History was made today with the largest lottery jackpot ever. It’s estimated to stand at $640m (although it is most likely more by now). The payout will be about $20m a year for the next 26 years or you could take a cash option of $462m. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) stands to make $100m in tax.
In New York, about 3 million people per hour bought a lottery ticket. Today alone, people spent about $100m on tickets. In Nevada, where they don’t take part in the megamillions jackpot, people stood in a horrendously long, snaking line, to get across to California for their shot at the dream.
This has prompted me to dream of what I would do if I won the megamillions jackpot, played in 42 states in America. Here’s a list:
- Buy a house in California near the ocean
- Buy a house in London near a very big park and nice restaurants and shops
- Buy at least two cars
- Buy a whole new wardrobe and pamper myself with a back massage, foot massage, head massage and facial
- Go on a long trip with my whole family and whichever of my friends wanted to tag along
- Give a bunch of money to lots of charities
- Volunteer at a bunch of charities
- Never work again or look for a job
- Get three dogs and a cat
- Buy a holiday home
It’s nice to dream and that’s why so many people take part in something they have very little chance of winning. The odds of winning tonight are 176,000,000 to 1. Courtesy of the CBS Evening News, I learned these facts: You are more likely to be attacked by a shark (11,500,000 to 1) or being elected president (150,000,000 to 1); you are 50 times more likely to be struck by lightning.
What would you do if you won $640m? The answer I like the best will get a share of my millions when I win. This is the one time in my life I am going to be an optimist.
I’ll post an update on my fate after the jackpot has been drawn tonight at 8pm Pacific Standard Time.
Update, 11.26pm PST
And the winning numbers are: 46, 23, 38, 4 and 2. The winning ticket was bought in Maryland. My dad lives in Maryland at the moment, so there is still hope. Unfortunately, he hasn’t called us yet, screaming on the phone about being a multimillionaire, so I am skeptical. Perhaps he fell asleep on the sofa, which is not that unusual.
I would still like to hear what you do with the money, but I am doubtful that I’ll be able to do much more than dream along with you.
Update 9.15am PST (Saturday morning)
Three winning tickets were bought, in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not a millionaire this morning. Life goes on as usual. I’ll be making pancakes for the kids (our weekend ritual) and drinking coffee, not swizzling champagne. They say winning the lottery doesn’t make you happier anyway. Within a year you would feel about the same as you did before you won. That’s what pyschologists say. I’d bet they’ve never won the lottery.