You probably know this already, but the Powerball jackpot is now the largest it’s ever been IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD:
$700,000,000 $900,000,000+!!! O-M-G!
(Update: went up $200,000 in two days!)
And of course people are going bonkers. And I’m not going to lie – as someone who used to enjoy this sick form of entertainment every week, I am too :) It’s not that I think I’ll ever actually win, but it’s a helluva fun thing to think about and someone, somewhere, WILL and they surely won’t be thinking it’s “a tax on the stupid.” (Odds BTW are 1 in 292,200,000 – no prob.)
People on Twitter are having some fun with it too:
So yes, I will pony up my $2.00 for the first time in three years and participate purely out of FOMO (fear of missing out), and if I don’t come back on Monday you’ll surely know why ;)
But in a weird way, I also very much do NOT want to win this money. Yes I’d love all the freedom it would buy and I’d hook up all my friends and family (and you guys!) like crazy, but not only would it do the opposite of being able to stay under the radar (“stealth wealth” as Financial Samurai puts it), but it would also feel a bit like cheating. Because I’m pretty sure it feels a lot more successful accomplishing great wealth on your own as a hustler than it does out of pure luck. Not that I wouldn’t accept the money if the numbers come up matching, just that it wouldn’t be *as* exciting as, say, someone who sucks with money and looking for the quick win.
Now this is the part in the post where I’d typically go over all the awesome things I’d do with the gobs of money if I won, but seeing how we just did this a few years ago when the jackpot was at a staggering $500-something mil (see: 10 Things I’m Doing When I Win This $500 Million… ) I thought I’d do the opposite and tell you what I *wouldn’t* do if I won :) Because in some cases – and this one in particular – what you won’t do is actually more important than what you would!
So here’s 10 things I won’t be doing if I win these millions of dollars:
- Tell people I won! (Though it will be tricky in updating my net worth here, hmm…)
- Spend a penny before talking to an estate planner, accountant, lawyer, and anyone else to make sure I don’t do something stupid. (I’m not gonna even pretend I’d know what I’m doing!)
- Spend a penny before thinking/dreaming up all the awesome things I could do for a solid year! (Or at least a solid month ;) There’s power in waiting!)
- Blow it on fancy cars (1 fancy car will suffice)
- Blow it on fancy mansions (maybe a fancy tiny home? Or commune of tiny homes?)
- Hoard it all (I’d invest like crazy and make sure my family is financially secure forever, but the fun part would be doing some good in the world…)
- Change my lifestyle (only tweaks)
- Forget my values (no tweaks!)
- Forget my morals (I’m sure you’d get tempted like a mother in this department!)
- And lastly, stop working… Or, really, “playing” since that’s really what I do here on this blog and other projects – hah.
In a way, I’ve already won the lottery :) And you have too if you’re sitting in a warm comfy home/office with clothes on your back, a full tummy, and a sexy financial plan in your pockets. Regardless of the stage of the journey you’re in.
So. What does all this matter in the end? Well, everything and nothing. Nothing if you just go about your day and forget all about it (which I wouldn’t advise, how boring is that? ;)), but everything if you stop and appreciate how fortunate you truly are with or without millions of extra dollars to your name. We’d all love to get our hands on as much money as we can, but remember we can accomplish our goals anyways if we continue to hustle for it and harness the incredible community around us. It’s just more of a matter of *when* and not *if*!
All that mushy stuff out of the way now, haha, let’s talk about what you would do if you won! Or if you’d like to follow suit, what you wouldn’t do? Let us know in the comments below!
Nothing will happen if you don’t even pick up a ticket, but it’s always fun to dream regardless :) And if you happen to win this weekend, I want some free beer please!!!
PS: If you’re wondering about that nifty picture I chose to include up top, I found it on Flickr and is aptly titled “The Lottery Office.” I have no idea what it means, but I’m digging those skeletons in it :) And I think they need to go after Grabby McGrabberton next – just look where his hands are!
