Saturday, August 26, 2017

What I Would Do with $759 Million

So yeah, one middle-aged lady in Massachusetts hit the Powerball jackpot for $759,000,000.00

Plus complimentary chips and salsa, and I really don't know
why the Powerball folks don't advertise that perk more.
Of course, she won't actually get that amount.

She's taking the lump-sum option, which comes to about $480 million.

After subtracting 40% for taxes (assuming she doesn't immediately set up some sweeeet tax shelters, which I sincerely hope she does), she ends up with "only" $288 million.

Or more than 100x what I can reasonably hope to earn in my lifetime unless I find some way to go viral, and soon.

Or unless I can successfully sue this little minx
for stealing the catchphrase that I totally coined in...
oh, let's say 2007.
Somehow, I think I could survive on $288 million for the next 40 years or so.

I'd need to carefully consider how I'd spend that much money, though. I mean, that's only about 10,000 Texas-in-August electric bills away from abject poverty. Don't want that.

So how exactly would I spend $288 million if it were to drop in my lap in a big, germ-riddled pile of dollar bills?

Let's see...

1. I would give my sister two million dollars. Because no one deserves financial independence more than she does. She's spent the last 10 years as a single mom raising four incredible kids into adults, always struggling but never complaining. I'd give her way more if she wanted it, but my opening offer would be $2 million. Balance: $286,000,000.00

2. I would give my alma mater an endowment of $100,000,000. That's name-a-building-after-me territory, right? That would be cool. But here's the thing: Because my alma mater is known primarily for its science and engineering programs, my endowment would be strictly to fund scholarships in majors such as liberal arts, communications, and education. I was taught by some amazing, internationally respected professors in humanities when I was there. Yet I was literally the only Arts & Humanities major in my graduating class. I'd like to give my university and the students who go there the opportunity for a world-class education in non-technical fields. Balance: $186,000,000.

3.I would buy a large, private lot in a mostly-developed suburb and build the house of our dreams. By "our," of course I mean Drummer Boy and me. With Precocious Daughter about to start her senior year of high school, DB and I are finally within shouting distance of living together and beginning the rest of our lives together. And while I am a city girl at heart, and would adore buying a townhouse or high-rise apartment in the heart of Dallas or New York or Miami, my gut tells me that what I really want is privacy, and freedom, and the ability to have a home that is loud and funky and filled with pets. So I think I'd choose a large piece of land in or near a big city, and I'd custom-build a house that is perfect for us. Somewhere DB can set up all his drum kits and pound them to his heart's content. Somewhere I can have dogs and cats and tortoises and monitor lizards without worrying they'll be a nuisance. Somewhere I can let friends and relatives crash without cramping my style. Somewhere I can pay people to clean and maintain, because I'm a freaking multi-millionaire. Yeah. Let's say $5 million for that. Balance: $180,000,000 (including a million bucks for the unlimited decorating budget I've always dreamed about.)

4. I want cars. Like, I want a fully-restored 1968 VW Beetle. I want a vintage BMW 325i. I want a cute little Mini to zip around in and a freaking practical Subaru crossover to carry shit home from IKEA. I want DB to have whatever he wants...even if it's a motorcycle, which scares me to death. Let's say $500,000 in costs and insurance. Balance: $179,500,000.

5. Lest I forget...I need some kind of fund, investment, annuity to ensure me a yearly income. I don't know the details...that's what financial advisors are for. Thinking I'll need to invest $20 million to achieve a decent annual income. Balance: $159,500,000.

6. Let's say $100,000,000. For Planned Parenthood. For UNICEF. For Heifer International. For AMFAR. For whatever. Just one hundred million dollars for those who don't have one hundred million dollars. Balance: $59,500,000.

7. A scholarship fund for PDaughter's school district. So many good kids who don't necessarily belong to the upper middle class/white majority. Here's $50 million to help some of those kids who might be first-time graduates. You guys rock. Balance: $9,500,000.

8. Slush fund: How freaking cool would it be to have a bank account purely for farting around and spending money on things you thought were cool - from autographed celebrity bullshit to dropping $100 bills into the boots of firemen who are collecting for charity? A million for that, all day long. Balance: $8,500,00,00.

9. And the rest?  Hell, I'd give that to any political party that could guarantee the United States of America would never again elect a racist, fascist, elitist, unqualified nobody to be our President.

Or I'd spend it on booze and eBay finds.


How about you?


  1. It's hard for me to even think in that kind of terms.

    I'd buy my dad a boat because he's always claimed to want one, even though I don't believe he does.

    I'd buy a house in a cooler clime.

    I'd give to organizations helping poor people with clothing, food, housing, and legal assistance.

    And maybe I'd buy a Senator.

    Small things. Easily attainable.

  2. I like the way you think and, by the way, with that kind of endowment your alma mater would probably build a cluster of buildings.
    I kind of like to think, aside from all the charity, I'd live kind of like James Merrill who wrote every day and also traveled extensively.
    I'd still want to work, but that kind of money would let me do the work I want rather than being stuck to a job because I can't lose my insurance.


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