Every so often she'll ask me that. It's just for fun, because I could probably count on one hand the number of Lotto tickets I've purchased in my lifetime. I don't get anything out of playing the lottery, to be honest. I've been to Las Vegas, and I didn't get much out of that, either. If I'm gonna blow a dollar or five somewhere, it'll be for something I really like and/or value: Maybe a Cherry Coke, or a new Dr. Grip pen, or a used book of some sort. Stuff like that.
Here's the thing: If I won a multimillion-dollar lottery, I wouldn't do anything ridiculously creative. I'm boring by nature, and as Dave Ramsey says, "More money just makes you more of what you already are." I mean, I'd probably do what a fair amount of other folks would do. I'd keep going to work for a while. I wouldn't stop going to work until I could a feel for the New Big Money. Once that happened, though, I might just bide my time until that one special Pain In the Ass customer came through. At that point, I'd unload a few years' worth of frustration on them, clue them in to How the World Really Works, and then I'd pack my stuff and be out the door. Thanks for playing. It's been real.
But last night Lisa (my wife, for those new to the show) asked a more interesting question: What would you do if you won (after taxes) only $2,000? What if you won $10,000? How about $50,000?
Those sums aren't astronomical, to be sure. Some discretion and forethought would be required (if you're someone who understands the nature of money and wealth, anyway) in order to maximize the benefits of your Moderate Good Luck. Yes, when you when millions, you still have to avoid American Dumbass Syndrome and pay attention to your money, or else it will just go away. But when your winnings aren't up to that handful-of-millions mark, the spending and/or saving decisions are quite a bit different. You kind of have to focus.
If I Won Some Money...
Okay, here goes the daydreaming.
If I Won $2,000: I'd use it for repair/remodel of our house.
If I Won $10,000: See above.
If I Won $50,000: Pay off our Honda. Then repair/remodel our house. Then save the rest. Okay ... I might buy a big HDTV and new entertainment center. Might.
What Would You Do?
How would you make sure you were actually financially better off after winning your 2 or 10 or 50 thousand bucks? Or would you do the patriotic, Joe Sixpack thing, and blow it all on 20-inch rims or a sweet new ride that the guys 'n' chicks seriously dig?