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A few weeks ago my friend and I were talking about budgets and what would life be without a budget (ie extreme wealth). I am terrible at being super rich. I spent not even 600K and 500K was on a condo (I live in Canada where real estate is very expensive so a 500K condo is not unusual). I bought a lighter bicycle and new glasses and a new pair of running shoes but then I ran out of things that I needed to buy.
I suck at being super rich. I’d totally quit my get up early job and switch my weekend my work in my pajamas job to my full time job.
yeah, I can’t imagine spending loads of money on stuff after a few things up front too. I mean, I probably would once I knew what was out there, haha, but nothing close to what you typically see lottery winners buying. I just like the idea of upgrading items I’m already using and “need” vs tacking on a bunch more “stuff.”
If I won that much cash I would seek advice as well, certainly would help my family and friends out too. I would set up a charity/foundation to help spread financial literacy to our youth. So many people still need help with this stuff, but think of the lives that can be changed having all the PF knowledge at 16.
I often think about the “possibility” of winning the lottery when the winnings reach extreme levels and hit the mainstream media. The possibility, for me, pretty much doesn’t exist, since I don’t even play. But, I will also pony up my $2 for a PB ticket this weekend for fear of missing out. I would be amazingly happy and would spread the love with my family and friends. I would definitely splurge on a new car and maybe a slightly bigger house. Maybe. But I totally agree that it wouldn’t be as satisfying as building significant wealth on my own. I know that when I hit my financial independence goal I will be a bit bummed that the journey is over. I am a firm believer that getting there truly is most of the fun!
Mrs. Mad Money Monster
The Mad Fientist recently wrote about what it felt like when HE hit his ER number and how depressing it actually was. Mainly because of the way he had structured his life/thoughts up to that point, but yeah – you def. need to substitute it out for a new awesome goal to keep going so you don’t just get lazy and turn into a blob! :)
Here’s the article btw, it was a guest post on Frugalwoods:
I actually hadn’t heard that the Powerball was up that high…but now I kinda want to go buy a ticket…
I actually think I would prefer (because obviously it is up to me!) to win one of the smaller prizes, like I think if you match a few numbers you get a large but more manageable amount of money. I think it would probably just be too psychologically overwhelming to win hundreds of millions, unless I was able to commit (and follow through) on giving 99% of it to good causes.
That would be a happy medium!
Well, you might have a 1 in 292,200,000 chance of willing but I have a 0 in 292,200,000 chance of willing since I’ll never buy a ticket. But if by some chance I found the golden ticket like Charley did, then:
1) Probably cry at least a little bit then hit my knees
2) Not tell anyone as long as I could
3) Buy or build a small compound where I can have my parents and any of my sisters that want to come live there, and host family gatherings on a regular basis
5) Move some of my Zimbabwe friends to the US and get them started here
4) Invest all the rest and only spend the income it produces
No harm in dreaming unless dreaming is ALL you do, then you’ll just get your hopes up but never get any closer to accomplishing anything.
Remember – Even *if* you won, a HUGE chunk of that change would be going to taxes. It’s probably better if you give the $2 to me. I’ll find a good place for it. :)
Sure, you can have $2.00 of my millions of winnings – no prob :)
Ha, we’ll buy a ticket, since sometimes idle daydreams are worth $2. Considering it’s projected to go up $400 Milliion, whoever wins will likely be splitting with 3-4 others. Still, you can do a lot of good with $200 Million too.
My husband and I have actually had multiple “what if” conversations over the years. Our idle daydream involves an educational charity that would promote financial literacy in K-12 and improvie the advising process at community colleges (which tend to have so many offerings that a lot of kids get lost and never finish their associate’s degree.)
That would be awesome. As long as you make it FUN and COOL so that people actually *want* to pay attention to their finances at that age! I think that’s the biggest challenge of it all – how to get kids to care enough.
I love the perspective that, if we’re reading PF blogs, we’re probably won the lottery of life. That’s not to diminish others’ financial difficulties, but it helps`to keep not winning the powerball in its place!
I wouldn’t be mad if I woke up to 8 extra zeroes on the right side of my net worth ;)
Hah! I didn’t even know about it. My wife said she was going to buy a few tickets. I laughed since if we won the 30 million dollar powerball we’d be retired instantly. Why is it any different with the 700 million dollar one? :)
One thing I would do: Never come back to work! I’d shoot a friendly e-mail letting my job know but that would be about it.
