As of this writing, I haven’t decided whether to buy a Powerball ticket. When the jackpot stood at $900 million, the odds of winning were one in 292 million, so the rational side of me sees no need in wasting the $2.
But like many people, I have given right much thought to how I would spend the jackpot, which has climbed to $1.5 billion on Tuesday, with a lump-sum payment of $930 million.
After retiring from my job – with proper notice, of course – I’d retire my debts – the mortgage on the house, the loan on my stylish PT Cruiser, our daughter’s college loans and the one credit card we have. I’d then have some work done on our house, which is 15 years old and starting to show its age in spots.
Next, I’d purchase an annuity for my older brother so he could retire without any financial worries. He’s 56 years old and has been working since he was 16. He’s ready to quit working, and I don’t blame him.
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After taking care of my brother, I’d take care of the Neuse Little Theatre, creating a endowment that would pay for the theater group’s building and equipment needs for what I hope would be decades to come. The NLT has come a long way since I started volunteering in the fall of 1989; it has a permanent building, stage and seating, all of which will need repairing or replacing some day.
I would not give money to charities, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, I would invest in companies that show promise in solving the world’s ills, especially cancer, because of my family’s history, but also hunge,r because a kid can’t learn if he’s hungry.
I would spend some money on myself. I would buy a condo in Chicago overlooking Lake Michigan and then I’d buy season tickets to the Chicago Cubs. I would also buy a house at the beach. I like Myrtle Beach because it has so much going on. My wife says it’s too busy there, so we’d have to figure that out, not a bad problem to have.
I might buy a place in New York City, because my wife and I love the theater, plus the city’s museums and restaurants. I’m thinking a place on the Upper West Side overlooking Central Park – if I could afford that; New York City real estate is pricey.
When not watching baseball or lounging on the beach, I would travel. I would like to go pub crawling in Ireland, drive a fast car on the Autobahn, dine at a bistro in Paris. I would like to see the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall in China, the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower.
Sometimes I tell myself that I’d like to own a minor league baseball team, but with the Cubs season tickets and the travel, I don’t know that I’d ever get to see my team play. And part of me would like to own a restaurant – a neighborhood joint with the baseball package, craft beers and pub food, especially fish and chips, a personal favorite. I mentioned that idea once to my friend Larry, who has managed restaurants before, and he’s promised to have me committed if I ever try.
Oh, and after paying off that stylish PT Cruiser, I’d give it to the first person I saw who needed a car. And I’d replace it with something even more stylish, say a Bugatti, which has a base price of $1.7 million. But hey, I could buy that and still have about $928 million left.