As I write this, it is ten minutes before the $425 million Powerball drawing. Naturally, when it gets that big, I buy a ticket. In fact, I bought three. Why?
Two are in the department I work with and company wide. If either of those hit, even with the lump sum of $200 million + split between 10-50 people, enough employees will not show up for work tomorrow to sustain my small company’s operation. Think I want to be laid off because the cleaning lady can suddenly retire at 39? Screw that!
But I bought my own because, like everyone else, I’m greedy. Both Nita and I want to call in rich. But would I really quit my job if I won that much money?
But not immediately. See, here’s a dirty little secret your lottery commission will not tell you. When you win, you become the property of their PR department. Hey, they’re paying you a gazillion bucks. So what if you suddenly have friends and relatives you never heard of or haven’t seen in years, not even on Facebook?
And this is why I won’t quit the day I win. (Mind you, when this posts, I’m likely still fretting about starting a new retirement fund, which means I didn’t win. But work with me here.)
Instead, I would take a day off and go to my attorney. Who’s that? First, I’d hire an attorney. Anyway, my attorney would be tasked with setting up a blind trust that would cash the ticket. Why? Because the lottery commission in each state is barred from revealing who is behind those trusts. So step one: Hide the money.
Step two: Turn in my two week notice. No explanation other than “pursuing other opportunities.” Those opportunities might include an all-inclusive two-week trip to Jamaica or Sandals Resort. But they don’t need to know that. Hell, I may even make up a company.
Step three: Quietly leave town and work with financial experts by phone. While I’m out of town, we buy a new house, arrange for the old one to be renovated – finish the basement, redo the bathroom, knock down the garage and replace it. I would pay off the old condo and, because I can afford it, deed it to my tenant, who’s taken very good care of it. (This is not your money, so keep your protests to yourself. You’re not entitled to an opinion about it.)
After that, do I finish school? Maybe. Do I write full-time simply because I can? Absolutely. Do I spend ridiculous amounts of money?
Yes and no. Some of my wife’s family and mine will no longer have mortgages or will have houses. (For $200 million? It’d be a sin not to. I don’t have to buy them – or us – McMansions.) Some of the kids will have cars and their tuition fully paid. But what else?
Well, if you get money, you put it to work. So I’d invest in a lot of businesses that looked promising. I’d also use the money to do some good. If you’re suddenly worth $200 million or getting $14 million a year, you can do a lot of good in the world. A lot of good.
But first, I’d take my new-found wealth and splurge. I’m going to get both HBO and Showtime. So there.
Like I said, though, by the time you read this, I’ll be resigned to another week at work.
(And as of 6 AM this morning, I am still a middle class American living paycheck to paycheck. Unless one of the work tickets hit.)