Saturday, March 31, 2012

Winning the Big One

Ever since the lottery started encroaching on $300 million last week, I was steadfast in refusing to buy in. My reasoning was two-fold:
  • I didn’t believe I had any chance of winning
  • I didn’t want to win that much money
But as winners were yet to be drawn, the total grew and the excitement everywhere was undeniable. And so, I caved and decided to join history. Yesterday, I joined many of my co-workers in pulling together fives and tens to improve our chances of winning. As we walked to purchase our 325 tickets on behalf of the entire office, we joked how empty the entire office would be come Monday when we had all become overnight millionaires. (But, surprisingly, we did not win.)

Of course winning an unfathomable sum of money would be incredible. To never have to worry about making rent, no tussling over a car insurance payment, being able to take that dream trip and work only for your passions… But I don’t really want my life to be that easy.

With co-workers buying tickets on Friday

There’s something romantic about the challenge and the feeling of wanting something so badly and working toward it. If scheduling a trip to Europe becomes as simple as scheduling a date with friends, what value does it hold? My six months in Spain will forever be some of my most treasured memories because of the unique experiences I held there.

Here is what I would do if I had won:
  • Donate money toward public education
  • Donate money to Opportunity International
  • Toss a large chunk into a bank account to let it collect interest
  • Take a year to travel through South America and write
  • Master French
  • Keep working
On another separate but related tangent, I’m incredibly irked by the number of Americans willing to throw down a few to a few thousand dollars toward a chance to win big, yet how many are unwilling to do the same to support the social program (i.e. education) or pay their rightfully owed taxes.

And now that the several winners have been announced, let’s hope the split winnings not only improve their lives but also that of many others.

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