Dream On… 2016-01-11

imageA dream is not a bad thing to have. Everybody needs a dream… Whoopie Goldberg

Well I have a $1.4 billion lottery dream along with just about every other person near an establishment selling  those little paper tickets with a death grip on our collectively sanity.

You’re more likely to be voted President of the United States (currently  referred to as POTUS), or win an Oscar, or any number of outstretched goals than win the lottery. BUT, if I could just win that money, I would be so happy.

Winning would mean no longer working. I could take care of family members; put grandchildren, nieces, and nephews through college; have a nicer home; maybe an Escalade; take a great road trip to all the baseball parks; and the best goal yet of donating to charity.

Beyond providing beautiful homes for us and the kids, a nice ride, education, having enough money for bills and prescriptions, what would anybody really do with a cash-out of $800 million dollars?

Easy Street is a road paved with many potholes.

Every legitimate charity or money-grabbing charity scam will have all gunbarrels pointed right at your head.

There will be relatives and friends you never met, have forgotten, or left in your past that will now be your best friend. The ‘do-you-remember-the-time’ and ‘I-knew-you-when’ retellings and ‘pat-on-the-back camaraderie abound. Kumbayah, my friend, kumbayah.

Then just as quick as a tornado-leveled town things take an ugly turn. Everyone with few exceptions will never think they got enough out of the deal. The initial glee, happiness for you, and glad-handing will sooner than later become resentment, jealousy, and potentially close-held hatred.

Your property will be coveted by thieves. Family members are now targets for ransom and harm. There are plenty of psychopaths who will brilliantly try to abscond with your new-found fortune. Evil assholes who wouldn’t think twice about ending your life for the opportunity of hiding out from authorities in a cabin in the woods guzzling a few beers just to watch the huge television they took from your new theatre room are watching your every move. Cyber stalkers, physical stalkers, and just plain ole’ nut jobs come out of the woodwork.

The monetary challenges are enormous for those of us whose biggest challenges to-date have been to balance a personal bank account, make arrangements to pay for a new sewer for the house, or figure out college funding. You will now need to surround yourself with a team of accountants, tax advisors, lawyers, and consultants that are trustworthy and providing advice and counsel as though it was their money, not yours. I doubt that is going to happen 100% of the time or even 50% of the time. We’ve all heard the stories about people who have lost their fortunes to a bad investment or crooked accountant.

Even if you give almost all of your winnings away, people will always think you have money. Make sure to have enough to support your new lifestyle real or imagined because you can’t live in your old neighborhood anymore. You will now need a gated community, security, and surveillance for your home, and your family. Bodyguards might not be a bad idea. Private schools will be a must. With the bigger more secure property you are surely destined to have, there will be a need for cooks, housekeepers, gardeners, drivers, et al. Besides managing your new windfall you are now an employer with a staff to manage.

You should have many things in place before even coming forward to claim the prize. There will be all those things to consider and manage when a crush of money falls on your head like Dorothy’s house on the Wicked Witch of the West.

The biggest hurdle, however, will be for the winners themselves. Going from a 9-5 life holding a job, maintaining a family and relationships, paying bills, cooking out in the backyard with friends, petting the dog, grocery shopping, and posting selfies to being the manager of a sum of money larger than some small countries have in their coffers with managing consultants, lawyers, domestic staff, real estate agents,  insurance representatives, and an infinite number of other things we can’t even imagine is mind blowing. Mind blowing!!

The responsibility of continuing to be a normal person may be very very difficult. You still have to wake up everyday, put your pants on one leg at a time, brush your teeth and comb your hair, be kind to people, retain a sense of humor, conduct your life with grace and dignity, and not sink into a quagmire of depression, paranoia, substance abuse, bankruptcy or any of the other ills befalling past lucky winners. Whoever eventually has the ticket with the matching magical numbers will have quite a swift sobering jolt of reality.

Seriously, why would anyone want to win 1.4 billion dollars? I don’t know, but I bought my ticket already. Hey, I can dream, can’t I? … Sandy

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