What I Would Do if I Won the Lottery

What would I do if I won $450 million in a Powerball lottery? It’s such a remote possibility it hardly seems worth thinking about, even in a playful sense. But the likelihood of developing MS was just as remote, so why not?

A big imagination

The number is so high I can’t equate it with the value of anything. I’m eight years old again, struggling to imagine something too big for my brain to process. How many Lionel train tracks would it take to reach the moon? How many Barbie dolls would it take to colonize Mars? I’ll have to ask my mom, she’d know.

Emotionally I’ll keep it on kid level, think of it as a romp, a moment’s breathless contemplation followed by a laugh and a candy bar. The fantasies will be that of my grown-up mind—except for the lifetime supply of Kit Kats.

The scenario contains two categories of expenditures:

  1. Consumerism, crass and otherwise
  2. Philanthropy


  • Pay off my debts
  • Buy a state-of-the-art disability-friendly ranch home replete with:
    1. Indoor aqua therapy pool
    2. Exercise room
    3. Motorized recliners that lift you out of the chair
    4. Top-of-the-line mobility aids
    5. Eclectic Interior design
  • Physical therapy staff:
    1. Massage
    2. Exercise
  • Personal clothing designer including handmade Italian footwear
  • Mouthful of dental implants
  • Personal cosmetic surgeon
  • Chef
  • Housekeeper
  • Personal assistant
  • Private investigator
  • Remote researcher
  • Landscape designer/gardening consultant
  • Dog
  • Dog walker
  • Cat
  • Cat wrangler
  • Chinchilla
  • Chinchilla wrangler
  • Dead pet removal and interment service
  • On-call computer consultant
  • Television multi-platform manager
  • Television remote wrangler
  • Memory foam specialist


  • Ten million to each of my family members (I pay the taxes)
  • Endowments for:
    1. PBS
    2. NPR/PRI
    3. Multiple sclerosis research - all
    4. Copay assistance for MS drugs
    5. MS patients’ homecare services insurance won’t cover, such as massage, 24-hr aides, et al.
    6. MS patients’ outpatient treatments insurance won’t cover such as massage, acupuncture, et al.
    7. Mobility equipment for underinsured/uninsured MS patients
    8. Modified vehicles equipped for wheelchair users and drivers needing hand controls
    9. Housing assistance
    10. Caregiver (family and otherwise) stipends
    11. Respite care
    12. Literary writers seeking a year’s worth of living expenses
    13. Humanities scholars
    14. Jazz education
    15. Jazz clubs and other performance venues
    16. Fellowships for those specializing in geriatric gynecology
    17. Fellowships for those specializing in geriatric multiple sclerosis
    18. Clinical trials that include subjects aged 65 and over

Reflecting my personal interests & afflictions

There are many more I could conjure but I might have burned through the money already! The thing that gets me the most excited about the prospect of great wealth is the fun there would be in giving it away. It’s plain to see that my designations reflect my personal interests and afflictions. But the downside is, I’m a worrywart. I’d probably lose sleep over what’s happening—or could happen—to my vast wealth. I already lose sleep over my vast poverty, screaming at the walls every time I have to go re-certify for assistance and risk failure. Sometimes I do fail. Then I scream louder. All I have is my mouth.

I know practically zip about endowments but I imagine there’s a way of investing and preserving the principal and using the profits to fund charitable donations. But that would be somebody else’s headache, preferably a gifted (and honest) investment counselor. I forgot to list that under consumerism. Yikes. The mere word “investment” feels kind of shady, though. But it is only (gulp) consumerism. Crass or otherwise. Either way, I'm going to lose sleep. There is always something to fret over.

What would you do if you won millions? Do tell!

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