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If you won the lotto …

January 4, 2009

I think about winning the lotto a lot. I don’t often play, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. And, because I am insane – my fantasies have to be somewhat rooted in reality. And because I am an absolute nutcase, I then get anxiety and stress about the real life implications of my fantasies. I am a sick, sick girl.

I don’t often put a number on my winnings, but figure – more than enough where I can’t buy a private jet and hotels in 6 continents, but enough that I can buy some vacation homes, travel, never work and treat my friends and family to awesome things. Like, 20 or 30 million (before taxes, lump sum). I think about what I would do for my family and worry if I am being fair. Do my baby sisters get more because they are younger and have their whole life ahead of them? Or do I just set them up for college, since their parents do have enough to take care of them well. Is giving my bigger little sister a home and paying off her college loans enough? Is a home too much? I get a little nuts. What about my grandparents in Florida – they need a lot of money, and I can probably take care of them well. My grandma in NY isn’t really hurting for money – so do I still need to make sure they are equal? I can go on and on, but if I post all of my hypothetical problems, we could be here awhile. And yet, I still manage to be disppointed each time we play and don’t win.

The other thing I fantasize about is what actually happens when I win the lotto. I don’t mean in the grander sense of what would I spend the money on (a personal chef and trainer, a rented house while I travel, then a house in a rural area and a nice apartment in NYC. And horses. And dogs! And more travel. Then I would probably spend my days doing archaeology, hanging with horses and doing volunteer work and running some sort of business that would probably fail if profit was my major goal (a coffee/chocolate shop, a teen rec center, a puppy playhouse), but what happens those first few days?

Never having been a lotto winner, I don’ know what the procedure is. I think you are obligated to some publicity shots, but I wonder what it’s like that first week. What’s the first order of business? What do you do?

I think I would probably call in sick to work that first day. Drive over to my mom’s house to tell her I won. Drive to Frank’s mom’s house.  Ask people to keep it quiet, but tell the folks. Then I think I would go into work the next day. I know that sounds nuts, but hear me out. I think I would go in to work and request a meeting with my boss ASAP. I think I would give my two weeks notice, and ask him to keep it as quiet as he could. I would probably tell people at work eventually (and if you are my co-worker and reading this, please assume that lunch would be on me!) but I think I would want a week or two of some kind of normalcy while I let it sink in. And I know this sounds crazy, but I really love my job and I would like to believe that I would do the right thing and wrap up loose ends and make sure my departure doesn’t cause undue hardship for my colleagues (I am probably being way too self important here).  Then again, if I was hit by a bus, I would probably be pissed that I spent my two weeks of wealth schlepping in to the office. So, maybe I would work from home while I found a money manager, and interviewed a personal trainer. I think I would try to find a house to rent in the neighborhood. Nothing long-term, but a home-base of sorts while Frank and I get ourselves together and get a game plan. Why hassle with our tiny apartment and parking if we don’t have to? And I will need a place to work out, since I think getting myself in shape would be my top priority. I suppose I should live like I won the lottery now and get myself in shape, but that’s probably another blog.

So, what would you do if won the lotto? And don’t tell me “travel, take care of my family, buy a house” – but what would your first few days look like? Who would you tell?

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4 Comments
  1. Frank permalink
    January 4, 2009 11:59 am

    BTW, we just won $3 in the lotto!

  2. January 4, 2009 6:25 pm

    For no good reason, I think about this a lot too.

    First order of business: Buy a plot of land upstate on the Hudson, bribe a zoning board, and build a castle. I am not kidding. I’ve even found a builder: http://www.castlemagic.com/

    Depending how much the win was, the ACLU might wind up with a sizable donation.

    And I know you said you don’t want to hear about travel plans, but have you seen this? http://www.rcrusoe.com/

    Cheers,
    – Brad

  3. January 4, 2009 9:59 pm

    If I ever won the lotto, I don’t think I would want to tell anyone (I guess those publicity requirements would put an end to that). I just read about all the horror stories of those who have won and how they lose it all so fast. I guess having some financial responsibility from the beginning would help to make it last, but I’m not sure I would change a whole lot from what I’m doing now. I would probably splurge on a thing or two, but definitely wouldn’t being buying gadgets left and right. Interesting to think about…

  4. January 8, 2009 4:01 pm

    firstly, i wouldn’t – on the advice of the boggle heads – do anything at all with the money for about 6 months. i would get a financial planner and a game plan first.

    also, you don’t have to have a publicity shoot or have your name listed in the paper – and people recommend you don’t.

    TLC used to have a show about people who won the lottery. Most were broke after a few years and almost all of them were really really lonely.

    that said, i’d totally set my parents up, pay for adam to go to college full time, travel, get a house/apartment & probably some rental properties, and put a recording studio somewhere and pay someone to drum for me. oh and i’d help my sister become a fashion rock star too!

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