A Soul Searching Activity
We’ve all seen the statistics of how incredibly unlikely we are to win the lottery. For instance, hitting the Powerball is somewhere around one in 292 million odds. How does that compare to other crazy odds? Well, here are a few of my favorite I found scanning the world wide web.
- One in 10 million of being struck by a falling airplane part.
- Also, one in 7 million of dying being a left-handed person, using a right-handed product.
- One in 5 million of dying from hot tap water.
- And, one in 11,500 of winning an Academy Award.
- And finally, my personal favorite one in 112 million odds of dying from a vending machine!
I know these are all fun and cheeky little statistics that I certainly can’t speak to their accuracy. That said I am certainly done with vending machines that is for damn sure. But why do I mention these stupid statistics? I guess to make us realize how the real fun of playing the lottery isn’t actually winning, because heck no one reallllly wins.
Instead, I find the fun in playing occasionally in something completely different. You see, my morbid mind works in mysterious ways. Any time I buy a ticket, usually when the pot gets really big, I play what I call “the lottery game”. What is that you say? Do you want to play with me? Alright, let’s do it!
The Lotto Game
Now close your eyes for a second and picture that they’ve just called the winning numbers. You look down at your ticket, and instead of like every other time where you have zero numbers correct, the numbers match identically to the random selection of numbers on your ticket. After you pass out and realize that you just won hundreds of millions of dollars, what is next? What do you do with all this freaking money?
Go ahead answer and write it all down for a minute before I take you through the point of this exercise. While you ponder I’ll tell you what I would do with, let’s say, $150 million in lottery winnings.
What I’d Do With Lottery Winnings
- Like most of us, I would go do a stupid expensive vacation and invite all my friends and family. Maybe rent a private jet and do it up somewhere tropical.
- Next, I’d immediately invest $25 million with the smartest investment brain I’ve ever known, our very own CIO Mike Horwath.
- I would then pay off my mortgage because why have one?
- Additionally, I’d buy one of those sick beachfront homes with a pool on the deck big enough for family and friends to come visit whenever.
- I would put $10 million in a trust account (again invested with Mike Horwath) for each of my three kids.
- I’d secretly ask all my closest friends how much they owed on their mortgages/student loans and pay them all off immediately so they could be debt-free.
- I would put 5 million in a trust account for my mom, in-laws, 2 brothers, and my wife’s sister.
- I’d give $10 million to various charities. Probably a few local Jewish charities, Parkinson’s research, cancer research, and something for our veterans.
- I’d leave $1 million in an account designated for my family to use on random acts of kindness.
- The rest I would use to travel the world and work remotely from different amazing places as I’m not quite sure I would retire, but rather work differently.
Alright, times up – tell me your list? How much fun was that to do? Does anything remotely look like mine? What if the money was less – what would you cut out or lower first? No matter how many times I play, I always ask the same question. Oddly enough, I always seem to find one or two things I’ll add or subtract.
Now my social experiment cuts a little deeper you see. Despite this exercise being tons of fun, and a nice little respite from the mundane, it is actually a great soul-searching question. In other words, if you had enough money to take care of all your wants and needs where else would you spend your funds? Or, on who else?
I’m no psychologist, although I play one on tv, but I’m pretty sure you just got a deep look into my soul. You got a glimpse of the things and people that are most important to me. In a weird way, I just shared with all of you the fabric of my being.
What It Really Means
Let’s take a second and dissect myself so you can see what I am talking about:
- I want to secure my own finances for the rest of my life.
- It is important to me to have fun and make experiences (especially with my friends and family).
- I value those that have been loyal to me and want to help them in their journey.
- Family is very important to me and their well-being means everything to me.
- I like the beach, but not actually going on the beach ha.
- Travel is important to me as I learn so much from seeing the world.
- I love what I do for a living as it brings me great satisfaction and fulfillment. But why not do it from all over the world?
- I feel passionate about giving and certain charities that have touched my life – I want to touch theirs.
- One of my favorite things to do is random acts of kindness, and I want to continue doing it and encourage my family to do so as well.
What does your list say about you? No judgment as there are no wrong answers, except buy a lot of vending machines and put all your enemies in a room with them. Rather this exercise can really help you realize what is most important to you in life. If you want to get more interesting with it, keep lowering the winning amount and see what you cut out first, second, third. Very quickly you’ll peel the onion back and discover your priorities and your why.
Where do you go from here? For starters, why wait to win the lottery to start attacking your list. I would start with prioritizing what is most important to you on your list and understand why. Then, I would find a way to do what you can to adopt what you can into your everyday lives. I think what you’ll find is living a little bit more meaningful life and hopefully a happier one.
Oh yea and buy a lottery ticket before an airplane part takes away your chances! As always stay wealthy, healthy, and happy.