The Lottery

According to this site:

A screenshot from the website should the numbers no longer exist on the site.

There were 440,321,172 tickets sold for the January 9th drawing, compared to 16,311,081 in december. Nearly 27 times the number of tickets for 6.5 times the jackpot. According to Google, the US population is somewhere around 318.9 million.

Screenshot of Google’s record of US Population

I am sure there are many people that never bought a ticket, and yet, many people put $2 towards the chance at winning a lot of money.

I’ll admit, I bought a single ticket and ended up matching two numbers winning nothing. The hype was fun while it lasted, but I’m curious how many people bought many more than just a single ticket.

Tonight’s lotto results show that there is at least one winner. Although very lucky, I’m surprised at how many articles have popped up with suggestions (such as Mark Cuban’s advice), warnings (such as this in depth analysis of number of tickets to buy), and even foretelling of great misery (such as this chronicle of miserable millionaire winners). It’s as if the entire US is excitedd to hear that someone wins and wants at the same time to scare the shit out of them.

Had I won, I thoguht about a few different plans:

  • Taking the annuity route.

This is a lot of money, not getting it all at once isn’t the worst thing in the world, and can help you make more from less. It would offer the chance to see how far could you stretch a certain dollar amount.

I’m sure as I get older, I would probably be more prone to taking it all up front, but since I’m a year and some months away from 30, I would take my chances on the annuity option.

  • Set up trust funds for those that need it.

I would gladly help out family and friends that actually need it and have shown that they are trying to better themselves. Anyone that was bad at managing money before is just likely going to lose it, gamble it, whatever the case may be. Those that work hard and still struggle will appreciate the assistence as they can see it as a helper to move them to where they want to go. I have no intent of helping those that don’t know what they want from life, but know they want lots of money.

  • Ignore anyone that asks/demands money

Like the pre-recorded message at the airport ‘Anyone that asks if you need a ride shouldn’t be giving you one.’ : ‘Anyone that asks for money shouldn’t receive a handout’ This might sound mean, but it’s quite practical. Hopefully you have a plan with your life that isn’t dependent / contingent on you, a loved one, or a close friend on winning the lottery. You should appreciate their genorosity if they are inclined to share it and you are more than welcome to be jealous, but being pouty / forming a vendetta against someone just because they decide to spend their money elsewhere, is just ridiculous. Find your own gold and success, just cause someone else got a ‘Pass GO, collect $200’ card (or in this case, a nearly $1.4 billion sum), shouldn’t derail you from that goal you were originally working towards.

Essentially, hopefully you’ve found a calling in life and you shouldn’t let the prerogatives of others affect that calling. Live your life and chase your dreams.

  • Buy a parking garage and a bunch of cars

I love going to car dealerships despite my hatred for dealing with salesmen. There’s something about a new car, driving the first 1k miles, it’s really nice. I would probably buy a new car every x months and then donate or gift the old ones to family/friends, or that number I’ve seen on billboards while driving on I-294.

  • Invest in my own company

I’ve done a lot with a very little (and I’ve spent a lot of money in the process). I would love to grow my company by hiring other employees and and focusing on some product ideas and bring them to market. I would want to try and experiment and find out just how much I need. I’ve tried to plan before and there are so many paranoid ‘what-if’ questions that block me from finishing a concrete plan involving investments that I would feel bad at taking someone’s money and turning it into a failure. At least with my own money, I wouldn’t feel so bad about a total flop.

  • Put some in savings / retirement accounts

To reduce the liklihood of buying many expensive items, I would try to put a decent chunk away for a rainy day (or for my company’s rainy day).

  • Pay off all of my debt

I have student loans, credit card debt, a mortgage, car payments, medical bills (as well as my husband). It would be nice to get rid of the debt and not have to worry about bills.

  • Put cost of living for 24 months aside

If I were to focus on my own company, I would need to put money aside to make sure that whatever monthly expenses are accounted for. This way, I can guarantee any additional income will just be a bonus and that I have some runway should I find myself in a bind.

Having said all these items, I think I’ve put them in the reverse order of where money would go. I.e. if I can afford 24 months of living expenses, I’d like to pay off all of my debt, if I can pay off all my debt, I would like to put some money in savings, etc.

I’m curious how others would spend the money and I’m even more curious how many could stick to a plan. Even if (for some reason) your only plan is to simply ‘win the lottery’, you should have a plan in place should the rare event occur where you actually do win the money.