A commune of fancy tiny homes is a fantastic idea. What would you name it? :)
I won’t win, because I’m not playing. If I were playing or came into another large sum of money another way, I’d travel, plan for the future, gift charitably, and then go right back to teaching. That’s how I know I love what I do. I’d do it even if the paycheck didn’t matter.
That makes me so happy that you love teaching so much – you guys are so important to our country!
(And I think I’d name the village – “MoneyVille” – what do you think? Would you come to visit? :))
#1-Yes! It amazes me. I remember the last time Powerball was large, a woman won and posted to Facebook something to the effect of, “Yes! Thank you, Jesus, we won the lottery.” My first thought was, “Well, don’t open the door if strangers show up.” Posting stuff like that on Facebook is asking for trouble.
If I won, I would lay low for a while. Then, find a very good lawyer. And, if I could, claim it anonymously. Next would be a financial advisor.
And the picture, it makes me think of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.
Yikes! I just googled what and def. not a lottery I’d like to win! Bleh.
The Net Worth update post win would be epic!!
I didn’t get a ticket myself this time, but I have in the past. For me the fun of dreaming about what you would do and what could happen is worth the $1 or $2 cost. It’s entertainment.
What would be your one fancy car?
A slick black Range Rover probably… But I’d def. go window shopping first :)
With an amount that big, you could spend 10% up front, put the other 90% away and live the rest of your life just from the interest payments. At least that’d be my plan, and probably not even spend the 10% with an amount that high.
When the Powerball gets big enough to be in the news I usually drop a $1 on a ticket – the daydreaming is worth it. And lets face it, 1/292,000,000 or 20/292,000,000 both reduce to effectively zero :)
What’s sad is you’ll likely be in line a 7-11 behind somebody blowing grocery money on tickets, because they think it’s their best chance of changing their life.
Yeah – it’s sad when people forgo actual necessities to chase such far off dreams.
So many people say the first thing they would do is quit their job and start spending money, NO WAY would I do that. For the first year I don’t think I would change a thing that would be visible. I would still go to work, still drive the same car etc. Wait for all the talk about the Powerball to fade away. The last thing you want is for everyone to know you won it.
I’d definitely be talking to a financial planner, estate planner, CPA, etc. and I wouldn’t tell anyone I’d won, I think.
Then I’d pay off our mortgage, buy my in-laws their place (plus maid service since my MIL has health problems), pay off any relatives’ mortgages, fund college accounts for my cousin’s kids, get my mom a summer home down here so she could eventually flee those Alaska winters and of course buy a bunch of rental property. Oh and get my husband a fully furnished man cave with everything his little nerdy heart desires. Heck, I could just buy a house in the neighborhood and turn that into a full-on man cave!
I’d also offer my mom a monthly stipend so she wouldn’t have to work unless she wanted to. She could focus on writing a book or just spending quality time with friends and family.
Then looooots of travel for the two of us.
I’m totally coming to that man cave if you deck out an entire house like that :)
I suppose if you wouldn’t change anything… You’ve already won.
My wouldn’t list pretty much mirrors yours. My would list would include paying off my parents debt and allowing my parents to finally retire.
That’s WAY too much money. Just too much. I mean, I could keep 1 million, be on my way, and set up $699 million and a board of trustees to oversee my new initiatives – but I couldn’t do it as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – so I would just have to give it all away to awesome organizations that could do amazing things. But really, that’s just too much money…
It is a ridiculous amount, especially for doing nothing haha… Already jumped $200,000 since posting this two days ago! It’s almost A BILLION!!
“and if I don’t come back on Monday you’ll surely know why” – you’d come back! What would you do with all the free time anyway?
I’d buy all the houses on my street and get all my buddies to move to Zombie Street, rent free.
I’d probably quit my current job, surf around Europe for a couple of years and start up my own company doing…something haha.
