Last night at work, we were swamped with people coming in to purchase their Mega Millions lottery tickets. At times, we had as many as 20 people in line– all of them wanting a chance at the big prize. A prize of over half a BILLION dollars.
Can you imagine winning that much money? Even the cash prize for the jackpot was close to $300 million. I heard this morning that there were two winning tickets drawn for the jackpot, one in Georgia and one in California. I can only hope that it was a group of people sharing the winning the tickets, because I can’t imagine only two people winning that much money.
I sit and try to think of the very first thing I would do if I discovered I had the winning ticket. Well, after I picked myself off the floor, that is. Would I immediately quit my job? Probably not. I think I’d have to let everything sink in for a while first.
I think the very first thing I would do is call my parents. Secondly, I would call a lawyer. Third, I would get my phone number changed.
My family and friends would be well taken care of. My favorite charities would receive a nice hefty donation. I could get a new house, new cars, my kids would have their college educations completely paid for, and we would probably never have to work again.
As much as we all think we would want that much money, can you imagine the downside of it all? You would be overwhelmed by press, solicitations from companies wanting your money, and financial professionals wanting to help you invest it. Every person that has ever known you in your life (including who knows how many complete strangers) all of a sudden want to be your best friend. People in need come crawling out of the woodwork, and you either give all your money away helping them, or you turn them all away– not being able to distinguish between the real honest requests and the scams.
I would worry myself to death about something happening to my kids. I would constantly think about someone taking them, and wanting money in exchange for their return. Just because people know I’d have money.
When people say that they could spend the rest of their life with no worries, I’m not sure they really stop to think about all the pressure they would be under to manage that much money. To have such a radical change in your lifestyle, can be the demise of many people’s marriages, their families, their lives. You hear stories all the time about people being bankrupt within a few years of winning these big jackpots. It’s really quite sad.
What do you think? What would you do if you won that much money? What would be the very first thing you would do?