Confession

I bought a Powerball ticket. The Powerball is above $200 million right now, so it seemed reasonable to gamble $2 on a ticket. I’m reading a book on decision-making and risk right now, so it seemed appropriate. If nothing else, I’ll make the ticket my bookmark.

I spent part of the morning imagining how I’d spend my millions, and it was an interesting experience. I believe that how you spend your money reflects your values, so it was interesting for me the order in which ideas came to me.

A lot of my initial thoughts had to do with family. I thought of the farm and refinishing my parents’ basement, holdover dreams from long car rides when I was a child. I thought of paying off my car loan and paying off my sister’s student debt (don’t get your hopes up, Sis, but I’ll let you know if I win). I thought about a family vacation to Europe. I wasn’t expecting so many of my first responses to be about my family (way more than about doing things here in CA), and I thought of these things before I thought about quitting my job (but after I planned to invest). It was a nice day dream, and nice to know that these things are still more important to me than clothes, or coffee, or even art and fun classes. Though I would definitely start a huge, guiltless coffee habit.

I know everyone says (Joe Dominguez says) that winning the lottery will not change anything because having more money does not change your relationship with money. But I am willing to conduct a personal, long-term experiment to find out if this is true. I am willing to test his hypothesis!

I suspect that nothing much would change, except what I worry about. I’m sure I would still worry; maybe even about money. I wouldn’t quit my job, though I might stop gunning so hard for a promotion (then again, I want one for reasons besides money, so maybe not). We’d still live where we live, drive what we drive. I’d still play derby and eat cheesy rice and buy 60 eggs at a time. Why did I want to win the Powerball again? Oh right, millions of dollars with which to buy cheese, rice and eggs. And also trips to Europe.

At some point this morning while I was thinking about this (I have been thinking very hard about this for most of the day—trying to convince the Universe to draw my numbers tomorrow), I also realized that I don’t actually need anything close to $200 million to do all of the things I want. I need some amount of money between what I have right now and less than $200 million. I hope that this admission does not prevent me from winning the lottery.

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