What Your Thoughts Of The $1.4 Billion Powerball Jackpot Say About You

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That said…

Responses from the town idiot are at least entertaining. The man’s passions may be base, but at least he knows what he likes. When you ask someone what they’d do if they won…well, looking at the current jackpot…$868 million (lump sum, pre-tax) and they say either:

“I’d invest it.”

or

“I’d give it away.”

…then they really need a bit more passion in their life.

Invest it!

Of course the money is going to get invested. You’re not going to stuff that kind of cash in a mattress, unless that mattress is…well, about this big:

billion-1



That’s not to say that you can’t afford a (just guessing here) 20′ x 20′ x 5′ mattress, but even with today’s interest rates, tossing that kind of money in even a checking account would give you some kind of ROI. Also, mattresses burn.

Joker-Burning

The point is…tossing what will likely be $6-700 million into a mutual fund isn’t an answer to “What will you do with it?”, unless you like watching really big numbers go up…and up…then down…then up again. When 1% of your net worth can guarantee your family’s financial security for a few generations, the idea is to do…SOMETHING with the rest.

Donations

Now when we talk about a person who says they’ll give it away, we mean the person who says, and we quote, “I’d give it away.” If they say how they’ll buy everyone in their family a new house, that’s one thing. Going all in on blind altruism, on the other hand, is either someone who’s trying to look like a good person…or a good person who has no idea what they’re about to get themselves into.

Want to give your Powerball winnings away? You could load up the pallets of cash into the back of a C-130, then kick them out over some large urban area (How about Fenway?)…

C130TailgateLeafDrop

(Alternatively, if you wanted to use smaller denominations than $100 bills, it would probably require a C-5 Galaxy)

It turns out that being a lottery winner who wants to give all that money away is not nearly as easy as you might think it would be. If you’ve ever donated to a major charity, only to find yourself on the mailing lists of a dozen more, think of that but multiplied by however $700 million is a multiple of your current wealth.

So everyone wants your money and once word gets out that you have it and you’re willing to part with it, all sorts of people will find lots of good reasons for you to help them (or their organizations, families, pets, etc.) financially. This will bring hucksters along with tragedies and, ultimately, you’re probably going to be facing quite a bit of heartache.

To do it right means to end up like Bill Gates, where you have a full time job spent researching problems and finding ways that will probably work best and funding them.

There’s just one problem…

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