The 3 Reasons I Do Really Want To Win All That Lottery Money

Steven and I aren’t lottery addicts. In fact, we don’t really gamble much at all, which makes it sort of ironic that we were the couple who ended up having a big destination wedding at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Between the two of us, we maybe dropped a whopping $20 total into a couple of slot machines while we were there.

But, there comes a point where even we get sucked into playing the lottery. There’s just something about seeing that jackpot number climb into the hundreds of millions that gets even the most cynical person’s imagination going. We start formulating a gameplan to spend our imaginary riches. We dream of a life free of mortgage payments and student loan debt and trimming our household budget to accommodate the rising price of gas and groceries. We dream of a life free of money-related woes.

When the jackpots reach epic proportions, like tonight’s record $640 million, it always irritates me to see stories popping up like this one…

5 Reasons You Really Don’t Want To Win All That Lottery Money


I mean, I’m a writer, so I understand getting creative and looking for a fresh angle on a story. Everyone’s writing about the ginormous jackpot and smart ways to spend the winnings, so why not try to come up with a fresh idea. But coming up with a list of reasons why people don’t wanto win $640 million? Even fiction writers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling wouldn’t try to spin such a far-fetched tale. Honestly, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to hit that jackpot?

And even if Steven and I still didn’t strike it rich tonight, I thought I’d share the three reasons I do want to win all that lottery money.

1. Our House, In the Middle of Our Street

In a way, Steven and I consider ourselves extremely fortunate. In an economy where it is becoming nearly impossible for the average person to actually get a mortgage, we own not one, but two homes. We bought our first house in Arizona in the summer of 2008. At the time, it made perfect sense. The house was a foreclosure in a great neighborhood, and everyone was saying that the housing market was bottoming out. For the same price as renting, we could be homeowners, so we decided to jump in. Little did we know that just two years later, we would be moving away from Arizona and our lovely house was barely worth half of what we paid for it.

So much for the market bottoming out!

So, we decided to secure a tenant and lease the property until the market recovered enough for us to sell. We never fancied ourselves landlords, but here we are, settling into a new house in Nebraska and waiting for the day we can finally kiss the house in Arizona goodbye. So, what would we do first with those lottery winnings? Pay off those houses of course!

2. School’s Out For Summer

After the mortgage payoff extravaganza, our second agenda item would be to send a fat check over to pay off my student loans. It’s been nearly 10 years since I graduated from Concordia with my B.A. and I’m still paying for it.

Funniest part is, I’ve got a Master’s Degree too, but that debt is all settled up.

Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly believe that my education was worth every single penny (and probably more). I’m not even sure I could put a price tag on the experiences I had at Concordia. After all, I met some of my best friends and mentors there. And best of all, I met Steven there. So, without Concordia, there would be no marriage, no sassy 2-year-old named Cadence, no lazy hound dog. Hell, I’m not even sure I’d be here at all, so yeah, it’s been worth the 10 years of payments and a whole lot more.

I’d be happy to see that monthly payment gone though. Just sayin’.

3. In A Rich Man’s World

I wouldn’t consider myself a greedy person. I don’t need a lot of money to survive. I like to pay my bills, treat myself every so often to a bag of gourmet coffee or a movie, and have a little left over to squirrel away in the bank for a rainy day. I don’t covet all the newest, most expensive gadgets. I don’t dream of wearing the latest designer clothes. I don’t need to drive a tricked out sports car or live in a massive estate and throw elaborate parties to impress people. Hell, I didn’t even own an Ipod until 2 years ago, and I’m happy to drive around in my $1000 minivan, complete with hail damage and a busted factory stereo.

What would be nice about the lottery money though, is the financial freedom it would provide. Instead of worrying when the car breaks down and needs $3000 worth of repairs, we could just get it fixed (or get a new one). Instead of worrying about the cost of preschool and gas and airfare and Cadence’s future college education, we could rest easy knowing that it will all be taken care of. So no, we don’t necessarily want or need the entire $640 million jackpot, but we sure wouldn’t turn it down if our numbers popped up in that machine.

