Winnah, winnah, chicken dinnah!


August 23, 2010 by 8junebugs

Rachael over at Yarn-A-Go-Go asked today what we’d do if we won the lottery. You know, after paying everything off and investing and perhaps making sure your family members have homes of their own. What would you do then?

We had an assignment like this in sixth grade. “What would you do with a million dollars?” I don’t remember Mr. Isenberg’s intent, although I remember worrying about it at the time. Was he trying to see who the better people were at the ripe old age of 11ish? Should I just say I’d give it all away to cure cancer or give orphans homes or something?

Funny, now, to realize what a tiny drop in the bucket my imaginary million would’ve been. One measly fucking million to cure cancer? Would that it were that cheap and easy.

Thing is, I didn’t have any context for the stuff I could buy with it, either. I didn’t have any idea what things cost. I think I said I’d get a house and a Ferrari or some other random luxury car that the boys in my class always talked about. And I’d buy houses for some other people, too! Then I’d give the rest away…although I didn’t know where, and I only said it because I had bupkiss for ideas. I remember looking through magazines trying to find something I’d want to buy, but that didn’t even help because there were never any prices in the ads (this, of course, was pre-Google). I could buy all the Sweet Valley High books EVER, but they were maybe $7-10 each. You know how long it takes to get to a million at $7 each?

I never trusted or liked Mr. Isenberg. I didn’t learn much that year, either. Two points to whoever can pin a meaning on that stupid assignment.

Anyway, I haven’t thought about it in years, and I’m kind of glad Rachael made me think about winning the lottery. I don’t play the lottery and I haven’t scratched a scratch-off since…my ex-MIL put them in my Christmas stocking. But thinking about what I would do with the cash isn’t a bad way to dream up my ideal lifestyle in a way for which I never seem to have time. Or? I’m so focused on the present that “ideal” seems like a waste of brainpower…because “really, really good” turns out to be quite enough.

Here’s my list, after, of course, paying things off, investing wisely, and Helping People (college tuition, family gifts/trusts, that sort of thing):

  • One house with all the amenities (and connectivity) we need, plus fully serviced condos in the places we visit (or expect/wish to visit) often
  • Expansive, proper wine storage solution and membership in a longish list of wine clubs
  • Unlimited car service
  • Three to four weeks exploring somewhere different every year. Europe, Australia, Iceland…
  • Two weeks every year wherever we find most relaxing (haven’t found it yet, but am on the watch…)
  • A personal shopper — I don’t like clothes shopping and would be happy to let someone else develop my personal style.
  • POOL! Also, pool maintenance.

Seriously, that’s kind of all I came up with. It’s a short list. It’s not entirely out of reach. That’s sort of…eye-opening, I think.

What would you do with your winnings?


6 thoughts on “Winnah, winnah, chicken dinnah!

  1. Boo says:

    I will totally be your personal shopper!

    Let’s see, after the obligatory paying off of school loans, repaying parents, gifting Mum’s perfect addition onto the Cape house, my millions would be spent thusly:

    – A summer house on Cape Cod. I’m thinking perhaps Orleans area.

    – TRAVEL. Back to Italy, where I would ideally have an apartment to do number 3 in, which is…

    – write! Finally, unshackled from the mundane reality of billpaying, I could spend all my time writing.

    – I would buy nice copies of all my favorite books, and buy the sets of the ones where I have mismatching copies (I hate that!)

    Hmmm. Is it sad or elegantly simple that those are my main wishes in life? Oh, and I would have an extensive tea collection. And bake every day!

    • 8junebugs says:

      I think that might be the point, Boo. As we get older, the list gets more mundane because we have a better developed sense of value. It comes down to pretty simple stuff, really — easing financial stress around big things and taking great joy in small things.

      And one might argue that there’s a blog out there RIGHT NOW that would allow you to write as often as you like. 😉

  2. 8junebugs says:

    True, but writing’s a muscle. The more you exercise it, the more effectively and efficiently it works when it really counts.

    You know, like running on a boring old treadmill, then being chased by a pack of wolves! Which could totally happen.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I like to think about this periodically. It’s just good fun. I can’t remember exactly what I usually think .. I figure half will go for taxes, so then of the rest, donate 1/4, put 1/4 in savings/investing, gift 1/4 (college accounts .. such-like), then possibly find a small home with hardwood floors (for FLOR carpet – yes!) somewhere in Portland, buy a macro lens, and make sure that I can spend a week or two or a month on the coast every year in a place that’s dog-friendly and near the sand – maybe a week every quarter. And I would enjoy the luxury of putting some photos on canvas for my home (I can never decide, so I’ve only done one, but this way I could do a bunch).

    Ha. This really is totally doable. I love that.

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