In the wake of the fourth largest Mass Millions jackpot in history, I wanted to take a moment to dream.
It’s what anyone does when they line up to purchase a lottery ticket: what would you do with all that money? It’s a discussion Krissy, Mallory, and I have all the time.
As interns we would go downstairs to the City Mart (aka Mr. Lee’s) on Fridays to buy candy and lottery tickets. We called it Lottery Friday. Now that the three of us are full-time we still go downstairs, but less often.
After many discussions and daydreams I wanted to pen down my rough plan of action if I was to win the lottery. You never know if I’ll have to actually put it to use- at least I would be prepared.
Let’s say I win tonight’s Mega Millions Jackpot. I would probably take the lump sum option, many say it’s the smarter choice (Update: getting the annualized payments has its own benefits.) The cash option for tonight’s jackpot is about 194.4 million after taxes. Not too shabby.
Here’s the rest of my plan:
Step 1: Go underground. I would fall off the radar. I don’t plan on telling anyone that I just won a lot of cash. Those kind of things just attract more problems.
The day I wake up and find out I won the lottery, I would make sure the ticket is secure.
I would sign the back, take some photocopies, and lock it in a safe deposit box. I wouldn’t want to take any chances.
I would also immediately secure a week or two off of work and clear my schedule. Why? Because I’m going to need the time to work on step 2.
Step 2: Assemble my financial team. I’m going to need some people to help me to plan my next steps. I would get a lawyer (especially one that deals in estates), a certified financial planner, and an accountant. They would help me plan out how I would receive the money, where I should put the money, and how I should spend the money.
Step 3: Claim my money. Once I have a plan in place I would then approach the lottery and start the process of claiming the prize. I would try and do it anonymously. I would prefer to stay out of the limelight.
Step 4: Allocate my money. If I win the lottery I would still work at my current job (at least for a little bit.) I like my job a lot. I’d like to avoid a drastic life change that would cause me to lose control of who I am. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to have a little fun. Here’s what I would do with my money:
- Save most of it (find a way to have it work for me, living off interest is a wonderful thing)
- Figure out some sort of amount to supplement my annual income (lucky for me I have no debt to pay off)
- Buy my parents a house (it’s a requirement: you gotta buy your parents something), they really want a place south of New England so I’d find them a nice place. Maybe Loudoun County?
- Buy Diana a nice midtown place to live, pay off her debts
- Pay for Kim’s education
- Pay for Danny’s education
- Find a nice townhouse in Arlington that’s close to Clarendon- I’m still not living in DC (Update: maybe I would live in DC. Maybe.)
- Eventually buy a new car (I think I’d hold on to my current ride for a while, again I don’t want to make too many sudden changes)
- Eventually get spend a little on some new toys (I can finally afford that Canon 5D I’ve been eyeing)
- Donate (FSC, CHS, charity: I’ll sit down and make a plan to give back)
- Go on a cruise (I’ve always wanted to do that)
- Start actually tackling my life to-do list (I have it written out already, but now I’ll have resources to work on my bucket list)
- Go back to school (I’m going to do it anywho but now I can go somewhere nice and nearby while I work… Georgetown perhaps?)
- Share (I’ll have a plan to share with my other friends and family)
- Eventually start a business? (I was at the gym today and thought Patrick and I could start a production company, or maybe I could start some sort of media business)
- Season tickets: these are the coolest things ever and I would definitely get some. If I’m stilling living in DC then all the local teams, plus I would love to have tickets at Fenway Park.
That’s all I can think of now. Overall I would save some, spend some, give some. I would probably keep it on the D/L as much as I could. I just think of all the riches to rags stories I hear about other lottery winners and I have come to the conclusion that I just want to play it smart.
If I go underground suddenly at least you know why.