Honestly, after that, I don’t know what Steven and I would do with all that money. We’re not the type who splurge just to splurge. We would probably do a little updating to our home here in Nebraska–replacing the rest of the windows that the former owners didn’t, turning the garage loft into a music studio/man room for Steven, and installing a separate shower in our upstairs bathroom. And maybe, we’d do some traveling, making sure we were able to visit all the friends and relatives we live so far away from and miss so much, and then maybe head over to Italy and Ireland and London and Turkey so we could finally have the honeymoon we never got the first time around.

After that, life would probably just go on as usual around here because, really, we’re just pretty ordinary.

What’s Wrong with the World Today? Two words–Amanda Clayton

Stop what you’re doing.

Look, I can say that and you need obey because you’re reading my blog and in this little corner of the universe, I make the rules. No seriously, stop right here for a minute, because there is something you need to see. Click the link, read the article, and watch the video, then come back, because I have something to say…

Lottery Winner Still Using Michigan Bridge Card

My head hurts.

How’s  yours?

Seriously people, I don’t even know where to begin.

I’ve always considered myself a pretty laidback girl. I’ve never been the type who lets a whole lot bother me. If you’re one of the few people who has ever been able to truly get under my skin and actually make me angry, I daresay you probably deserve some sort of World’s Biggest Asshole Award.

I’m not quite sure I even want to know what that trophy would look like. But Amanda Clayton? She just jumped to the top of my list of nominees.

Maybe it’s the fact that I was raised by people who had to work hard for everything they had. Or maybe it’s because I always had to work hard too. Hell, maybe it’s just because I believe that everything in life–from money to respect–should be be earned. Whatever the reason, there’s nothing that gets me fired up faster than people who walk around with a big, fat sense of entitlement.

See, here’s the deal. Somehow, we get lucky enough to get a ride on this planet for a little while. It doesn’t matter if you believe it was God’s will or just a happy accident. However, it happens, it happens. Your heart beats, the synapses in your brain fire, and you breathe in and out. Those, my friends, are the only “freebies” you’re ever given, the only things in this life you should ever expect for nothing in return.

After that, your life is what you make of it. You want something? Stop whining about how you “should” have it. Stop expecting someone else to drop it in your lap and pick up the tab. Stop trying to take the easy road and cheat the system. You want it? Get off your lazy ass and earn it.

I understand that life is full of ups and downs. We all go through tough times at one point or another. But instead of expecting someone to bail you out, why don’t you find a way to change the situation?

Amanda, my dear, if times were so tough and you had bills to pay and no job or income, why the hell would you blow the $500,000 you won in the lottery to buy a 2nd house and new car? I  mean, is one house not good enough? Maybe it would have been a smarter choice to use some of your winnings to buy…oh, I don’t know, maybe GROCERIES, instead of thinking that, somehow, the food you eat should be paid for by the hardworking taxpayers. You know, taxpayers? Those people who actually have jobs and work hard to earn money so they can pay for their homes and put food on their own tables.

I have no problem helping people in need. In fact, I believe we humans were put on this earth, not only to do the very best we can for ourselves, but to do what we can to help others achieve their full potential too. Sometimes, when the bottom drops out and you’ve got no other options, it’s nice to know there’s hope, a way to survive and feed your family until you can get back on your feet and pay your own way again. But knowingly, willingly, and intentionally cheating the system and stealing money out of other people’s pockets? Yeah, I have a problem with that.

I guess the difference between me and Amanda (well, at least one of the differences because Lord knows, there are many) is that I have a little bit of pride. I’m proud to work, to earn my keep, to feel that sense of accomplishment when I finish a project or complete a task and know that I did it the very best I could. I’m proud to contribute to something that is larger than myself. And I’m proud to pass down a strong work ethic to a new generation, just like my parents and grandparents did for me.

Who knows, maybe it will catch on.

As for you, Miss Clayton. All I can hope is that someone figures out a way to fix the broken system that is rewarding your laziness. Because Lord knows, if I was in charge, the first thing I would do is track down people like you and start sending you bills instead of foodstamps because, if you ask me, it’s high time you get to work and start paying back what you owe.

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