Thursday, March 29, 2012

What would you do?

There's been A LOT of talk lately about the bigger than ever 'Mega Millions' growing jackpot. I've heard that whether the jackpot is $12million or $400million any one person's chances of winning remain the same at something like 1 in 175 million (based on the # of number combinations - not the # of tickets sold).

They say money can't buy happiness and that is most definitely true. On the other hand money can often times eliminate stresses, give people financial security, enable people opportunities to help others, award people the chance to go back to school if they want, or even start a business. Winning a lotto jackpot (either way) changes peoples lives ... the question is 'what would you do?' Would you do nothing more than go on a spending spree buying ridiculous things that you don't need? OR Would you set yourself up for a financially secure future that would allow you to do things you never thought possible ... travel ... spend more time with family and friends ... volunteer or start a non-profit that would help others?

You've probably seen one or two of those reality TV shows about people who have won 'millions' ... they show everything from one extreme to the other. There was one family you won the lotto. They paid off their farm and expanded it by purchasing the adjacent 40 acres, bought the best tractors and equipment there was, refurbished their farmhouse, set up college funds for their grand kids and then the man splurged on one item just for himself  ... 'a shiny red Corvette convertable'. He said he'd always wanted one. He drives through his small country town and waves at every person he sees (of course he's wearing new denim overalls now). He said he'd fulfilled every dream he had and couldn't be happier.

Then there's the opposite extreme (perhaps the one who gets sucked into the excitement and the glitz). There was a man who lived in a run down trailer with no heat or electricity. He most likely spent his last dollar buying his ticket. What did he do with the money he won? He bought an outrageously big house with 8 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms (but he still lived by himself). His bathrooms had gold faucets and he hired a butler and a chef to serve him everyday. Everyday, that is, until he went bankrupt within a year.

So who was the 'richer' of the two? Of course, I'm not just talking about spending the money wisely. I'm also talking about the choices they made and how they chose to set their priorities.

If I won the lotto I'd have some definite plans that like a lot of people would involve paying off any debts, taking care of education needs for my children, helping out family and friends, donating to my church, starting a scholarship fund, and more. If I were to splurge on just one thing for myself what would it be? Hmmm... probably figure out a way to add a Florida room to my house, a place where I could sit on a comfy cozy couch, plant some flowers and green plants in colorful pots to scatter around the room, soak up the warm sunshine as it came in the windows, a maybe buy a laptop & a Kindle so that in my spare time I could read and blog ... and then blog and read.

What would you do if you won the lotto?

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