Have you guys seen the latest projections on a certain lottery game? Since there was no winner last night, Wednesday’s jackpot is expected to reach $1.3 Billion! Now, I’m not encouraging gambling. It rarely pays out and it’s a fast way to go broke. This isn’t about gambling or playing the lotto, though. This is about dreaming big and playing the “what if” game! I know a lot of people are thinking “what would I do with $1.3 billion?” Well, I’ll tell you what I’d do with it!
What Would I Do with $1.3 Billion?
Let’s ignore the fact that after taking the cash payout and paying the astronomical taxes on it, I’d be left with probably 1/4 of that amount. We’re living in my fantasy world now, friends. This is a peek into my late-night insomniac game! When I’m laying in bed and having a hard time drifting off because of my anxiety, I imagine that I’ve come into a massive amount of money (oddly, about a billion bucks), and then I spend it in my head. What would I do with $1.3 Billion? I’d:
Share with my friends and family
First things first, I’d need to set aside a chunk to share with friends and family. My brother has a ton of student loan debt from law school. Even though his firm is doing fantastic (I’m SO proud of my baby brother!), he could still use a chunk of that billion bucks! My aunts could retire comfortably and find their bliss. So many of my friends are constantly worrying about money, they could finally stop worrying and live out their dreams!
Be the change in the world
That much money could really help me “be the change” in the world! I’d love to get my son a tutor (so he can continue schooling), then take us all traveling to places where we can make a difference. Nowhere dangerous for him, of course. I’d love to volunteer at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary! Their work is just amazing! National Geographic has a list of the top 10 Volunteer Vacations. I also found this site, Together for Good, that helps you combine your vacation with a volunteer opportunity.
I am passionate about improving maternal health around the world, so I’d also find ways to help organizations like Samahope and Kangu. Both do amazing things to help lower the astronomically high maternal death rates around the globe. Improving literacy rates and making sure every child has access to books is also incredibly important to me. I’d work with organizations like LitWorld and FirstBook.
Start an organization in my area to help feral cats
On a local level, I’d create some sort of organization to help the feral cats in the Poconos. We have a large population right in my development. A family of them live outside my door. We feed them and build little shelters for them, but we don’t have the finances to take care of them beyond that. We have kittens outside our door that are sick. It’s breaking my heart. Some of them are actually really friendly because we’ve tried to socialize them, in the hopes that we can find them a place to live at some point. The shelters around here are full, and I can’t find any vets that offer free services for treating the ferals that I can catch. I can’t take in any more, as I already have cats and dogs. I took in one who was practically begging to come in, he was only 8 weeks old when he lost his mom to a predator and he was dying on his own. Poor little guy still has a cold (he’s going back to the vet tomorrow). Isn’t he cute?
I’d love to start some sort of fund to pay for treatments for ferals and provide better shelters for during the winter for people who are willing to put them up (we winged it with styrofoam coolers and bins then blankets for insulation). The organization would also pay for spaying and neutering, of course, to start getting the population under control.
Create a Grant Foundation for Writers and Bloggers
One of the things I dream about when I’m laying in bed playing the “if I won a billion dollars” game is helping other people like me succeed. I started Pretty Opinionated so I could write about the things I wanted to write about while supporting my son. Before that, I was writing for content mills and doing some ghostwriting. I loved my ghostwriting clients, but I still wasn’t writing about things that I was passionate about (except for one client, who’s voice totally jived with mine, so I could be myself most of the time).
A lot of my blogger friends started their sites for similar reasons- to have a creative outlet, yes, but also because they really needed the money to support their families. Many, like me, put in 18-hour days for a long time to get financially solvent. I’d love to start a grant foundation to give other writers and bloggers a bit of a cushion so they can pursue their passions, build their sites (or write their books) and still have time to breathe a little.
Be a little selfish
I’m not a saint. As much as I’ll do good in the world, I’m not selfless. I’d buy a new car because my poor 2002 Hyundai Accent is begging to be put out of her misery (she’s a good car, she lasted me a very long time!). Nothing fancy, I don’t need a sports car or anything. A nice little eco-friendly hybrid would be just perfect. Something big enough for three kids in the back, because when Sal and I go out with the kids, they don’t have a lot of room in my car. Poor 16-year-old Raina is stuffed in the back with two preadolescence boys! Maybe something a little bigger in case one of them wants to bring a friend.
I’d definitely buy a nice big house! Okay, maybe as big as in that picture, but something nice and roomy! I’d also get new computers for everyone in the house. I bought Jacob a laptop less than 8 months ago and it’s bricked already. I’m not going to bash the company, but let’s say I’m sticking with HP or Acer in the future, I’ve always had good luck with them. He needs something super fast for all his gaming. I have my HP Envy Rove from over two years ago and it’s still going strong. Knock on wood, it’s never given me a single headache. Still, I would like to upgrade to something with a bit more memory and speed, just because I use a lot of programs that take up a ton of RAM and processing power.
So if I suddenly came into over a billion bucks, be it through winning it, by inventing something life-changing, or by Mary Poppins showing up to tell me I’m a princess of an island nation no one ever heard of, I’d definitely be able to do a whole lot with it for the world and for my family.
So that’s what I’d do with $1.3 billion! What would YOU do with that much money?