Someone finally hit it. The billion dollar plus Mega Millions lottery prize has been won. By one person. Or by one ticket. It could have been a pool of a couple dozen people each throwing $10 into a hat to maximize their odds. Or I suppose that technically would be to minimize their odds. I wasn’t one of them. Although my odds were just as good. I’ve written about it more than once. Everything in life is fifty-fifty. No long odds there. Either it will or it won’t. Either it doesn’t or it don’t. Pass or fail. True or false. That’s life.
But somebody’s coin did fall heads up, or tails down if you’d rather and they woke up Saturday morning at least $350 million richer. That’s about what they would get out of a billion dollar prize after taxes if they took the cash option. Of course from that they would have the fees they will undoubtedly incur when they hire the some bodies to advise them if they should take the cash or wait out the annuity payments, to rewrite their wills, trusts, and all the other legal things suddenly mega-rich people need, to find them suitable new houses (at least 3), cars (5), boats (2, maybe 3) and a plane (just one), to ghost write their book on how to become a billionaire and to represent their book and the movie rights, someone to see them “professionally” to deal with the psychological trauma of saying no to so many people who will be asking for money, and finally, the private security firms to keep people away so they can’t ask them for money. After all those expenses they will have at least a quarter billion left and will complain that everybody has a piece of their good fortune except them!
Since those earliest hours of Saturday morning when the announcement went out that there was a winner, pundits, professional and thems like me, have been churning out “ah, but the real wealth isn’t in dollars and diamonds, it is deep within you” articles. And you know what? They’re right! Oh I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor and believe me poor is a lot better. No, that’s not original. That line has been attributed to almost every rich person to walk down Hollywood Blvd. but it’s true. I have been both and on balance, I slept better richer. But I don’t know that I would say I was happier. I likely wasn’t although I was never billion dollar rich versus living in a cardboard box poor. I’m sure there it is difficult to convince someone they have all they need as long as they have love in their hearts when their bodies are living on the street. But on balance, you shouldn’t need a billion dollars, or even 250 million to be happy.
So for the several billion ticket buyers who did not win, please join me in saying, I have my health, clean water, food, clothes, and a roof over my head and I’m rich beyond my dreams. But boy, once I’d like to know what really rich rich feels like. Hmm, I understand the Power Ball is up around $170 million. That would work too!
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