Thursday, January 14, 2016

What Would You Do With $1.5 Billion?


For much of the week the entire country was obsessed with the Powerball jackpot which, by the time of the drawing on Wednesday night, had climbed to $1.5 Billion. Yes, there is a ‘B’. It didn’t matter what your line of work or where in the country you called home, the lines at the local gas stations, 7 Elevens, and any place that sells lottery tickets were long and the stacks of tickets that people were buying were high. Even those who seldom gamble, and that is what this is, disregarded the long odds and bought tickets. And I was one of them because ‘eh, what the heck.’ Actually, I got two for myself and contributed two dollars to the office pool as well.

One of the interesting things that happens to anyone when they get a lottery ticket in their hand, especially with such a high potential payout, is that you can’t help but think about how you would spend the money should your numbers match. Most of the people I have talked to over the years and what seems to be common in the stories that you read about or watch on television is that a new house, car, and some outrageous vacation are where at least some of the money goes. Well, while tempting and at the same time not eliminating the possibility, it is not what I have on my list. When looking at the $1.5 Billion payday, here are some of the things that came to mind. Here is how some of my initial expenditures broke down in my mind:

·         $10 Million as emergency funds for my employer.
·         $2 Million to each of my 10 coworkers (under the condition that they continued working).
·         $10 Million each to various family members (siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc.).
·         $20 Million to my parents.
·         $20 Million to my lodge.
·         $10 Million to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
·         $5 Million to my masonic district / district school.
·         $1 Million to each of the other lodges in the district.
·         $5 Million to Help for Heroes Fund.
·         $1 Million to various friends (we have a list).
·         $1 Million into college funds for our son and each niece and nephew.
·         $10 Million to each of our undergrad and graduate colleges.
·         $2 Million to the NRA.
·         $10 Million to the Rotary Club of Bala Cynwyd – Narberth.
·         $3 Million to pay off all debt and for some intense splurging throughout the rest of our lives (houses, cars, vacations, etc. would have to fall into this).
·         $20 Million Trust Fund for our son.
·         $10 Million each to Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
·         $10 Million to each of the Synagogues that have welcomed us and supported us over the years.
·         $5 Million to cancer research.
·         $1 Million for hiring genealogists to research all family lines.
·         $5 Million to the Monacan Indian Nation.

Adding all of these up it comes out to approximately $350 million. So, if you do a little calculating, it breaks down in the following way. When you look at the $1.5 Billion Powerball Annuity Jackpot, the lump sum option was approximately $900 million. Out of that $900 million you have to assume that you are going to lose about half to various taxes leaving you with $450 million. Once you subtract the $350 million in distributions above these leaves a total of approximately $100 million in the bank. It would be nice to sit back and relax never having to worry about finances again (especially without debt and with splurging already included into the budget).