COLUMN: Fantasy now reality for lottery winner

I am going to offer a little neighbourly advice on what to do with all those dollars.

“If I had a million dollars” sing the Barenaked Ladies, “I’d buy you a monkey (haven’t you always wanted a monkey?)”

Seems that someone who holds a ticket sold in Abbotsford, thanks to Friday evening’s Lotto Max draw, can now buy a whole bunch of them.

Personally, a monkey would be about the last thing I’d get were I so fortunate to have won a 30-very-large windfall. Regrettably, when my ticket was scanned, instead of the Canadian singing group’s refrain echoing in my ear, all I got was “Not a Winner!”

And there went, at least for this week, my thoughts of a new Bentley convertible, a yacht and perhaps a little hideaway in the south of France.

So what would you do if you won $30 million (and you can bet whoever did isn’t wasting any time reading this, or waiting for my suggestions on what to do with the money)?

Regardless, I am going to offer a little neighbourly advice (and anyone within 20 miles of my house who wins $30 million is definitely a close neighbour) on what to do with all those dollars.

First of all, it’s free and easy money, so park $25 million in something very secure for at least a year, and take the remaining five and live like a lottery winner for a while.

Go buy that fancy car, the big boat, a beachfront condo in Maui, go on an exotic vacation and donate a bunch to charity. Feel free to blow the $5 million, because after doing it you will come down from your euphoric high and still have lots left to do the sensible things such as ensuring your grandchildren are set for life, or contributing to world peace, while the remaining funds are wisely invested for your future.

Because while $25 or $30 million sounds like a lot, and it is, you still aren’t Jimmy Pattison, who has something like a thousand million, three or so times over. There won’t be any 250-foot yachts in your future, nor personal jets (affordable to buy, horrendously expensive to keep in the air), but you have certainly risen above the mundane so far as the colour of your credit cards.

Another practical point to keep in mind when parking the $25 million is that while enjoying the five mil, the relationship with your partner might go awry … suddenly you’re down to $12.5. Still plenty to keep you going into old age, and enough to replace the exotic car every couple of years.

The biggest thing about discovering you suddenly have a pile of money, however, is that with the freedom to do almost whatever your little heart desires, the personality of a winner often changes dramatically.

Try not to do that.

It isn’t like you need to be smug in your success. All you did was buy a ticket, not invent the wheel or discover a cure for cancer.

So ‘get real’ during your first year of financial freedom, and get back down to Earth after the fun has been done.

Enjoy your new-found wealth, but always remember that it wasn’t you but ‘lady luck’ who created the new future.

Be the same person you were before, because all that’s really changed is your bank account, and your ability to live out your dreams.

So there you have it … my version of Dear Abby advice.

I, on the other hand, am thinking with all that money, maybe a monkey or a lemur or … nah, I’d still go with the boats and cars and airplanes!

Whoever you are, enjoy the money and maybe next week it’ll be my fortune to turn fantasy into reality.


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