I have only played the Powerball Lottery twice in my life, the first time being last spring when the winnings were up to three hundred and something million dollars. It was a comedy of errors, as I wanted to pick the numbers so that they had significant meaning in my life, and I wasn’t quite sure how to properly fill out the paperwork. This time it was up to $575 million (give or take a mil) and I threw a couple of bucks in with my co-workers. We had visions of toasting champagne right after our numbers were confirmed and all taking a personal day off from teaching. Good luck to the principal finding subs for all of us, but she knew of our plans so I’m sure she had some people on speed dial.
It is hard not to get swept away in the excitement when you are playing for that kind of money. Logically, I knew we were not going to win. But I still wanted to fantasize about what I would do with that amount of cash. In an effort of goodwill, I told all of my students that I would give them each $1,000 if I won. That would be a small percentage of my winnings and I hoped the good karma would help my odds.
I had dinner with my parents, brother and his girlfriend, grandparents, aunt & uncle and a few cousins last night. We had all bought a few tickets and of course the topic of conversation turned to what we would do with the money if we won. It’s so fun to dream! I would love have the chance to prove that I would stay down-to-earth and ruin my life and blow all the money away like many lottery winners seem to do.
I would finish out the year teaching, but then build a fabulous library in our school and become the part-time librarian. I could make my own hours and everyone would love me because I would take their kids for a half hour a week, essentially giving them another prep period. I would still feel like a productive member of society but I would have complete control over my schedule. I would have summers off (actually off… no working to earn extra money to pay the bills or taking summer classes!) and also have enough money to enjoy traveling during my break. I would not need a big home because I would be traveling so often that I would hardly ever be there. A nice little, cozy, quaint home would be perfect for me!
I have a few charities that are near and dear to my heart. I have a major philanthropy project with my students each year so some of the causes we have volunteered and fundraised for would be receiving sizable checks from me: the children’s hospital, the local woman’s shelter, national marrow donor program, a local literacy program for low income families and the local soup kitchen.
I would love being able to treat my entire extended family to a vacation together, Hawaii being the place we decided on around the dinner table. I would start the excursion off there with my parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and significant others. Then, whoever wanted to continue the voyage with me could jet off to Fiji on our way to Australia. Once in Australia, we would make further plans to travel the world. Traveling extensively is one of my ultimate goals in life. One that I am failing miserably at achieving.
What would you do if you won the lottery?