Did you ever wonder how it would feel to be an overnight multimillionaire? Last Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing for an estimated jackpot of $355 million dollars was the 2nd largest in the game’s history. People from all of the 41 participating states and Washington, D.C. were lining up to buy tickets up until the very last minute.
Why? I’d have to call it plain old “hope.” The common attitude about buying a ticket was, “Well, somebody has to win. Why shouldn’t it be me?” And, for two people that was true. Sure, after splitting it and paying state and federal taxes, it will only come to about 122 million each, but I’m thinking most of us could scrape by on that just fine.
Seriously though, have you ever sat down and thought about what you would do with such a huge amount of money? A lot of people just automatically respond, “I’d quit my job, buy a mansion and travel.” But is that what YOU’D do?
When I thought about it, I surprised myself. First off, I wouldn’t immediately sell my townhouse and buy something newer and more expensive. I’ve spent almost six years turning my house into a home and I pretty much love it. I’ve finally got it to where every room brings me joy. That’s pretty neat. And my house seems tailor-made to my needs. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to leave it. That’s not to say I wouldn’t immediately buy all new replacement windows and get a new sofa and refrigerator. But for a millionaire, those things would be a mere drop in the bucket!
Nor would I get rid of Jilly, my 2005 Scion xA. She’s such an endearing and reliable little car that I would feel traitorous dumping her! Of course, I could always get her a companion to share the garage with her, say, a little Mini Cooper or Smart Car. But I really don’t need one.
If I was so lucky and blessed to win that kind of money, I’d feel a need to share it with those less fortunate. But I’m not sure I’d give to the major charities, what with their bureaucracies and administrative costs. You know what I’d do? I’d watch the news and when I saw a family in trouble through no fault of their own, I’d give money right to them – no middleman. And I’d also send money anonymously to people I know could use it, like an older woman in my old corporation who got downsized last year and hasn’t been able to find a job. That kind of direct giving would be so satisfying.
So I know what you’re saying. This is all well and good, but what about the fun stuff? Well, I know one indulgence I’d really appreciate…a chauffeur! Or maybe I should say a “driver” since Jilly doesn’t really qualify as a limousine. I’ve always found driving to be tedious and I have no sense of direction, but I like to go places, especially exploring. Yes, I might well hire a driver. And come to think of it, that would enable me to travel more, at least in the United States.
And maybe, just maybe I’d “get some work done.” I mean, if you can afford the best plastic surgeons in the country, why not go for it? And my own personal massage therapist who would come to my home might be a nice little added touch to my new life as a rich person. And of course there would be gifts for all my friends.
But when it comes right down to it, I don’t think there would be any risk of me spending it all in the first year, like so many hapless lottery winners. I’m not irresponsible and I just don’t need that much.
So maybe that says something good about me and my life. There are just a lot of things that are important that money can’t buy (at least for me.)
What would YOU do?