I might, right now, be a millionaire. Make that a $333 millionaire.
Like people all over Ohio, we began dreaming about that Mega Millions jackpot yesterday, and my husband bought a ticket.
A ticket. As in one. Never send a man to do a woman’s work. He argues that “it only takes one to win,” which of course is correct, but not much fun.
Regardless, we started spending that money yesterday in our dreams. Figuring that about 40 percent of it would be consumed by taxes, we began dreaming about what we might do with something like $180 million.
First we started thinking about the vacations — maybe an instant trip with the kids to Disney World, to escape some of the hullaballoo bound to occur at home, with phone calls and media requests (darn media! ) and all. We’d go in style, of course — something we’ve never been able to do on the few trips we’ve made, always pinching those pennies. Maybe at Christmas we’d take our parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews on a cruise.
Then we started thinking about our house. A new house — bigger, with a bedroom for each of our five children, and a guest room. But where? Probably stay in Medina, so as to not uproot the children from their friends. Because while we’d definitely quit our jobs, they’d still have to go to school. But I’d love a place near the ocean — any ocean — so we’d think about a second home, maybe in the Outer Banks. Maybe in Hawaii, where my sister lives? Nah, probably too expensive there, but definitely it would be a frequent vacation destination. Funny to think about something being too expensive when you’ve got $180 million to spend, but my husband read recently that 80 percent of lottery winners spend all of their money within 10 years. So, we have to keep an eye on the checkbook. After all, we have five children and let’s just say we won’t qualify for any need-based tuition assistance at that point.
Speaking of watching the checkbook, we’d want to hire our friend Deb Anzelc as our financial adviser, and we might need a lawyer too, just to make sure we protect ourselves.
We’d want to donate some to charity — we recognize an obligation to give back to God the time, talent and treasure with which He had blessed us — but how much, and how? First, repay the tuition assistance granted us at the kids’ school, to bring down the cost of their tuition over the years. And we know there are budget shortfalls at church — so maybe a large “challenge grant” is in order – we could give half the amount needed, and collectively the parishioners could come up with the other half. Because, while we would have the resources to pay it all ourselves, that denies the rest of the parish the opportunity to share in the mission and needs of the church. And we all have a spiritual need to give, whether or not we are millionaires.
We have a special place in our hearts for the needs of missions in Africa, so we’d probably also find the right way to contribute some there.
Oh, and a new car for me — but maybe not for my husband — since mine is 10 years old and slowly falling apart. He says he’s fine with his, but I think he might cave on that.
It was interesting to see how our personalities emerged in this fantasy. I wanted to give a lot away. He wanted to be incredibly conservative, and protect our windfall for future generations.
In the end, we are both right. I suppose those checks and balances make us a good team.
I just wish we had a few more “checks” of the paper kind coming in to make the “balances” in our checkbook a bit more comfortable.
Time to find our ticket.