Tonight at 10:00 PM, someone's life will change. Maybe yours! Potentially the largest single-winner lottery pot in human history (thank you Mega Millions PR) with a jackpot of over $540 million is up for grabs. But is winning always a good thing?
Of course I bought a ticket and so did you, but I'm not convinced winning is actually positive in the end. If I won, I'd consider it somewhat of a burden and certainly a responsibility. How do you choose the most important charities? What are the biggest problems facing humanity that can be solved with $540 million dollars? Would I look like an idiot pushing a stroller in Manolo Blahniks?
I used to be so poor I had to use t-shirts as pillow cases so I have a little perspective and have noticed a few things about money:
1. Shopping is time-consuming. Do you realize how much time and physical and mental energy it takes to choose the things you want to buy? I spent three hours online and an afternoon shopping in stores to arrive at the shoes I'll be wearing this spring. If I paid myself minimum wage for those hours, my Naot Matais would have cost over $200. Also, buying this house took hours and hours of consideration, followed by literal tons of debris.
When you're poor, you use what is on sale or what people give you, spending next to no time shopping. It's kind of a freedom!
2. The answer to every problem is not money. $540 million dollars will not make you 21 years old and immortal. It won't bring back people you've lost or make you taller. No amount of money will bring peace on Earth or undo that night you hit on your professor at a gay bar and for that matter, money will also not turn cute gay guys straight. Deal with it, lottery ladies.
3. Sometimes, money actually causes problems. If I could pay off my mother-in-law's mortgage, she might spend some time on a boat, but if I stuck a wad of cash in the hands of my lovable, yet drug addled pal in NYC? He'd be dead by next week. And I can think of a few marriages that would crumble if too many options opened up. Think about that one. Right after they win, the husband wants a month in Barbados and the wife wants a shopping trip in Shibuya. They afford both, go their separate ways and buy houses on opposite coasts. Enter plastic surgery, pool boys, gold diggers with 20-year-old Shakira hips and that marriage is toast. And they can even afford a divorce!
4. Money can get in the wrong hands. I think most people who won $540 million would have a humanitarian streak, but there are people of all types in the world and a few of them might be interested in funding militias or building bombs. I'm sure someone out there would just love to build an adorable compound stocked with weapons or fund a movement that overpopulation is a lie or that global warming is snake oil. Let's hope they don't buy the right Mega Millions ticket.
$540 million dollars is too much power to be dealt randomly. The more I think about it, the more freaked out I get. PLEASE let a humanitarian win this pot!
That said, here's exactly how I'd spend the cash. I'd purchase the abandoned Edgewater Medical Center, level it to the ground and build the most fantastic community space this city has ever seen. There'd be an amphitheater and gallery space for the arts, a teaching garden, rec room, library and a huge shaded playground. Then I'd build a Xanadu in Andersonville and send my kids to The Latin School. Lastly, more likely firstly, I'd get this for Bee:
Filed under: Preach