In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “You’re a Winner!.”

You’ve just won $1 billion dollars in the local lottery. You do not have to pay tax on your winnings. How will you spend the money?

You are a winner
Occasionally, on Fridays, my co-workers and I would wander down to the 7-11 to buy lottery tickets for the weekend lotteries. I don’t think it was that we really believed we would win, but rather it was the shared dream of winning big, or perhaps, it was simply the joy of leaving the office for a little stroll. Nonetheless, winning would be amazingly cool!

First, $1 billion dollars is more money than I need; however, if I won it, I would have to think long and hard about how to spend it. Actually, it would be more about managing it, as outright spending it would be irresponsible, considering how much good the money could do if managed correctly.

Practically speaking, I would pay off any debts for my immediate family, assuming it does not lead to negative tax consequences. The former accountant in me has to consider this! Then, I would set up college funds for my child, niece, and nephews. Imagine a life without student loans! More importantly, helping them start their adult life without student loans would make me happy. However, access to those funds would not be without strings, e.g. good grades, responsible behavior, etc.

Work, hmmm, would I work? I think the answer is yes; however, it may not be in whatever role I currently hold. Instead, I would love to explore owning a business of my own. I’m not sure what it would be, but it would need to bring me joy, as well as challenge me to learn new things.

Now, where would I live? I can’t say I would want to leave the Bay Area; however, I would consider purchasing some condominiums around the country and/or world. At the top of my list would be Denver, New York, Hawaii, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Monaco. I haven’t been to the last two, but they sound quite interesting.

After all of this, I imagine there will still be quite a bit of money, so this is where it gets tricky. As I mentioned earlier, it would be more about managing the money, which means I would need to find the right balance between investing the money and charitable organizations. My hope is that the money could be available to my family and charities for many years into the future. A good financial planner will definitely be necessary!

It all sounds so practical! Don’t be fooled, there would be some fun!

When blessed with such a gift, it would be a shame not to enjoy some of the benefits afforded by it. To me, this would definitely include traveling the world. The value of understanding people around the world and their cultures should not be underestimated.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” – Mark Twain

Travel enables people to have a better understanding of themselves, a broader perspective on life, and amazing memories to share with others. This enlightenment could affect my life and those around me in so many unforeseen ways.

Well, there you have it…what I would do with a billion dollars. Okay, back to reality. Unless of course, I buy another ticket and the dream begins again.