I wanted to take a break from the cars to ponder something I saw this morning.
There was a billboard advertising the MegaMillions multi-state lotto, and Friday's jackpot is $324 million dollars. For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, that equates to...let's see, divide by 3, carry the 6...a helluva lot of money in anyone's currency. Even after a giant chunk of taxes is taken out, that's a lot of money.
I dunno. That's way more cash than I'd like to have. Since it becomes public knowledge (at least here) who wins these big jackpots, I suppose you could kiss your privacy goodbye. Got friends and relatives? You will after news of your big windfall gets out-and every one of them wants a piece of the pie.
I'd have to think that one would have to worry about family members being kidnapped for ransom. Add the cost of personal security for the immediate family.
Every charity would hound you even more mercilessly than they do now. Oh, and don't forget about retaining a lawyer, a financial planner, and an accountant. Best retain two of each so one of them doesn't get the idea to fudge the books or rob you blind.
Still enamored of winning that kind of money? Thought not.
I heard recently about a fellow from Kentucky who won a big lottery. He had some issues with the law before he won his prize. He moved to Miami, where he fell in with some more people that had legal problems. Long story short, he pissed away all of his money. At the end, he was living in a storage unit (essentially, a rented garage) in Miami. More than a few people win the lottery and end up miserable and bankrupt not long after.
Would I like to win a big lottery? Sure. I think I could get by with $2-3 million. That amount spread out over 20 years would be around $100-150,000/year. It'd force a person to keep working, but it'd be a good cushion in case of medical or crisis issues, and one could have enough to take a trip or do something cool in a given year. I think you'd be well-off but you'd still have to budget a bit.
I'm curious-and feel free to pipe up on this-for one person or family, is there a difference between, say, $100 million and $200 million? Doesn't it get to the point where it's only a number, an amount you can't reasonably spend in one lifetime? Maybe not, if so many people end up bankrupt a few years after the big winning ship pulled into port.
Perhaps I'm not terribly bright, but in a lot of ways it seems like a huge amount of money is more trouble than it's worth. Perhaps that's why wealthy families keep the cash 'in the family'. After a generation or two, the family members get wise to all of the tricks and loopholes necessary to hold on to the giant mountain of money.
At the rate I'm going, I doubt I'll have to worry much about winning a lot of money. That may not be a particularly bad thing.