If you won the lottery and got $10 million, what would you do with it? Well, I guess technically, the first question would be, do you take the lump sum or do you take the annualized payments for 20 years?
At any rate, I ran across a story today that’s been out for a little while, but it got me thinking about this topic. A man in Massachusetts bought lottery tickets, then died the same day from a heart attack. It turns out, one of the tickets he bought was a $10 million winner. While his family is obviously devastated that he’s gone, it’s probably a great relief to them that they are now financially taken care of for the rest of their lives. All that’s left for the widow to decide is whether she wants the lump sum or the 20 year payout.
I know this will probably surprise you, but if I won $10 million, I’d give the majority of it away. I’d keep some, set myself up quite a bit, but for just me, $10 million is a lot money. I’d want to spread that around. So, here’s how I’d spend my $10 million:
1. Pay off student loan debt.
I have quite a bit in student loans. Currently, the balance is all deferred because I’m still in school. But, it’s not something I’m looking forward to having when I get out. I’d simply pay it off. I think I’m at roughly $46,000 or so. For easy numbers, let’s just round that up to $50k.
2. Money for school.
I’d set aside a nice sum to pay for the rest of school. I’m almost finished with the Bachelor’s degree, so I’d set aside enough for the Master’s and Ph.D. I’m not entirely sure how much that’s going to cost, but I’ll give it an average guess.
3. Pad my emergency fund, savings, travel fund, and checking accounts.
As of right now, I have six months worth of expenses saved up, plus a little extra for things like car repairs. I’d probably put two years worth of expenses in the emergency fund, take my savings up to about $50,000, give the travel fund about $25,000, and level off the checking account with $10,000.
4. BMW M3
Ok, I couldn’t win $10 million and NOT get the car I’ve been lusting after for years!
5. Friends and Family
I’d totally have to give to some to my friends and my family. First of all, I’d pay off my parents house ($165,000) and give them $10,000 a piece. I’d give my brother and sister $10,000 a piece. I’d also set up my niece and nephew with accounts with $10,000 a piece.
For my best friend, I’d pay off her house ($137,000) and give her and her fiancé, also my friend, $10,000 a piece. I’ve got about five other friends that I’d actually give any money to, but it would only be about $5,000 a piece.
I’d divide these up into CDs, mutual funds, and some tax sheltering investments.
7. Donate to the Nicholl Fellowship
This is one of the most prestigious screenwriting competitions out there. As a screenwriter, I naturally want to give back to the craft I love.
Total: $1 million
Ok, so that’s a grand total of $2 million that I’ve spent thus far. Want to know what I’d do with the remaining $8 million?
I’d get with an attorney and set up a fund to help those who’ve been laid off.
I don’t need all of that money. As you can see, I’ve got my own materialistic wants, but I don’t need $10 million to achieve them. I would continue working, though I may consider working in a part-time capacity to focus on school and my personal writing a little more. Even still, I’d have enough money to do that. Besides, there are those out there who need that money much more than I do and I would want to help. What’s the point of having that much money if you don’t use it for good?
The way I see it, the money can’t follow me to my grave. I want enough to enjoy life and have the few material things that I enjoy, but I refuse to let it be the controlling force in my life.
Alright, now it’s your turn! What would you do with $10 million dollars?