I take my chances

28 11 2012

I will not win at Powerball tonight.

The jackpot is over 500 million dollars—over half a billion dollars—and inching even higher as those who usually don’t bother with the lousy odds join the regular assortment of dreamers and fools. And if no one wins tonight? Whoo-dog!

I was thinking of what I’d do with the winnings. This is something I do with disturbing regularity—think about cashing in on big money—so I have a general sense of “save some, spend some, give some away”, as well as a near-certainty that I wouldn’t renew my lease on my current apartment.

The cash payout for the current pot is estimated at 360.2 million, so after paying off my debts and buying myself a nice apartment in Brooklyn (yeah, I like Brooklyn, so why not stay?), I’d have a few bucks left over. Give some money to family, sure. Money to friends? I’d like to do that. And set up a foundation to give money to organizations which are doing good work: Planned Parenthood US & International, Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam, groups working in Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans organizations, and if there are any organizations helping kids with the transition out of foster care, I’d like to throw some bucks at them.

What else? Occupy Sandy, Red Hook Initiative, others helping folks recover from Hurricane Sandy. The Audre Lorde Project, a space for queer teens in Manhattan, took a hit and could use the help. And critters could always use a hand.

My alma maters: the Universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Money for undergrads at Madison, and for grads at Minnesota, and aid for mental health services for all students at both places.

Which reminds me: Dental care isn’t covered (why not?!) under the Affordable Care Act, and is usually expensive. If you’ve got a chipped or missing front tooth it can be damned difficult to find work, so I’d want some money to go toward any kind of low- or no-cost dental service.

But what do I know about money? I’d have to hire someone help me figure out how to dole out all of this money, as well as to set aside a few mil for myself. I’d like to travel, and maybe buy some property out west, and maybe in Québec. Huh, maybe B and her husband J could help me out with this. . . .

I told you I spent too much time thinking about all of this—all for something which will never, ever happen. It is foolish even to think about, much less spend money on.

You already know the punch line, don’t you? Yeah, I bought two tickets.