Yes, I would def. come back. I’d update my net worth and then shut down the blog forever haha…. Nah, but that would be pretty funny :)
“January NetWorth – +$700,000,000. See ya later suckers”
Ummm, I’m calling crapola on it’s better to earn it, lol. That’s what I’m doing now and will be doing for the foreseeable future and even though I do enjoy life as it is, being handed hundreds of millions sounds way better than hustling for it. :-D
If we ever won millions, we’d also get in touch with a great, well-reviewed CPA, lawyer, tax lawyer, etc. And we probably would only tell our closest family that we won. We don’t have to claim it publicly in Texas. Then we’d set up our two friends for life (or claim it as a group of 4 from the beginning) since we all are in an ongoing if-we-win-we-split pool. Our close family members in the know would all get $1 million or a monthly annuity set up from a million (their choice). Our other friends would most likely be spoiled more than usual (like steak potlucks instead of chili potlucks and better birthday gifts) but I don’t think we’d give them millions or anything since I rather keep the whole thing as quiet as possible. Smart people don’t test their friends around gobs of money…the result may be sad.
The rest would be divided into 3 pots – 1 that would be invested and we’d live off of, 1 for my husband, and 1 for me. My pot would be invested as well and the interest used for travel and charities. I would no longer pet sit except for my favorite regulars, may continue blogging with a more travel-based theme, would be able to volunteer way more for SMART Pet Rescue and donate way more to several of my favorite charities, and we’ll see what happens from there.
I already have a good life, but butt-loads of extra money would be nice.
I’m not going to lie, I’d probably go a bit crazy for a few years (after talking to all the same professionals) before bringing it back down to a normal level.
Probably wouldn’t buy much, but I’d be on NetJets and renting some baller spots around the planet (and bringing friends).
I’ll have my luggage packed :)
Love the article …. just got an email at work…they are putting $10 each person as a group and getting numbers. My response was…naw got bills to pay with that $10. Hate to be a party pooper but reality check…your throwing $10 away cause your not going to win (beside my husband is doing it so I think I might be covered) :)
Found a penny today and that will be seen as the big winnings for me today!
Hah! I always thought it was funny when people at work do it – especially upper management – because they’d pretty much be screwing over their company as soon as they all quit after winning :)
Winning that much money would be insane. I don’t know what I would do with it all!
I never even thought of waiting a month (or a year!)! You’re right though – even though I’d have the best intentions, I bet I’d mess up a lot of them if I just jumped right into spending that money (or even just dumping it into the wrong investments).
I would set up my family for the rest of their lives too. Then I’d set up a theater scholarship for the school I graduated from. I’d start my own small theater company. I’d go on a vacation on the Trans-Siberian Express with my dad.
Dang. Now I want to go spend $2 on a ticket too… what have you done??
If you win, you can thank me by letting me tag along on the Trans-Siberian Express with you guys :) That would be amazing!
I just keep thinking of my fave song “they say money can’t buy happiness but it can buy me a boat and a truck to pull it….” I’d like to think those simple pleasures would still be my goal. Let’s hope I get to find out lol ;-)
Till then overtime till the debt is paid!
I’ve been following your blog for a long time and this is probably one of my favorite posts. Thanks for reminding me that we have it really, really good, even if we don’t win the lottery :)
Awwww, well thank you Wendy! I’m so glad you enjoyed it – that totally made my day :)
I don’t play the lottery but my office went in together on tickets. For $2, I’ll play along :)
If we won, travel would be at the top of my list. I’d also make sure my parents had the means to enjoy their retirement and I’d definitely donate a large portion. How great would it be to have a wing or building named after you?
I ended up buying a $2 ticket as well, even though I rarely ever play the lottery. I can’t even fathom on how to spend that much money if I were to win! I’m sure even if you don’t tell people, they would find a way to reach out to you after winning…
“I’m pretty sure it feels a lot more successful accomplishing great wealth on your own as a hustler than it does out of pure luck.”
This, 100 times this! I want to reach FI not only to reach freedom for the 9-to-5, but also for the huge bragging rights among my friends and family who have been constantly telling me it’s not possible. If I reach the goal on my own, there’s a powerful message for them to start thinking about it. If you won the lottery, then all your success would be attributed to luck, which voids lots of your efforts.
