We don't have a lottery in Oklahoma, and won't for at least two years — the governor, who has pushed hard for the establishment of a lottery, did manage to get a measure passed to authorize an election, but it won't be until November 2004 — but I'm reasonably certain that the absence of an actual game has not dissuaded people from speculating as to what they'd do with their winnings. I myself have further reasons to fantasize, inasmuch as I'm doing fairly well in BlogShares these days: I'm not among the multimillionaires at the top of the game rankings, but I have managed to accumulate a bit over B$3 million, and that's a good place to start, especially since at the moment BlogShares earnings aren't taxed.

So what would I do if I had $3 million after taxes?

I'd probably divide that first million between my two children, both of whom are in their twenties and are struggling with the usual young-family issues. With five hundred grand, each of them could pay off the mortgage, replace the Death Trap On Wheels, and have plenty to stash away for the next big expense.

That leaves two million. $30,000 would get me completely out of debt. There aren't many places I'd consider living where I can't buy and furnish a home of reasonable dimensions (I don't want anything over 2500 square feet — too much cleaning) for $400,000, and maybe one more not-too-expensive automotive toy would be nice.

Then stash the remaining $1.5 million in the bank. Even at today's meager interest rates, I could probably draw $35,000 a year — say, $25,000 after taxes. And it's amazing how little I need to live on when I have no debts to service; I could easily maintain my current lifestyle (such as it is) and my current charitable donations and have a little to spare, and without the irritation of actually having to go to work.

As fantasies go, this seems relentlessly tame. But I don't really want much, and I don't think my life would be substantially enhanced by a Whole Lot Of Stuff. And more to the point, the things I want most simply can't be acquired by writing a check.

The Vent

15 June 2003

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