Last Sunday, there was one of those marathons on one of the satellite TV channels, where they play one episode after another of the same show. In this case, it was How The Lottery Changed My Life, in which they showcased people who had won anywhere from one to hundreds of millions of dollars in lotteries. Some of the folks seemed to be pretty well grounded, and made good use of their windfalls, while others, predictably, blew it on big houses, gaudy toys, and partying.
Years ago, I was admiring the gorgeous Eagle bus conversion that my friend Dick Reed, who founded the RV Driving School, travels in. Dick told me that the California lottery paid for his bus. “No kidding? You won the lottery?”, I asked. Dick replied “No, but every time I wanted to buy a ticket, I put that dollar away, and before I knew it, I had enough to buy a bus.” That Dick is a very smart man! 🙂
Like all of us, we have occasionally fantasized about what it would be like to win the lottery. Of course, since we seldom ever buy a lottery ticket, I’m pretty certain that it will never happen. Yeah, I know, you can’t win if you don’t play. But guess what? That means you can’t lose either!
But the more I think about it, the more I’m just as glad I probably will never be a lottery winner.
First of all, if you do win a million dollars, you don’t really get a million dollars! By the time Uncle Sam and the state tax folks get their cut, you’ll be lucky to clear half that, if you take it in a lump sum payment.
The first thing I would have to do is change my cell phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address, because every shirttail cousin in the world would be knocking on my door, wanting a handout from good old Cousin Nick. Have you seen any of my kinfolk? I’m not too wild about most of the ones I do know, let alone whatever would come crawling out of the woodwork once word of my newfound wealth got out!
Then, I’d have to hide the news from all of my friends. Not because they would come begging, hat in hand, but because guys like Greg White and Ron Speidel, who I can always depend on to fix the things I break, would tell me I can afford it, so go hire somebody. I’d go through half the after-tax money in the first six months. RV repairmen don’t work cheap! Yes, I could just pay Greg and Ron for all of their work, but I just wouldn’t feel right sullying our friendship with money.
And then, what would I do with whatever’s left? Sure, I’d set up trust funds for my grandkids’ education, but let’s be honest, my people are not all that scholarly to begin with. Is that really a good investment?
Some people say the they would buy a big fancy RV, but not me. I really like my Winnebago Ultimate Advantage, and I haven’t seen anything on the market I’d trade it for. There was a time when I wanted a Prevost bus conversion, until I actually went into a Prevost bus conversion. That thing had so many mirrors on the ceiling and so much red velour that I thought I was in a cathouse. (Not that I’ve ever been in a cathouse, but Greg was once, and he told me all about it 🙂 )
Now, don’t get on your high horse and accuse Greg of sinning. He told me he was just there to fix their computer, and if that story’s good enough for his pretty wife, Jan, it’s good enough for me!
Besides, if I had a Prevost, I’d have to hang around with the Prevost crowd, and they’re really not my kind of people. Before you know it, I might be riding around in a custom golf cart, and Miss Terry would have big rings on every finger, and be toting around one of those yappy little foo foo dogs! How can she make me peanut butter cookies with those rings getting in the way? And besides, I hate those yappy little foo foo dogs.
One of the guys on the TV show got his wife a boob job, and I asked Miss Terry if she would want one if we ever struck it rich. She said no thanks, she’s already got me, and how many big boobs could one motorhome hold?
No, I’ve given it a lot of thought, and you can keep your million dollar lottery ticket. I really don’t need that much aggravation in my life.
But that’s just me. If you won the lottery, what would you spend your money on?
Thought For The Day – Say little, but say it well.