When I was a young adult in South Carolina, I had never heard of a lottery. There may have been lotteries, but I hadn’t heard of them, and I’m pretty sure there wasn’t one in SC. Then I moved to Connecticut which is where I first encountered lotteries. I remember playing a couple of times, but it was never a big thing. Then I moved to Massachusetts, home to Mass Millions. Mass Millions has now either become or joined the multi-state Mega Millions. It always had a pretty decent jackpot as Mass Millions but it really pumped up the amount when it became Mega Millions. I definitely played a few times, but never won more than $5.
Then there was POWERBALL. The mystical lottery that was in other states, but not in MA, that regularly had jackpots in the hundreds of millions of dollars. You could run up to New Hampshire to get a ticket (which I did on occasion, because it really wasn’t very far from where I lived), but I still never won more than $5.
The thing you have to know about me is that I’m really not a gambler. I once went to Vegas for a weekend and spent less than $10 on gambling. Seriously, I think it was $8.65. I’ve been to both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods in CT several times because I used to live very close to them and still have friends who live there. But I look at it as entertainment, like going to the movies. I get my $20 in quarters and play the slots until the quarters are gone and then I stop. No big whoop, I just walk away.
Because really, I’d really rather have the money in my pocket than the possibility of more money. I did win about $75 in 1 of the CT casinos at a slot machine. I promptly cashed out and walked away. Woo Hoo I was ahead!
But the Powerball jackpot has the ability to change your life, forever. Because having been a single mom for a long time, not having a great career until later in life, loosing said career before I could retire and having to deplete all my savings to survive, makes me very concerned that long past the point I’ll be able to remember my dog’s or grandchildren’s names, I’m going to be standing in a fast food chain making fries, or being a greeter at some store. You know the worry, being on the job when you actually drop dead.
So for a long time, longer than I care to admit, I’ve had a plan. A plan on exactly what to do when I win the Powerball lottery; which, of course, I only play when the jackpots are high, like 8 skabillion other people. I really don’t want to be one of winners who ends up broke 1 to 3 years after winning. I know that I will immediately get a legal and financial advisor, and while I will pay off some bills immediately I won’t make any major changes for 3 months. I will set up plans for the future (I’m giving myself another 40 years to live!) with raises and cost of living increases. I know who I will share with and at what percentage (or amount depending on the size of the jackpot).
I will make sure that my grandchildren have a college fund that is untouchable until then or until 30 if they don’t go to college (that’s right - 30).
And then when everything is set, I will find myself a little cottage by a beach and settle down to a simple life. I don’t want a big house because that just means I have to clean it. I want to be close enough to an airport that I can travel a little. There has to be a decent bookstore, movie theater and coffee shop (I don’t drink coffee-but they usually have tea as well) in the area. A few restaurants, a grocery store no more than 5 minutes from the house and I’ll be all set.
So, if you’ve learned nothing else from this, here is one point to walk away with – don’t buy a Powerball ticket on Friday because it will just lower my chances of winning!
I promise if I win, I won’t buy another ticket and you can win the next time!
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