Hitting the jackpot

Like most folks, I love to dream about what I would do if I won a big lottery jackpot. Not “just” a few million. Nah, that’s only enough to be comfortable on, right? I mean, the BIG MONEY. Hundreds of millions of dollars.

My husband and I want to claim the winnings anonymously. I’m not sure that’s even possible, to be honest. But we don’t want to tell anyone–not even our immediate family, and certainly not our kids! I would want to help my family in some way, but I think it would be best to just quietly send an anonymous check to pay off their mortgages or fund their college educations.

Of course, my co-workers might get suspicious when I retire early. And I think some friends would certainly take notice when we started buying up lakefront property and building a new timber frame home. I plan to just smile and say, “My investments have done well this year.” I mean, turning a $2 lottery ticket into a few hundred million qualifies as “doing well,” right?

And yes, of course, there are many charities that I would want to help. Our church, for example, has long been interested in an expansion. It would be fun to have my lawyer show up with a check to cover it, with certain stipulations on costs, etc.

But let’s say you do all the responsible things–contact an attorney, do your estate planning, find some tax sheltered investments, and give to charities.

After all that, what’s the VERY first thing you splurge on for yourself? Not a home for your mom or a car for your brother. What’s the ONE thing that you would just go out an purchase right away, without thought to cost?

I recently posed this question when the lottery jackpot was nearing one million dollars. I was surprised at some of the answers. Again, people can’t help but think of others…often saying they would splurge on something for a family member. But WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Most respondents listed a car. A very specific car, in fact. Most responded with a Tesla or a Mustang convertible. I had to ask what color, and most hadn’t even given it a thought. Let’s give our goals and dreams a very vivid image, okay?!

Here’s what I would do:

Get myself and my girls (and okay, even the hubby, if he can tolerate us) and head to NYC. A week of theater tickets, including center orchestra seats somewhere in the first 7-8 rows for Hamilton. A somewhat luxurious hotel, and fine dining for the week. I’m not talking these $2000 dinners, but maybe $300-400 for a family of four. Appetizers, desserts, etc.

Interesting, that I would choose an experience over something tangible? Maybe. But I can’t think of one tangible splurge that I would just have to have in those first few weeks or months. Not a car, not jewelry, not even a purse or shoes that cost into four figures. Oh, I think I would build a home. But not too much bigger than my current one, and it wouldn’t happen right away. I fantasize about replacing every piece of clothing in my closet with things that I love and that fit well, cost be damned. But no yachts or sports cars here. Lots of theater, lots of travel, and good (but not outrageous) eating. That’s what’s on my list.

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