Thursday, January 14, 2016

What Would You Do with a Billion Dollars?

The 1.6 billion dollar jackpot multi-state Powerball lottery I blogged about yesterday sold three winning tickets: one in California, one in Tennessee, and one in Florida.  

So the lives of at least three people (maybe more) will be changed forever, and we can only hope it is for the better.

So, what would you have done with your winnings?  

After I wrote my post yesterday on the American mega-lottery Powerball and its 1.5 billion dollar prize in last night's drawing, I got an email from my guest photographer.

I had said "I'll take obscurity, and happiness, over the misery of winning the lottery."  In turn, she replied:
"Such wonderful words! A distant cousin of mine won $1 million and ended up bankrupt. here have to also be people out there who bettered their lives and other's lives and who gave a lot to charity after winning. But I think you need an attorney and a mindset to just keep on living your true life and not give it over to spending money.
That said, I would get a new car, pay off everything, and turn Project Paw [a local no-kill cat shelter] into the Crystal Cathedral---no more cages. All glass and screened-in balconies for all. Then I'd pay off (name of a good friend of her's) mortgage. Fix (a name of a disabled vet she helps out from time to time) roof. The list goes on and on. So, just in case, get your wish list started!"
One of my blog readers commented:

" My sister and mom bought a powerball ticket. If they win, they will share the money with the rest of the family. I will buy a house near the river and I will buy up some of the wetlands around here and have a conservation easement put on that land. I will also have nature trails put through the wetlands so people can enjoy nature."

So, I got to thinking.  My wish list would include one of these (once I had an attorney and a financial advisor in place to make the lives of my immediate family more secure):

-promoting community gardening where I live, near the small city of Binghamton, New York.
-starting a "matching funds" drive to get some of our many eyesore buildings torn down. and replaced with housing to benefit senior citizens.  Our community has so many seniors and so few housing options for them.
-promoting our local farmers market and, at the same time, finding ways to make the downtown Binghamton market thrive AND its offerings more affordable to the many impoverished people living in Binghamton.
-starting a drive to find an early test for pancreatic cancer, a cancer that has impacted both sides of my family.

Naive and overambitious, perhaps?  Well, obviously, I didn't win.

How about you, dear readers?  What would be your wish list if you won a billion dollars?


  1. I like your choices most of all.
    Hmm. Probably why you didn't win.
    Sorry for the post-pull jinx...

  2. I would take my family on a fabulous vacation, purchase homes for them. Set up financial office to help single moms. Live off the interest.

  3. I think the problem with many lottery winners is that they don't have a "millionaire/billionaire" mindset, so very soon after they win money they go right back to where they were financially before. On the other hand, you could probably take every cent away from Warren Buffett or Richard Branson and in short order they'd probably have millions and billions again.

    So if I won $1 billion dollars one of the first things I'd do is find a way to coach/talk with these billionaires and see what THEY'D do with the money. That way I'd be able to take that $1billion and maybe grow it to $10 billion or $100 billion.

    Assuming that's not a possibility I'd tithe 10% ($100 million to charity - a combination of going to alternative cancer research, animal charities, educational charities, different arts organizations and my church)
    Take 10% for saving ($100 million to go into various investment accounts)
    Take 10% for myself ($100 million to spend as I desire - definitely not all at once and a good portion would go into a trust to take care of my immediate and extended family and make sure that no one every has to worry about paying for higher education or medical bills. With this money I'd buy a new house and vacation and live the good life.)
    The remaining 70% ($700 million would be used for various business opportunities. I'm a real estate investor so I'd buy more and bigger real estate ventures. I'd use some to give venture capital to other businesses I believe in (I desire to be like one of those people in Shark Tank). Anything I'd make off of these ventures would be split into the same relative buckets - 10% for charity, 10% for savings, 10% for living/pleasure, and 70% for growth and reinvestment.

    Gee that was fun. :)

  4. That's a great list.

    Did you know there's a TV show about lottery winners. The Lottery Changed my Life or something like that. My father made me watch one segment with a couple of... Well, they've probably already gone through their winnings with how they were spending it.

    But another segment had one guy who had gotten the attorney and financial advisor, and he had parlayed his winnings into a successful business. It was a what-not-to-do and a what-to-do primer.

  5. I love your choices. :)
    If I had won the lottery -first and foremost, I would ensure long-term financial security for my immediate family, and would also donate some portion to charity, for causes that I believe in.

  6. Oh if I won a billion dollars I'd be so gobsmacked that I just won't know what to do with it! But definitely travel and spoiling my grandchildren will top the list. As for the rest? I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


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