I know – that would SUCK balls. You’d lose all credibility as a financial blogger/expert/”influencer” too. No one would be able to look past the winnings except for your original fans.
I was going to write about this topic next week when it hits a billion dollars!
That’s just way too much money. It will change you. I’m sure you can’t stick to all those ‘won’t do.’
Personally, I would give most of the winnings away. That’s easy to say because there is so little chance of winning….
Seriously, I would go away for a year so people will forget who we are. We can travel luxuriously for a year and just relax. Hire good helpers to deal with the repercussion of being rich – financial advisor, lawyers, cat handler, etc…
Only $100,000 away now! Jumped $200k in two days – dang!
And yeah – I’m sure it’ll change you like crazy, but hopefully just not in those bad ways that you see happen to people who’ve won. I feel like most of us reading here could embrace it pretty well – even if we splurge on something stupid here and there.
Totally with you. First thing I’d do is donate part of that money to charities.
I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I won that kind of money. My first thought was that I couldn’t in good conscious continue my blog, as it would be kinda disingenuous to write about budgeting and saving for financial independence while I had hundreds of lottery millions in the bank.
Luckily I’ll never win as I don’t pay the stupid tax ;-)
Yeah, no one would be able to relate to you anymore and the only takeaway would be “go play the lottery!” on the blog, haha… which of course would be lame.
Don’t tell anyone. Throw a ton of it in Vanguard index funds. Fund some hobbies. Give a ton of money away every year.
Say it works out to $302,000,000 as the one time pay out after taxes. You could blow $2 million of the top paying off family mortgages, bills, buying a Ferrarri, or whatever, then invest the $300 million and take out 4% a year to live on, which shouldn’t even draw your principal over time if you are diversified.
That’s $12 million a year living expenses, and the nest egg should grow over time.
That’s just insane to think about.
Yeah – how the hell could you spend $1 million every month??? Or $30,000/day?
That’s a nutso amount of money. I can’t even imagine. I won’t buy a ticket because that’s the whole game of the stupid tax, to pretend it’s “throwaway” money that you wouldn’t miss anyway, and you’ve got a shot–albeit a small one–at an insane amount of money. If I won, I would be strongly tempted not to tell my family or friends. My niece and nephews are just about college age, and I wouldn’t want them slacking off or thinking they wouldn’t need to go to school because they’re going to inherit a crap-ton of money from me (I don’t have kids). Gotta keep em motivated to work and get smart and earn on their own, or you get the younger-generational apathy that usually comes along with very wealthy families.
$700 million! That’s a lot. I would just keep it a secret and try to live as the same as possible, then slowly using the money without getting attention of anybody.
Several years ago I had a co-worker who DID win the lottery ($1 million, not retirement-worthy, but still a nice chunk)!
He’s a really solid, but quiet, guy with a fantastic wife and two adopted daughters. On Friday, another co-worker leaving work said, “well, another day, another dollar” and he chuckled as he left. Over the weekend, we saw a news article on him with his giant check. On Monday, someone printed it out and set it on his desk and we all tried to act normal waiting for him to arrive. He came in, blushed, said “you got me!” and that was it.
I believe they put in into college savings for the girls and for their retirement. We never saw a single shred of evidence that his car, lifestyle, etc. changed in the least.
How fascinating!! Love that he came right back to work too and continued life as normal… that’s the way to go, no doubt. Man, I’m guessing a lot of people will win $1 Million too off this thing, eh? I’d be happy with just that :)
My $800,000,000 fantasy what to do list (not what not to do) starts with making a call to Warren Buffet and asking him what to do. Even though it’s a $2 fantasy, a cheap dream, it brings out the MBA in me.
If you’re going any money left you’d have to treat the management of the money as a business. I know who to talk to about a charitable trust, but I don’t know where I’d start with the rest of the list you mentioned. Maybe I could be like my late aunt who inherited $250,000 and put it the safe.
