Let me get right to it. Yes we are now enjoying the sun and surf in SoCal (that’s “local” for Southern California) and no, we did not win the lottery. Not for lack of trying. I put down my two bucks on the draw. I mean, who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t take a chance at depositing 1.5 billion smackers in the bank? Or a little over 2 when imported into my home and native land. So what if some of that gets taxed away. The way I figure it, there’ll be plenty left after Uncle Sam takes his take. Unfortunately I don’t have to worry about that right now because, as previously mentioned, I didn’t win. Not that I wasn’t ready for it. I was. You see, I thought it would be prudent, just in case, to read all of the information that was being offered on the Internet to those who might be in line for the big win. So I did. And let me tell you, there was lots out there to ponder. Mostly, I suppose, because so many of us were so sure that this was going to be “our day”.
One thing you might know, but if you don’t probably should, about a shallow person like me is that at times I can be a little skeptical. You see, as much as I would like to be able to take everything I read on the Internet at face value, making my life oh so much easier and less complicated, I simply can’t. If you are anything like me, and I’m not implying that any of you are, there are just times when that little bit of doubt creeps its insidious way into your otherwise open and accepting mind and you begin to wonder. And when I wonder, sometimes, and only sometimes, I begin to think that perhaps there might be another, if not better, way to go about things. And so it was that after studying all of the “things you should do if you win the lottery” articles available on the Internet, I came to the conclusion that this was one of those times. That the advice, while substantial and I’m sure created in all good faith with everyone’s best interests in mind, was not always completely, how should I put this, sound. So at the risk of sounding presumptuous, I thought I would take some time to share with you both theirs and my suggestions ‘cause even though we didn’t win this time, there’s always, as they say, another day. Here we go.
- Don’t tell anyone. I get that. The last thing you want is everybody and their dog knocking on your door asking you to share your shekels with them. So best to keep the big win to yourself for a bit. Although, from what I understand, you probably should tell your spouse lest you end up in divorce court harbouring your little secret. Apparently judges frown upon that and have, in the past, rewarded your soon to be single partner with what used to be your jackpot. Oh, and you may want to tell your realtor. And the Porsche dealer.
- Get yourself a team. You’re gonna need a lawyer, an accountant, and a financial planner. At least that’s what they tell you. Now if it were me, and as we all know it was not, I’d put in the call to the lawyer, because there’s sure to be some wills and estate stuff to do, and the accountant as I figure I won’t be able to get away with the short tax form anymore. But the financial planner? Here’s the thing. I’ve just put 1.5 billion dollars in the bank. Let’s just say I get myself a long term commitment for around 3%. Without doing the math I’m going out on a limb to say life will be just fine. Especially since I’m saving all of those fees I would have had to pay that financial planner.
- Find a good therapist. Now on this I have to concur with the experts, although we differ some on the details. You see they think that the winner, not realizing what emotions their new found circumstance will unleash will need someone to talk to. They think there’s no way of knowing down what path the mix of joy, excitement, terror and guilt will take you. I on the other hand, think that those of us who lost might want to make that call given the disappointment, anger, tinge of jealousy, not to mention, dashed dreams we are now burdened with. Come on. It’s not just me. Even the usually upbeat and cheery Kelly Ripa (yes, I watch on occasion), who I am pretty sure is doing ok all on her own, expressed her disappointment and was even a little green with envy on the day after the big day.
- Don’t quit your job. And this my friends, is what makes me a tad skeptical about all of the aforementioned advice.
By now all of the hoopla has died down and we can resign ourselves to living today as we did yesterday. A dear friend of mine continues to remind me that given our lot in life, we have already won the lottery and I know she’s right. I mean I have nothing to complain about and I am continually grateful for each and every day. I’m happy and content with the way things are and have no reason not to be. Even so, let’s face it. 1.5 billion is nothing to sneeze at and what the heck, I’m ready for it.