Okay, so last week when the country went crazy with the big billion dollar Powerball jackpot, I got a little caught up. Except for a few “stocking stuffer” scratch-offs around Christmas time, I never buy lottery tickets, or gamble, or take any chances with my money at all. It’s not my style. I’m cheap like that. But then, suddenly, I was thrown into the powerball machine – into the “what if” scenario that played out for all of us. My husband and I went out and purchased a few tickets, and it really got me thinking. Hey, you never know, right? In the event that it ever miraculously happened, here’s what I would do with all that sweet, sweet money.
First, I would do absolutely nothing. Nothing at all for a long time. I would let it sit in a tall pile – straight up fat stacks of bills like you see in all the rap videos. I would act real quiet and normal around you for a while. Like, so quiet and normal you would begin to wonder what the hell was up. And when all that sweet, sweet money started keeping me up at night, calling my name in the wee-wee hours, I would know that it was finally go time.
That’s when I would donate every last thing I own. You need a house? You can have my house. You need cars? Here, take mine. All my stuff would go. Donated. Gone. To people who need it. All that important shit in my garage? Yours. You want my Westmoreland milk glass collection? Take it, it’s nice! The only things I would keep would be my wedding rings, my favorite jeans, and a few sentimental odds and ends such as family photos and my dad’s denim shirt that still hangs in my closet. And maybe my cool boots. Yeah, I would definitely keep my boots.
Then, I would set up many, many, many different scholarships and funding for kids – all kinds of kids. Kids who are ill and kids who are handicapped – kids who caught the raw end of the deal in life. Kids who are poor. Kids who aren’t that poor but work really hard in school yet still don’t qualify for financial aide because mom and dad both work really hard to give them a nice life and are not on welfare but still can’t afford college because let’s face it, no one can. No one can afford college. But mostly, I will set up scholarships for kids who work hard despite being born into shitty families who abuse them or neglect them. Lots of scholarships for kids who have despicable parents that don’t try at all to become better people for the children they brought into the world.
In the same vein, I would set up funding for animals. Sanctuaries, really. I can’t claim that I have always been this huge animal lover, but abuse makes me sick to my stomach. I would set up some places where abused and neglected pets could live like kings and queens, especially in their final days. They would have play time and yummy meals and walks and cuddles and treats. And they would have warm, cozy, clean beds. They would have “fire place” time in the evening when they are tuckered out from all their walks and play time. They will not want for anything as they learn to trust again. And the people I put in charge of the sanctuaries would be required to play that “In The Arms of An Angel” song by Sarah Mclachlan whenever it’s time for everyone to settle down and go to bed. Like, that would be the song that plays when they are getting into their beds, and the people are going around whispering good nights and giving the final tuck-ins. Yes, indeed, they will all get final tuck-ins.
Next I would travel the world with my husband and my kids. I would invite lots of people – friends, family – to join in our travels whenever they could take time off from work (because they would all still have jobs while I, happily and deservedly, would not! Why deservedly? Because I won the lottery that’s why) and I will pay their way. I would do do this – visiting everything and everywhere for at least 5 straight years. I would leave no stone unturned. And if we went somewhere and didn’t like it, we would move on without a moment’s hesitation. I would swing from vines and climb rocks. I would dive off piers and navigate waters. I would snorkel and drink Mai-Tais and learn to surf. I would hike trails and go to concerts. I would immerse myself in different cultures. I might even check out West Virginia at some point. I would go everywhere and do everything. Well, everything except bungee jumping. No thanks.
When I’m done traveling, I would buy three homes. A small one on the water on Block Island. A Brownstone in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. And a giant farmhouse with lots of land in Bridgewater. The one in Bridgewater would be my fabulous country home and my main residence. Maybe I should hold on to the Milk Glass collection? My fabulous home would be a working, organic farm, a restaurant (sustained mostly by the organic produce we grow and my secret recipe salad dressings), and a micro-brewery. I would aptly call my craft beer “Powerball” just to keep things light and it would be excellent. It would win awards for full bodied flavor. My husband would be in charge of taste testing. My country home would also be a wellness and yoga retreat. I would invite guest teachers and artists and writers to come stay a while in order to help them channel their creativity. It would be the happiest place on Earth. In fact, the sign in front of my property would read, “Happy Place Farm and Wellness Retreat featuring The Powerball Brewery”. It would sound funny but no one would care because the farm would be beyond cool, and the beer would always go down easy. I would go into the city in the fall and spring, and to Block Island here and there during the summer just to round things out and get away from my day to day job of running a farm/restaurant/micro-brewery/wellness/yoga/artists/writers retreat. I would live all the rest of my days surrounded by creative, soulful, people with unique perspectives and honest intentions. I would enjoy good people, good food, good work, and damn good beer. And I would have great stories to tell over and over again. I would tell them so often that some people’s eyes would openly roll, but they would be the ones not invited back to Happy Place Farm & Wellness Retreat featuring The Powerball Brewery.
So tell me, what would you do with millions upon millions of dollars? And don’t say you would buy a bunch of cars. I know you’re better than that.