Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lottery Dreams

Here is an actual email exchange between my mother and I today:

Can you buy me (1) powerball ticket? The drawing for today is worth $245M. I'll give you $2M if it wins... ; ) Thank you!

Only $2M, when I buy the ticket? Let's negotiate.
I will stop on my way home and p/u the powerball ticket using the numbers you gave.

Now Mother.
Let's assume we are the only winner.
$245M if won, we'll take the cash pay out option so now only $122.5M then taxes, now only $61.25M. Most will go to charity.
What do you need more than $2M for anyway? : )

Thank you for buying the ticket.

Daughter, daughter,
Looks like you have this all figured out. A great discussion opener...
Have a great day.

One of the most fun things to think about is what I'd do if I won the lottery. You hear horror stories about people winning and thinking it's the answer to all their problems and then their lives/relationships fall apart and they wish they'd never won. Well I've thought about it a lot and I would make a good lottery winner. I am up for the challenge of handling that level of responsibility. I do acknowledge that people get weird when one person has way more than the others. I've seen that in my workplace.

But I think you have to be prepared to be altruistic if you come into that much money. And I mean give away 90% of it. And what to do with family & friends? It's like a reverse inheritance, somewhat an obligation, somewhat a legacy. Amy said that money makes people become more of who they really are. I think that's true. So as a lottery winner, you have set the tone and remove all ambiguity about your intentions. The most wildly logical approach I could think of was creating a grant system for friends and family to apply to. Just like non-profits and other organizations have to do. So they have to have a reason and create a proposal for asking/receiving the money. Or I guess if that is too bizarre, the most straight-forward approach I thought of was to make a list, take 7% of the winnings, divide equally & cut one-time checks to everyone. Then set 3% aside for ourselves and the other 90% goes into the Sakai-Moore Foundation.

Ken thinks gambling and especially this kind, it sheer lunacy. The odds are terrible and that sliver of hope you buy in the form of a little square of paper is at best stoking the misplaced conception that "all my problems will be fixed if I win." I think it's like buying an experience or rather a feeling. That little bit of excitement when you don't know if you won or lost--that's what I like. I don't often play the lottery for the very reason it is contrary to attaining our goals and making plans. But sometimes, like now, I like to buy a dream for a dollar.


Sean said...

Shanzo and I feel exactly the way you do. We routinely purchase 2 or 3 megamillion tix a month and, also like you, we've got a plan on what to do with the winnings. It's a small dream, and in the grand scheme, amounts to a very small percentage of our take home pay.

Like our contingency to defend against a zombie attack it's equally as likely to occur, but we're ready, YO!

LORMO said...

Like my father says, it's easier to be rich than poor.