Friday, March 30, 2012

I Don't Want To Win Megamillions

It has been a long time since I bought a lottery ticket.

With the hoopla over Megamillions, I thought about it. 640 million dollars.

And I hear people saying they would buy a nice house, or stop work or set their family up... People! that is a uh, wheelbarrow full of money. You can set up your family for life until your family runs out 200 years from now. What are you gonna do with the rest of the money?

I've had at least my dollar's worth of fun imagining what I would do with 10 million. Even 20. But 640? That much money owns you, not the other way around.
That kind of money takes a whole lot of work. And energy. And meetings with committees and financial advisors and attorneys. That kind of money means you can't live in a little house in a friendly neighborhood, because you aren't human anymore to many people and you need protection. And that amount--there are damn few people you can trust.

Oh, it's fun to think about how I could found a foundation, and think about what it would do and who would be on it. Or a business I could start on the lines of Costco, with ethical profit margins, employees having a share, and I would add, green.

At this point in life, though, I really like simple. I don't think I would win, but why risk it? I think $640 million might well ruin a perfectly fine life and family.
I didn't buy a ticket. I hope it goes either to some entrepreneur who know what to do with it without rape and pillage, or to a bunch of people who will have a goodly amount, but more manageable.

If I were the winner, I know one thing: I know some good business people with which to start. And I would ask for an under the radar interview with Warren Buffet. He lives pretty simply, and he's a billionaire. I bet he would have good advice. I bet, if I won $640 million, he would advise me.

It will be fascinating to see what the winner or winners do. I wish I wasn't suspenseful, but celebratory. But I sit on the edge of my seat, so it is good drama: Will it make or destroy their lives? Somewhere in-between?

A friend of mine and I talk and smile about our "sweet sufficiency". She has a one bedroom cottage, mine is two.Both are under 1,000 feet. We have our lives, our family, our gardens, our church and satisfying work within and withall. Good friends, some shared, some not.

Oh, both of us would welcome some extra money, but not so much. We want time for friends, for family for pets and garden. A lot of money tends to erode some of that.
Don't misunderstand. I would love to be comfortably middle class, except I don't want a large tv or even a second one. I could go ahead and refinish the wood floors, but I don't want to spend the money. I could get a new car, but the one I have is well maintained and serviceable. I would spend the money on other things.
More to PBS. I already give to my church. I also make food pantry donations, and help send kids to camp. Travel a little more, for sure. See more concerts.
Buy a perennial hibiscus.

I think a huge lottery like this gives a chance to reevaluate. Sure, I want more. I don't want THAT much more.

Maybe I'll buy another Texas lottery ticket sometime soon. $3 million? I could work with that.

1 comment:

clairz said...

Charlotte, this is wonderful. "A sweet sufficiency," indeed. I am in total agreement, but could never have put it so well. Thank you.