15 Things to Do if I Won the Lottery

Being the OCD-like organized person that I am, I am all about lists.  I am currently reading Patricia Wood’s Lottery, and it inspired me to create this latest list.  (Disclaimer: This list is a whim of fancy that is subject to change at any time at the author’s discretion and is by no means intended as a promissory note to any party listed.)  I should mention that the previous disclaimer was also prompted by the novel, which includes money grubbing characters bent on taking advantage of those poor unsuspecting lottery winners.  A book review for Lottery is in the works and will be posted soon.

Things I’d Like to Do if I Won (say, more than $12 million in) the Lottery:

  1. Start checking off items on my Things to Do Before I Die list.
  2. Take a minimum of two luxury or adventure travel vacations per year for the rest of my life.  (Potential travel destinations comprise a whole separate wish list topic.)
  3. Assist family members with college expenses.
  4. Either give a one-time lump sum to immediate family members (parents, brother, and sister-in-law) or help them in some way specific to their needs.
  5. Establish scholarships at my two alma maters, U.C. Irvine and the University of Miami.
  6. Buy new playground equipment for the park in our neighborhood.
  7. Choose three to five charities whose causes I support and donate a sizeable amount to each.  One of them will probably be Heifer International.
  8. I don’t need a bigger house or lots more of anything, but I would like to hire some seasonal help with snow removal and yard work.
  9. Finally finish our landscaping.
  10. Oh, and house cleaning, someone to clean my house once a week!
  11. Hire a nanny and enroll my kids in one or two additional activities, so that we can all focus on more creative outlets and so that the time we spend together will be focused more on quality rather than quantity.
  12. Travel internationally with my kids more often in an effort to expose them to other cultures and ways of life.
  13. Finish our basement so that we can finally set up our pool table and have home microbrews on tap again.
  14. Renovate our Spring Lake cabin to make it more habitable.
  15. Have standing appointments for weekly massages, pedicures and facials.

Wow, surprisingly there aren’t a lot of “buy more things” on the list.  I guess for me, the theme would focus around lifestyle improvements and travelling more frequently in an effort to create memories with my family that would last a lifetime.

I hear the chance of winning the lottery is improved if you actually buy tickets, but not by much.  From what I’ve read about the odds, it’s like the difference between getting bitten by a shark while doing your laundry versus getting struck by lightning five times, or something like that.  Since I do not buy lottery tickets, I’m hoping that maybe the shark can fall out of the sky with the lottery ticket attached to its fin and then get struck by lightning before he’s bitten me but after the winning ticket has fallen conveniently into my lap!


  1. Well, if that happens, #1 should be: Pay off medical expenses and plastic surgeon from shark bite incident.

    I think along the same lines – Darin & I would have our little log lodge on our farm and the help to care for it. I’d put a lot into the community schools & libraries and definitely help my family. That, and yes: massages and pedicures!!!


  2. The one thing I would like if I were to win the lottery would be to go to any restaurant and order whatever I want without ever looking at the prices! Oh, the lobster is your special tonight? I’ll have two!!


  3. I love fantasizing about things like this, and by the way I’m still working on my list of things to do before I die (you inspired me there!).

    What would I do…. 12 million…. Well, first I’d sock away a million at least per kid, maybe two million, so they’d have a good nest egg for the future. But of course they couldn’t touch it yet. Not ’til maybe 21, or when they get married (hopefully not before 30).

    Then I’d give away some of the winnings to family, namely my brother and his family. I’d also give them money in trust to take care of my parents when they can’t care for themselves.

    After that? Well, first a really long vacation, while I plan out what to do with the rest of my life. I’d take the kids on a cruise, I think, or to Hawaii. While I was away I’d list out charities to help, ways to invest, and how much of the total I planned to live on, then plan according to that.

    Yep, that’s what I’d do! How fun would that be? Sigh.


  4. As one of the potential beneficiaries of your potential lottery win, I have mixed feelings about wishing a falling shark on you; still, if it’s the only way…
    (KIDDING! But I am hoping for the best — sans sharks and lightning — and the sooner the better. And if I win, do know that my good fortune will be yours as well. I suppose buying the occasional ticket might at least be a sign of good faith, if statistically of marginal help, so I shall get one next opportunity.)


  5. If you win more than 2 million bucks build 8×100 sq meter apartments (2 buildings) and rent them out from a newly started company… This is going to be your income for the rest of you’re life. In case you won more money? = more apartments 🙂


  6. WOW!!!

    1/2 million buy a mc donalds just to start. Give money away is not with me. Help how realy need help other then dat just work when I fill like. But one think I would never stop working 🙂

    Good Look to all 🙂


  7. Thats a mistake with lottery winners – they spend it all give it all away, best thing to do is treat the money wisely, since buying say for example million dollar homes, you have to pay million dollar tax on those homes, and money does not last forever, even million’s can be wasted easily.


  8. I would hire financial planner and then pick up the win. Pubilc radio, endowments and money to local, national and global institutions that operate on a small scale, scholarships for vegan cooking school programs, and of course, we would get an ice skating rink, animal shelter, and boat house downtown – grants of all kinds to small local businesses in need. Supplementary education programs for our schools, based on what students parents and leaders are asking for.


  9. I have so many dreams if I won a substantial lottery. First, I would buy housing for some immediate relatives. We have always lived within small means, and I would like them to experience the freedom of no rent or mortgage. Also, I would buy myself a small house with lots of land in the west. I like my privacy, and I love the freespace. My hopes would be to turn it into a sanctuary for endangered species or even exotic species that have been “domesticated”. After that I plan to invest in the furthering of my education as well as my children. Leaving them enough to study for as long as they please. I would put some bonds and stocks so for the rest of my life the profit I make off of those yearly would go straight to the charities of my choice. Last, but certainly not least, I would begin adopting children and giving them the gift of love and education. Of course mixed in there is traveling and a gym membership (:


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