I am not someone that lives a luxurious life, expensive cars and over the top homes; that being said, just as important, I don’t have the financial means (at least for now!) to the live this type of lifestyle. This week, the U.S. powerball winnings are expected to be approximately $485 million. This would not be the first time and certainly not the last I have been asked or pondered what I would do if I won the lotto, but one thing is for sure – my answer, over the years has changed. If you asked me in high school, my answer to this question would be a list of materialistic items – multiple mansions, across the U.S. and Europe, a Yacht (of course) and a parking garage filled with the world`s most expensive cars – I was never in to antique cars so my head would always turn to the newest Ferraris, Lamborghinis and of course, my personal favourite, Bentleys.
You will take note I used plurals to describe the cars – this was intentional; at 18 years old, one Ferrari was not enough – how about a different colour for the different days (enough to impress everyone at school, especially the ladies – you would think only one sports car would do, but hey I was 18!) Of course part of this dream was never having to work – maybe go to University for fun, but spend more time partying then at classes (and my choice in school would have nothing to do with academia). Then, realty hits, I didn`t win the lottery and instead of living a life of luxury – mansions, fast cars, jewellery (and every other materialistic item money can buy), I am driving a 10 year old Honda Civic (not that there`s anything wrong with it, in fact, it’s a great car) and eating Kraft Dinner (this was not only due to a tight budget, but hey, who could turn down dinner that only takes 3 minutes to make).
And of course instead of nightly bottle service, I would be studying in my dorm until the wee hours of the night. But if it wasn`t for this experience, along with the 10 years to follow of work, ups and downs (relationships have come and gone), living paycheque to paycheque, seeing loves ones passed, suffering tough times (either in personal life or work), I am sure my answer would still be the same as it was when I was 18. But it isn`t. So lets return to the question at hand – what would I do if I won the lottery now. Let`s be realistic (as if winning the lottery was) and instead of wining the Powerball, I won lotto 6/49 (only 1 in 13+ million) – a $10 million jackpot. What would I do now and would my answer be any different then 18 year old me? The short is yes! Not much would change in my life if I had $10 million – sure I would splurge on the newest BMW (4 series coupe to be exact) and maybe do some home renovations. But the rest of my money? I would make sure to set aside enough money so that my children can live a comfortable life if they were to fall on tough times (nothing extravagant) and I would take some time off work (I would still hold my full time job, which I am still passionate about) to volunteer. I would look for homes for sale and buy homes for my family. The rest of the money – donate to various charitable organizations. The answer would not be much different if it was the Powerball – except maybe a Bentley instead of a BMW –the other money? Charities.