The Mirage that is Sixty-Six Million Dollars

>> Monday, July 24, 2006

Every year around my birthday I buy a lottery ticket, thinking someone in heaven will reward me for being a good boy again for yet another year. It's like making up a list before X'mas, hoping that Santa will forgive the bad things I've done during the year and give me something nice.

So I bought a ticket Friday after work. For me, it is not about winning, really. Of course, winning would be nice. But for a measly $5, I get to imagine what I'll do when it does pay off. It's far more entertaining than a movie. I don't even have to be educated to know that my odds are against me. Then, every math course I have ever attended, the professor always spend a little time to tell you what the odds are for winning the lottery. Last time I check is around, 14 million to 1. But I always thought that if somebody has to win it, why not me? You can never win if you don't play, you know.

To extend my imagination, I would intentionally not check the results. It was suppose to draw Saturday night and I still didn't find out the winning numbers yet. Deep down, I know that I have wasted another 5 bucks. But it's fun to imagine. Hell, I'm not even an U.S. citizen. If my number does match (cross my heart and hope to die), I'm not even qualify to claim the prize. I would have to find somebody else to claim it and then I'll have to share it with that person. That is, if he doesn't grab my ticket and run. I already made a pact with my friend, if it ever happens he'll claim it for a quarter of the winnings.

As long as I don't check the numbers, I can think about how to spend it if I had won. Again, that's what I paid my money for. The jackpot this time is for something like $110 Million, given if they pay you part of it every year for the next 30 years. (Now come on, who wants that really?) If you want it paid all at once like I do (and every sane person in the world would!), you'll get $66 Million. After paying tax, it's probably around $44 Million.

I would immediately hire myself a lawyer, and accountant and a financial adviser. Pay off my student loan. Spend $2-4 Million to buy myself a house or a loft in the city. (The real estate has recently inflated) Give my grandma a quarter mil for raising me, give my three aunt and two uncle each a hundred thousand. Give the uncle whom I hate fifty thousand dollars. Help my friends out if they need help paying their mortgage or get them a car. I will go back to school, study culinary arts and restaurant management and opening up a nice restaurant according to my idea. Of course I would be in charge of it, but then I would go to school to fulfill my other interests and potentials like photography and various arts.

I would be use about $15 Million to acquire a property by a beach to be my summer home. The rest, say another $15 Million, half of it is going to savings or IRA and the other half would be used to invest for my retirement. I had known the potential of Yahoo and Google or even Martha Stewart when they first came into the stock market. If I had money then, I wouldn't be thinking about buying lottery tickets now.

So that's my $5 dollars for you. Thinking about who to give money to and who to not give money to because they treat you one way or the other. I am still thinking about whether to check the results or not. It's like mental-masturbation. It's the best 5 bucks I've ever spent, really.

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