Do you ever think about what you would do if you won the lottery? This comes up from time to time in Casa Tonelli – unusual because we rarely buy lottery tickets. But, we have a plan. It’s important to have a plan.
- Claim our prize anonymously. This isn’t possible in all states, but California lets you keep your winnings a secret. Yay! This is extremely important to the rest of our plan.
- Tell our friends and family we won the lottery. Here is the strategic part, tell then we won way less than we did. Why? We don’t want to be seen as the cash cow to our families. We would give them each a set amount to help them out, but tell them there is no more. This may seem harsh, but we want to maintain our relationships with our loved ones and this gets really icky if money is involved.
- Stay in our current house. It is a fine house – totally big enough for us and we don’t need to drop dough on a ridiculously big estate.
- Travel more. We would love to spend money on experiences, not things. We would take our daughter and see the world (around her school schedule, of course. Education is priceless.)
- Invest! Put the majority of our winnings away. This will leave us income for the rest of our lives. It also protects us from acting like idiots and blowing it all. Have you seen those TV shows where they interview lottery winners who are now broke? They bought dumb crap like huge marble statues of their dogs!
- Keep working. It is important to maintain a sense of purpose. How I work may be different, but I would still have a job. For example, I currently see patients who can pay me in my private practice. If I won the lottery, I may still see patients, but those who cannot afford to pay. My work may only be related to charitable organizations who cannot afford treatment. But, I would still be working.
- Perhaps most importantly, I would not tell Charlie (my daughter). She needs to grow up with the understanding she will someday need to be self-sufficient. This will motivate her to get an education and pursue a career. We can do things for her with the money (like a free ride to college), but wouldn’t shower her with money. We would help her in more subtle ways, like vacations and helping with the down payment on her first home.
Did I miss anything? Would you do anything differently? I’d love to fine tune my plan in case my numbers are ever called (assuming I bought a ticket)!