I bet there’s a way to make that Buffett call happen too if you just won the biggest jackpot ever in history :) It would be quite the fun media event! (And now I’m stealing your idea, haha…)
Here in Canada, we never have jackpots that big. I just can’t imagine having that much money! But if we ever did win a large sum of money, I imagine we would buy a beautiful piece of land, and build our ideal house (which is NOT a mansion- just something with a layout that suits our lifestyle). We would take care of our families, and travel a lot. I would absolutely quit my current job, but would continue to work at doing something I love- writing and teaching yoga, I imagine.
It’s so much fun to dream!
Meet up with my brother, two sisters, my husband’s seven brothers and three sisters and a few special friends and go down to the lottery office so everyone could have a share. From there pay off my husband’s hospital bills, find him the best doctors he needs, get myself a new or newer car so I can get him there and myself back and forth to work, fix up my house so my family can be proud. After that I will donate to food pantries so people will not be hungry and if I know there is someone in need I just might anonymously send a check to help them out.
You’d be making a lot of people happy – I love that :)
Hmm, the worse part would probably be all your distant, unknown “relatives” getting back in touch :-)
First, I didn’t earn it. Probably, I’d keep the half of it and the other half would be given to charity, friends, and family. Then, I think we’d move to another city to start a new life to keep our lives safe because living in the previous city, I think it’s really not a good idea because people would keep coming even those people whom we don’t have a good relationship with.
Wow now its up to 1.3 billion now! If I won id make sure my parents wouldn’t have to ever worry about money again! They would have whatever they wanted, cause they sacrificed so much so I could have good life! Id also help my out my friends and other family members, try a few start up businesses and of course invest into some stable high yield dividend funds so i can make some passive income off of it!
Isn’t that crazy?? I can’t even fathom winning a billion dollars… no less owning it!
I love reading all the stories and posts on what people will or won’t do if they win the $1 billion + lottery. Yeah, life would change, but life right now is pretty good. I love the life I’m living, I’ve made all my choices and I’m doing exactly what I want to do right now. I have more than enough of all of I need and the extra I save for investments. I feel pretty powerful building an investment fund, so do I need a windfall? Well, the only difference is that my wealth-building efforts would happen sooner rather than later. So does it change anything? Not really.
What saddens me is hearing people talk after the draw about how depressed they are that they didn’t win. If you’re working hard and saving/investing every day, you’d have nothing to be depressed about. Feeling out of control and having no say over your life, yeah, that’s the pits. Maybe this will be a wake up call for a lot of people to make changes in their lives that will make them happier now.
Excellent point – I hope so!
My “won’t” list would look much like yours. Already feeling like a winner is, well, priceless. :)
I don’t play the lottery on a regular but I have been buying into the work pool. I’d hate to pass it up for the simple fact that they may hit and I’d be the only one out, lol But seriously I tend to think how this amount of money would actually change my life for the worst. People coming out of the wood work asking for donations, worrying about my kids and their safety on the way to and from school and what not, trying to keep my values, not raising spoiled children and on and on and on. Yes having this cash would definitely help me to do much good in this world but with it comes a lot of responsibility and many worries. Just my thought.
Agreed… And I’d pitch in at work too just for avoiding that feeling too of missing out while everyone around you is celebrating! haha… that would be miserable. (until they all quit, of course ;))
I wouldn’t even know what to do with that much cash! I never participate in the lottery either, but I participated in a pool at work and my husband also bought 2 tickets, just so we wouldn’t miss out. Looks like we get a free chance at Wednesday’s drawing because we got the Powerball number right, so we should win $3 or something like that. Something I think I wouldn’t do is quit working altogether. I would quit my current job, but I would look for a non-profit to join, or do some missionary traveling and working or something. I just couldn’t do absolutely nothing for the rest of my life.
Good job winning something!! And the powerball # at that! We didn’t match a single number – hah.
That powerball is even bigger now! So good luck. And I certainly think your list is a noble one. It’d be great to hear of someone winning the lottery and not having it ruin their life within five years. Maybe that will be you! After all, the best time to end up with extra money is when you’re already doing something you enjoy and living a lifestyle you value – then you can actually spend the money on things that matter. Thanks for another great post!
You know it, man. Thanks for stopping by :)
Great tips for lucky winners :D