I've been driving a lot in the last few days, as you do when you try to fit Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver into a single weekend. In the late night/early morning darkness the powerball sign blinking at me sent me into the kind of reverie that you can afford when there's a long stretch of highway in front of you and not much good on the radio.
If I won the lottery (the powerball was advertising $35 million), I'd hire an accountant. Nothing fancy, just someone who could tell me the rules about taxes and stuff. For instance, they say stuff in movies about the ability to make a one-time tax free gift of up to XX amount to someone. Is that true? Etc.
I'd pay off all my debt: student loans, back taxes, unpaid parking tickets. I'd figure out the best way to pay off my family's debt, whether just by paying it all or through the aforementioned (utterly made up?) tax free gift thing.
There's a thing when you win the lottery about either getting a lump sum at once, but accepting a reduced amount, or getting a certain amount per month or year for a number of years. I'd take the long road.
I'd take my whole family on a vacation. Either to Ireland, because my grandpa did a lot of genealogy research and I'd like to follow up on it and think my dad would too. And we've talked about going. Or to Argentina and Dominican Republic, because my mom partially grew up there and I want her to show me her childhood spots.
I'd donate a lot of money to causes that I care about, especially ones that I've been involved with in some way. I'd have the accountant help me give it in a way that would put me in a lower tax bracket too.
There's not very much I'd like to buy. Maybe upgrade this computer since it randomly blacks out a lot. Or just get it fixed.
For work, I think I'd probably do mostly what I'm doing now. Maybe I'd reduce my hours a bit so I could volunteer at doing some of the stuff I enjoy more. And I think I would study for a degree if I didn't have to worry about making an income.
Of course, in order to win the lottery, you have to play the lottery. I buy a ticket every year or two at most. Maybe I should buy one... does anyone play Takarakuji?
What would you do if you won?