Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I Would Do With Half a Billion

It's fun to dream sometimes, right? Well, it's hard not to dream about having tons of money whenever the Powerball jackpot gets huge. I only say this because it makes for big news when the jackpot is this big. Especially since it's never been this big before. As I write this, the estimated jackpot is $550 million. And there's a real possibility that it could end up being more than that by the time all is said and done.

No, I'm not playing the lottery. The thought crossed my mind once or twice in the last few days. Because, again, it's nice to dream. Imagine for a moment that I picked all the correct numbers. As a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, my winnings after taxes would come out to a little over $255 million. Of course I would take the cash payout instead of the annuity. By now you should know I'm far too impatient to wait around for 30 annual payments.

So what would I do with $255 million?

I would while away the hours conferring with the flowers, consulting with the rain. No... that's what I'd do with a brain if I had one.

Honestly, it's a little difficult to wrap my head around a number that large, but I'll do my best. There's always the temptation to cash it all out in singles and swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck. Totally unsanitary, but tempting nonetheless.

My first official act as a multi-multi-millionaire would be to pay off every debt I have. That's approximately $40,000 in student loans, $15,000 for my car and $2000 in credit cards. And that hasn't even put a dent in my Powerball winnings.

I'd pay off my mom and step-father's house. One less thing for them to worry about. I'd buy my sister a house too. Then I'd buy myself a house. Something at the lake. Nothing big. I don't need a lot, it's just me. It's possible I'd just buy property somewhere and design my own home. I would definitely include secret passages. And a Batcave. What's the point of being a millionaire if you don't have a secret passage in your home?

All that probably cuts a million or so out of my cash. That sure leaves me with a lot to invest. But let's not get there yet. There's so much more I can do. I'd put a lot away in college funds for the kids of the Most Awesome Person I Know. After all, five kids going to college will be an awful lot to pay for. It would be nice for each of them to get to school without having tons of debt when they get done.

On a personal note, I think I'll set up a lifetime subscription to every comic book that DC Comics publishes. Then I'll know everything that happens in the DC Universe at all times. And I can't promise that's as geeky as I'll get. After all, I still have more than $200 million left. I've hardly spent anything in the grand scheme of things. If I wanted, I could single-handedly fund a major motion picture. But I won't.

But it's very possible that I'll buy myself a DeLorean. And I'll be able to get the thing tricked out to look just like the one in Back to the Future. I won't kid myself into believing the flux capacitor would actually work. But I'm pretty sure I'd try to hit 88mph a few times. Just in case.

One thing I know for sure is that I would never have to work another day in my life, unless I did so on a voluntary basis. In the meantime, I could easily work on my Bucket List. Especially all the items that have something to do with global travel.

Next, I'd buy lots of books. Amazon would love me so very much. They'd probably name a section of their website after me. And in the house that I've designed for my brand new piece of property, I'll have a library with plenty of room for those books. And there's a very good chance that the library will be the home of one of my secret passages. I'm thinking spinning bookcase.

Let's talk about charitable donations. I'd definitely give a large chunk of money to Bluefield College. After all, this is the college that provided me with two degrees. And since, by this point, I'll have finally paid off my tuition, I'll be able to donate more than the annual $20 I give them during the phone-a-thon. How much would I need to give to have a building named after me? As for other charities, I would need to do some research on that to find something I find worthwhile. I have a few in mind, but I would want to make sure the money given would really be going to its intended destination.

Think I've spent $255 million yet? I doubt it. Whatever's left, I'll invest and find something to to spend it on later.

What would you do with a quarter billion dollars?

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