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You've won the lottery! Challenge...




From time to time, I like to give myself scenarios. Little tests that make me seriously consider certain issues and force me to think about how I would react in various situations. My favorite, and the one that tells me the most about how I feel about the people around me, is to assume that I've just the lottery, and decide how I would distribute the money. I generally tend to allot myself a lot of money, making it easier to succeed in what I want to do. This, before even undertaking the activity, can tell you something about yourself. So, here is what I'd like you to do. Ask and answer these four questions.

1. How much would you have to win in the lottery to be comfortable that you could do all that you would want to do?

2. How would you allot/what would you do with $200 million?

3. What would you do with $50 million?

4. What would you do with $2 million? (Finish reading before thinking about these questions)

I chose $2 million as the final option rather than $1 million for a couple of reasons. The first is that I'd like you to assume that this is what you'd have left after taxes, and large lotteries are generally not much smaller than that. The second is that these days, $1 million, depending on your social class, may go much more quickly than you expect.

Questions 2-4 will help you figure out question 1. And don't worry if it seems like a lot to think about. If you'd like, work your way backwards. Start with 4, and go upwards if that amount is not enough.

For example, I can automatically think of ways to spend/give away most of my 2 million dollars, and because I'd like to have enough to be comfortable for a while, I'd move up to $50 million.

There is no fixed way to approach this matter. If you wish to approach it from a different direction, by all means do so. The questions are simply guides to help direct you.

You can tell me what you decided, if you like, or, if not, I'd love to hear what you think of the exercise. Do you do similar exercises or ask yourself similar kinds of questions?

Putting yourself in these kinds of situations is a great way to help realize what you really want, who really means the most to you, and how you'd handle such a situation.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for. --Anonymous

Have fun, and don't give yourself a headache!

9 Responses so far.

  1. 1. I'd never play the lottery.

    2. Donate $150 million towards STEM education, or perhaps use it to start at private tech school/institution. The rest see 3.

    3. (a) Donate $5 million to my alma mater, $2 million for observatory funding and operations (I'd get the observatory named after me too), the other $3 million for astronomy science and research. (b) invest about $10 million in space tech companies. (c) help out family and friends up to about $20 million. (d) the remaining $15 million would go to augmenting and continuing a comfortable lifestyle as described in 4.

    4. Pay off student loans and pay for grad school. Make sure I am fully insured. Get a new truck. and buy a moderately priced house, perhaps between $75 and $125 thousand.

  2. Anonymous says:

    1. Enough. Trite answer but accurate all the same. I don't need to win the lottery to be able to do everything I want to do. However adding more would just increase the ways in which I would do things (Instead of tipping a delivery boy 4 or 5 bucks, once in a while I would leave like a $200 tip, things like that).4

    2. A new cycling bike (~10 grand), build new computers for myself/fun, open up a computer shop and use the rest for various things I feel appropriate (college for my nephew and niece, charities etc)

    3. Same as above.
    4. Same as above minus the part about opening a store, I'd hold a standard job.

  3. ankmanpro says:

    1. How much would you have to win in the lottery to be comfortable that you could do all that you would want to do? $100 million I'd say. I "want" to retire comfortably at age 20 =D

    2. How would you allot/what would you do with $200 million? Nothing lavish. Just living expenses. I'd spread it equally over about 80 years (expecting to live to 100 just to be safe) accounting for inflation and stuff of course.

    3. What would you do with $50 million? Again, spread it out. See if I need to work at any point in my life.

    4. What would you do with $2 million? (Finish reading before thinking about these questions). Probably invest it and manage it actively. I'm planning to go into Finance after all.

  4. Patti D. says:

    Yeah, so I never play either, I'm not a fan of throwing money away, lol.
    With the three different scenarios I would do the same, buy a nice flat, start my own business and try to invest wisely.

  5. 1. How much would you have to win in the lottery to be comfortable that you could do all that you would want to do?
    10 Millions

    2. How would you allot/what would you do with $200 million?
    Good stuff :3

    3. What would you do with $50 million?
    Less good stuff

    4. What would you do with $2 million?
    nothing good

  6. Alphabeta says:

    Tbh when and if I play the lottery I only play if it's 15mil or less.
    I even think that would be too much.
    Ideally 2 million. Enough to live off comfortably with a few luxuries... and build an amazing music studio & start a label.

    50 million would drive me instantly insane.

  7. 1. What's the limit?

    2. Donate to the poor and help poor villages in south Africa
    And probably donate the rest to orphans

    j/k I would keep every penny to myself. :D

    I would travel abroad and get myself a better education and a degree. Travel around world and then finally settle somewhere and buy myself a nice home and a yacht.
    A good part of what's left of $200 mil would go to my private company.

    3. Same as above, education and investing is a priority though.

    4. Build a $2 million super PC and play Crysis all day on ultra-high settings.

    Sorry if my list is a little bit too general.

  8. DocStout says:

    This subject is really interesting to me, having read about so many people whose lives were ruined by suddenly coming into a lot of money through the lottery. I don't play very often though, as I agree that it seems like "a tax on people who are bad at math."

  9. Egan says:

    My answer to any of these is to invest it

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