a bunkhouse. We’d have the place staffed, and once we knew we had a good manager, we could travel.

As far as pointless luxuries, my temptations would include: a cute little two seater, spa treatments, jewelry, and clothes. Not super expensive designer clothes, just nice, well made clothes in as much variety as I wanted. Oh, and a soft serve ice cream machine.

I would address some needs that my family has, mainly by paying off mortgages and such. My parents could use the help. My uncle needs some debt paid off, and from what he says, so does my Aunt. My sister would be told that if she went to school half time, that I would pay for that and help her with her living expenses, as long as she continued to work part time. She is way, way too smart to get a free ride. There isn’t anyone I think I would just give cash to.

As far as charity goes, I think I would fund animal shelters and rescues, and set up a trust fund that would pay tuition and living expenses for kids that screwed up in high school, went out and got jobs, and found a calling. The Second Chance Fund, maybe.

Other Twentysomethings:


Clueless Cat
chasing paradise


One Response

  1. I actually think this is Debate 3 -but it doesn’t really matter.

    I think you’re spot on – I’d do all those things too. But I’d buy a margarita machine instead of a softserve ice cream. Haha.

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