It would be nice to not have debt. It would also be very nice if I could visit my west coast friends Glen, Andy, and Mike whenever I wanted to. And I really, really, really want to go check out Ireland with my family. But barring a severe change in lifestyle, I can't imagine how I could spend $115 million (I'm estimating half of tonight's $330 million Megaball Jackpot - I would gladly pay whatever taxes for whatever tax bracket these winnings would give me) on myself. It is very easy for me to say what I would do with the $115 if I had it...
(This is all, of course, after I would consult my lifetime accountant, a.k.a. "Dad")
1. Give $1 million each to my family members (Mom, Dad, Jon, Ca, Tom, Meg, Auntie, Uncle Charley, Katie, Matt-O, Aunt Carol) - call it reparations for putting up with me for 30+ years
2. Put aside $1 million for the education of my nephews and niece
3. Buy family season tickets for the Bruins, Sox, Pats, and BC
4. Build a place big enough on PEI so my whole family could stay up there at the same time comfortably
5. $1 million to Hope Lodge in Worcester - although this would allow me to rename the whole building, I would name the rooms inside: There would be ones for Danny, Justin, Greg, Casey, Linda - each with a theme that went along with that person
6. $1 million to set up the Skating for Hope fundraiser at every Hope Lodge that had a skating rink nearby
7. $1 million each donated to: One Ball Two Strikes, Leary Firefighters Foundation, Cam Neely Foundation, Michael J. Fox Foundation, and the New York Center for Autism (this is what Jon Stewart's Night of Too Many Stars benefited).
8. $5 million to set up scholarships to Boston College: One for any student with Crohn's Disease and another for any student who currently had or was a survivor of brain cancer
9. $2 million to set up scholarships to Saint John's in Shrewsbury, MA: One in Danny Manning, Jr.'s name and the other in Greg Montalbano's name
10. $1 million to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation
11. $1 million to help existing and/or start a homeless shelter in Worcester: I don't think anyone should have to spend the night without a safe place to sleep, so I might as well start with where I live
I'm sure there are many more causes I could put my money into. Even with everything I just listed, I would still have about 115-12-1-1-1-1-1-5-5-2-1-1= $84 million dollars to figure out what I wanted to do with it. Would living in a bigger place make me happier? I doubt it. Would being able to spend more time with family and friends doing things we enjoyed make me happier? You bet. Would owning as many cars as Jay Leno make me feel more successful? God, I hope not. Would I enjoy being able to play hockey more? Um, yeah.
I will never stop saying it. Money and things do not make (or shouldn't make) you happy. The only thing that really matters in life is the people you have in yours. Yes, one might say that I've had some "unlucky" things happen to me. I got Crohn's and brain cancer in high school. I got hit by a Ford Bronco in college. I've had some tough personal times. But, I'm lucky. I have family and friends that love and support me. I have a job, and it's a job that I love. I don't have to worry about where my next meal is coming from or if I'll have a roof over my head for the night. Compared to most of the world, I'd say that's pretty damn lucky.
So, I'm digitally sending my lottery numbers out to the world. I'm trying to picture the world responding, and one of these tickets has the winning numbers. At least I have a game plan for what I'm going to do with it, and putting it all online before the drawing? I'd pretty much have to do all these things, wouldn't I? Doing all of those is what would really make me happy anyway...
PS - In case you didn't know, the title of this blog is a reference to the Pearl Jam song of the same name, which isn't about winning the money lottery, but I think is still very appropriate.