I think we’d all like to believe that we’d know what we’d do if we won the Powerball. We’d buy that house we’d want. We’d pay off loans and mortgages. We’d buy Bugattis and other ridiculously expensive automobiles. We’d donate some to charity. We’d quit our jobs in the most viral-video way possible. The sweet life would be here to stay.
A few years ago, I remember when the Powerball reached some absurd number and my roommate and I went to buy a ticket. (I didn’t actually buy one because there was something wrong with my credit card.) Peter and I talked for about two hours on what we would do with the money. We said many of the same things that regular people would: pay off debts, buy cars, give some away, travel, etc.
We didn’t talk about work or stress out about things at that time. We just talked money. After we checked the numbers and realized that we didn’t win the ticket, we shrugged and went back to normal conversation.
While it’s fun to dream about, I wonder how many of the people who buy lottery tickets on a regular basis invest the time and energy into carrying out plans to achieve those things without buying a ticket.
I’ve dreamed about a lot of things: lost loves coming back, meeting Bruce Springsteen, meeting Barack Obama, serving as a senior-level staff member in president Jed Bartlett’s cabinet, writing something substantial. The list goes on.
Most of those things haven’t come true. Most of them haven’t even been close to coming true. I keep thinking those are the things that will make me happy and if I can only achieve those things, I will be OK. Much like thinking, if I win the Powerball, I will be OK.
Many people have the good sense to not put their hopes and prayers in a game with odds less than being struck by lightning. But some people do. Those kinds of people make me sad.
When I was a Cub Scout way back in the day, I remember selling something in front of the local IGA. I don’t remember what, but I remember that an old woman kept walking into the store to buy scratch offs, scratch them off in her car, and then come back in and buy some more. She kept doing that for a while. Back then I just thought she had a weird hobby, no I wonder if she played that lottery to escape.
Dreams are good. It’s fun to think about what we would do if we had that one thing that could change everything. However, it’s sad when people throw everything into getting that dream.
You probably won’t win the Powerball. You problems and worries probably won’t go away if you do win it. You definitely will still have issues to face.
While it’s fun to dream, make sure you give those thoughts more than just a one in a few billion. You deserve that much.