What would you do if you won the lottery? I was driving the other day and saw one of the lottery billboards advertising how much the current lottery is up to. As of this post, the lottery is up to about 65 million dollars. Every time I see those billboards, I always start dreaming about all the things I would do if I won the money.

Sometimes, my dreaming is a little bit premature. I think about what I could do with all that money that I'll never win because I always forget to buy a ticket. When I moved to Georgia 10 years ago, I would buy scratch offs all the time. It was something new and exciting because the state I moved from did not have a lottery. I would never win anything more than a couple of dollars or free tickets. When I realized how much money I was donating (aka throwing away), I stopped playing.

If I did win the 65 million dollars, I'll be willing to bet that I wouldn't end up broke like some of the past lottery winners. 65 million dollars may sound like a lot of money. Yeah it is, but if you don't spend wisely, that money will be gone before you know it. I'm not going to lie and say that I wouldn't buy me a new house and a new car because I would. I just wouldn't go crazy with it.

If I won the lottery, I would buy a new house. The maximum amount I would spend is $300,000. I would be able to get a nice big house in a great area. I wouldn't need to buy a 50 room house and spend millions of dollars. I would also pay off the mortgages on my current properties and keep them as rental properties.

If I won the lottery, I would buy a new car. I would buy a 2011 BMW X5. It would cost about $81,000. Yeah, I know this is a crazy amount to spend on a car but with the money I'm not spending on the house, I'll spend a little extra on the car. This would be my big splurge.

If I won the lottery, I would make a sizable donation to several of my favorite charities. To name a few, I would give to the American Red Cross, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Empty Stocking Fund and the National MS Society to name a few. I would also donate a large sum to the church I attended as a child.

If I won the lottery, I would purchase homes for several of my family members. Some of them are really struggling and could use the help. I would give some of them cash to use as they see fit and others I would purchase what they wanted for them. I know they are bad with money and I wouldn't want them to blow ALL of the money and have nothing to show for it.

If I won the lottery, I would purchase an apartment building. I've always wanted to build a real estate empire but I'm not financially able buy more than one single-family home at a time. Buying an apartment building would help my money work for me. I would be making an investment that pays for itself over and over again.

If I won the lottery, I would put more money in the stock market. I've written before about how I dislike the risk associated with investing in the stock market. The only investing I do right now is through my 401k. Outside of that, most of my assets are in liquid accounts. If I had hundreds of thousands of dollars available, I wouldn't be as worried about losing money in the stock market.

This is just a small list of the things I would do if I won the lottery. If I actually won a big lottery, I would consult a professional on how to best make the money last for the rest of my life.

What is the first purchase you would make if you won the lottery?


  1. Jaynee // May 28, 2010 at 7:03 PM  

    I have lottery dreams all the time too. If I won $65M (which would probably be $25M after taxes), 10% ($2.5M) would go to my church, 10% ($2.5M) to charities. I'd divide $6M into two $3M trusts - one for each of my children, to be doled out in three parts at age 25, 30 and 35. We'd pay off our debts as well as those of my sister's family and my husband's sister's family ($500K). We'd move back to NYC and buy a place in Manhattan to live out our days ($1M). Buy a house for my sister's family, and for my husband's sister's family ($800K-$1M for the two). The rest (~$11.5M) we'd invest and live off the interest. At 7% gains that would be about $80K a year - a nice chunk of change and more than enough!

  2. Anonymous // May 28, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

    Whenever the lottery amount gets high here my husband and I think about all the people wasting money buying tickets.

    We also talk about how they are often the people who have the least discretionary money to spend.

    I really don't think about winning because we don't waste it chasing after a dream.

  3. Dan Isaacs // May 29, 2010 at 10:20 AM  


    I'd be doing pretty much what this guy did. Not traveling, but taking pains to ensure my family was never obviously connected to it. Would be spending a lot on lawyers and accountants, but it's worth the privacy and security.

    The thread is a good read, entertaining. :)

  4. Anonymous // May 31, 2010 at 1:28 PM  

    1. I would sell the older, high-maintenance house I have next door to noisy neighbors and buy a nicer home in cash. I'd be willing to spend more for what I wanted, but it would still be a small house, no more than 1800 sf.

    2. I would buy a new car, but it would still be the same highly fuel efficient car I currently have my eye on, a $17,000 Ford Fiesta, a non-hybrid that gets 40 mpg.

    3. I would give my mother and sister money to do with what they want; neither has much money now.

    4. I would travel.

    5. I would donate to environmental groups, as I did in the past.

    I have no debt other than my small mortgage, and no dependents.

  5. Jenna // June 1, 2010 at 8:33 PM  

    Donate 10%. Buy my first home (and probably some investment properties). And my first car. I've very exciting like that. Chances are I'd travel a bit more too... Commence day dreaming now...