I was going to publish a post about my on-going rental property insurance claim, the unit with the flooded basement, but I needed a break from anything related to rentals today, so I decided to post something a little more entertaining. You Just Won $55 Million! Now, What?
I stopped at the gas station on my way home and noticed the billboard advertising the latest Lotto Max jackpot. “The next jackpot is Friday : $55,000,000”. I rarely buy lottery tickets, I always feel like I am “winning” $2 /week that way. But, once in a while, when the jackpot is really high and I happen to be at the gas station or grocery store, I do buy one, like I did today.
When I got home, I told my kids “I bought the winning ticket! I can quit my job on Monday and travel the world”. We all smiled at each other , crazy mother speaking, we all know I won’t win. But what if I did?
What Would I Do If I Won $55 Million?
(We will assume after tax for our US readers, we don’t pay any taxes on lottery winnings in Canada)
My first thought is that it would be too much money to win at once. I have read so many articles over the years about big lottery winners and how many of them go bankrupt within the first few years. Check out Here’s why lottery winners go broke. What would I do with all that money? I am frugal by nature and I don’t think having millions would make me a much different person (but I am willing to try if anybody wants to share). I would also be worried about everybody else’s expectation if I won that much, all the new “friends” I would attract, the “forgotten” ones, all the extra stress!
But then I started thinking of a few things I may consider spending money on. So here is my best guess at what I may consider doing, assuming I won $55 Million and have to spend/invest it ALL. (And DON’T JUDGE, it is a lot of money to spend!:)
What’s Behind The Numbers
- Invest $4M in a GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) or bond ETF to secure some income and $6M in dividend paying ETF and stocks. Assuming it would generate a minimum of $300,000 dividends/interest per year. I may have to re-invest some of it!
- Set a trust for my kids with $2M each and invest it in GIC or bond fund. Assuming a 2.5% return, it would generate $50,000/year. Hoping it would still keep them motivated to want more and work for it! You hear so many stories about kids losing any kind of motivation when they get too much money too soon.
- Give $1M each to my sister and brothers and $200K to each of my close relatives (the ones I like).
- Pay off my two best friends’ mortgages (estimates) and give them $500,000 cash. Sorry ,no! you can’t be my best friend too!
- Sell two of my rental properties and potentially give the third one to the current tenant. They are good people and will probably never be able to afford a house.
- Give to charities (Cancer research, Mental illness, Human Society, Doctors without Borders and a few others) or maybe create my own foundation so I know where the money is really going.
- Hire a full-time personal chef to cook amazing delicious meals when I don’t feel like it (or I just feel like eating a delicious meal!). I am thinking for at least 10 years, I may get tired of it afterwards. Assuming $150,000/year for 10 years but I may go for a part-time chef for 20 years instead! (Decisions, decisions) Or I may look for a much cheaper chef and have more fun money (#10)! (Who am I kidding, I will just invest the difference).
- Rent a private jet so I never have to waste time at an airport again. Go anywhere I want, anytime. My first thought was to buy a jet but the maintenance and upkeep would probably be a real pain plus it costs a lot of money. I could buy my own 2013 Dassault falcon for $19M!!! Check out this site if you are in the market http://www.businessair.com . Considering I don’t want to fly all the time, renting makes more sense. I could travel 4 times a year for the next 25 years at an average of $150,000/trip depending on the jet and distance! Some years less some years more!
- Rent properties all year round in different countries, a few weeks at a time, most of them with beautiful beaches and in warm places. Average 120 days/year @ $2,000 a night for 25 years.
- Keep $200K cash just for fun!:)
But would I really do all this? Would I spend $150,000 just to get anywhere quickly and conveniently when I could spend less on business class tickets to get to the same place (I guess with $55 million you may give up economy)? Am I too frugal to win $55 Million? Could I justify my spending because I would have so much to spare? I mean $15 Million over 25 years for a private jet!!! But pretty cool! And would I really write a check to charity for $10 Million or am I just saying that to make myself
look feel good knowing I will never have that kind of money? So many questions, I guess there is only one way I will ever find out!
I read that $800 million a year of prizes go unclaimed!!! Maybe I will go after the unclaimed prizes instead.
How about you, what would you do with $55 million dollars? Not whether you would quit your job or not but, what is your best guess at how you would spend/invest it ALL?
Check out a few interesting articles on lottery winners:
And another entertaining post from Dads Dollars Debts on winning the lottery