It’s week 11 of my personal blogging challenge, and this week’s prompt is If I Won the Lottery. I skipped last week. I’m sure you all noticed. I’m sure you were all desperately disappointed. I blame Hurricane Nate. Or maybe I blame the fact that I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about this topic. I mean, I’m never going to win the lottery, mostly because I don’t play the lottery (or if play is the wrong word, substitute whatever verb actually fits there.)
But this week I’m in better spirits, and I’m willing to play along. What if I did miraculously win the lottery? What would I do?
Well, the first thing I’d do is put a substantial amount of money in my mom’s bank account to make sure she has everything she needs for her care for the rest of her life. My mom is 92 years old and currently living in a senior living center, and that eats up a sizable chunk of the money she and my dad managed to put away in the younger years, so I would make sure she had enough money to keep her in style until she’s 125 or so. It’s the very least I could do for her. I hate living so far away, and I hate that most of the job of making sure Mom has what she needs falls on my sister’s shoulders. If I couldn’t move back to Utah, I’d at least make a healthy financial contribution to the cause.
After I made sure my mom was taken care of, I’d buy a house, and I would pay cash. I don’t want a mortgage, and I never want to pay rent again. Most importantly, I never want to have a landlord again. It wouldn’t have to be a big house, just big enough. I’d need a bedroom for myself, of course, en suite. I’d like a bedroom for Older Daughter, as well. While we’re dreaming, let’s make the bedrooms of equal size and make them both en suite. Then we’d need at least one family bathroom for, you know, family. And friends. A living room which I would never use, except to receive guests. It would always be clean and tidy and ready for guests. A kitchen big enough for two people to move around at the same time with lots of storage space and a big pantry. A breakfast nook. A separate dining area for “fancy” meals. A guest bedroom. An office. A deck or patio I could actually use — shaded from the direct sunlight. Pleasant enough to spend time on, rather than the bare slab of cement currently sticking out from my back door. It’s way too hot here to sit out there, even after the sun goes down. While we’re at it, let’s add a craft room. Why not?
My beautiful new house would not be in Florida, I’m afraid. It would either be in Missouri or in Utah, near family, so the next thing on my list would be moving costs. Paid movers. Someone to back it all up and carry it all out, and then carry it all inside and put it in its new location. I’ll unpack the boxes, of course. But a move would definitely be on the horizon if I were to win the lottery.
I’d buy houses for both of my children, as well. So I guess I wouldn’t need that second en suite bedroom in my dream house, but I think I’ll keep it as a really great guest room. I’d want my children to know the same freedom I want for myself of not having a mortgage, not having a rent payment, and not having a landlord. Giving them the gift of freedom would bring me great joy
And, of course, I’d set money aside for the grandkids and their futures. It would be great if they’d use it to pay for higher education, but I know that learning in the classroom isn’t for everyone. The money would be theirs to do whatever they wanted to build a future for themselves. I’d probably put the stipulation on it that if they chose not to go to school, they wouldn’t get the cash until they’re at least 25. At that point, they could use it to open a business or buy a home or whatever they wanted and needed.
I’d make sure the girls and I all had new cars, too. Not because we need fancy new cars, but because we need new cars with new parts, all under warranty.
Everybody’s future is set? Great! It’s time for some fun. First thing on the list is a trip for the whole family to Disney World. Or Disneyland. It doesn’t matter which to me. It’s just that when the Princess was in the NICU weighing less than 3 pounds and forgetting to breathe, I promised her that if she would hang in there and grow stronger, I would take her to Disney World one day. I haven’t been able to keep that promise yet, and I need to do it before I shrug off this mortal coil. I try always to keep my promises.
There’s lots of traveling on my list, but only after I create a sturdy nest egg for my retirement. Enough to see me through my own old age in style. I haven’t been to all 50 states, I haven’t been to all the national parks in the country, and I’ve never been to Europe. Or Asia. Or Australia. Or South America. There’s a lot of world left to see.
And I’d give. I’d donate money to help with research for premature babies and to cure childhood cancer, and to cure macular degeneration and diabetes, and cancer in general. I’d donate to aid the cause of suicide prevention awareness, and the cause of awareness of depression and other mental challenges. I’d donate money to organizations that provide chances for underprivileged kids to learn the arts and develop their talents. And I’d help friends who found themselves in need. Can’t pay your rent this month? No problem. About to have your power shut off? Here you go. Running out of food and can’t feed the kids? Not to worry. I’ve got it.
That’s what I would do if I ever won the lottery. What would you do?