There can only be one winning set of Powerball numbers and I’ve got it so sorry about your luck, losers. That’s a little haha I’ve been pulling this week and I’ve been getting quite a kick out of it.
As you know, $1.5 billion is up for grabs after there was no winner in last week’s draw. We have four tickets, a repeat of the same numbers we were randomly given the first time. Because that set of numbers definitely wasn’t picked the first go-around, there is a larger chance it will be this time, according to my husband. That math is too big for my small brain to absorb, so I just dutifully followed orders. Still, I think our odds aren’t much better than 1 in 292 million, which is so frightfully small I can’t really wrap my head around that one either.
But no matter how small the chances, there are always a few moments post lottery ticket purchase that you feel pretty sure you’re going to win. You tenderly treat the ticket — caress the soft paper, enjoy its Easter-themed colors — like a silk scarf and place it in a careful spot so you will not, under circumstances, lose it. Then you dream with your spouse about what you would do (i.e. will do) with your winnings.
Oh, is there a more wistful, whimsical conversation than this one? Thoughts of Ferraris, private jet planes, mansions in multiple locales dance in our heads.
We always start by deciding what we would buy first, describing our purchases so clearly we can practically smell the leather seats, feel the balmy Caribbean breeze, taste the Tuscan pasta. Then we decide what charity we’d choose. Who we’d buy a house for. Cars —sporty, sassy Audi A4s — for which friends.
For me, eating at every restaurant featured in the Netflix show “Chef’s Table” would be (will be) first. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t recommend it enough. I come away from every episode in the mood to write and cook simply by hearing the chefs talk about their vision and commitment.
Of course, to accompany each meal, I’d have (will have) a new outfit that I’d have handpicked for me by a stylist because, while I love clothes, I suck at shopping. And we’d fly (will fly, you get the picture) to these places first-class on Virgin or Singapore Airlines because apparently the service is so posh they serve caviar and blinis.
I’d give to the local hospice and save every dog and cat at the animal shelter. I’d pay college tuitions. I’d become an underwriter for NPR. I’d donate to the American Cancer Society and heart foundation.
Then the conversation gets down to brass tacks.
Because how would you manage winning $1.5 billion? Very carefully, I’d say. First off, your anonymity, you’d need to be smart about keeping that. Every Tom, Dick and Harry would crawl out of the woodwork, boy, if they knew you were sitting on a pile of green that big. But even if you are careful, people are still eventually going to notice.
If you stay in the area, you’re going to build a new house and it’s going to be bigger than the one you have now and people are going to wonder. And, I mean, you can’t really just build a bigger house in the subdivision or area you live in now because that house is going to be markedly bigger than the ones around it. So you’d have to buy land and build your house (let’s face it: mansion) and then you’d need to buy the land around it and then you’d probably need a pretty big fence and a pretty heavy-duty security system.
So quickly you’re alone even if you don’t want to be. And you can’t just go walking around the sub with your friends on a whim anymore because you don’t live there and, even if you had a driver to bring you to their house, it’s just not as convenient as it used to be and your friends would think arriving in a limousine is obnoxious. And it is.
If you move away, you’d probably get a few homes. So say you buy a penthouse in New York. You get a house in Italy. But guess what? You’re still alone. Sure, you’ll make new friends, but are they your speed? Do you have a shared history? Do they really like you or do they like your money?
Same with your job. You’d probably quit it, right? That would also mean losing the sense of purpose and accomplishment that comes with it. Which begs the question: After a while, wouldn’t you just feel like you were waddling around in a void?
And that’s the best thing about the Powerball. After all of your chatting and dreaming, you ultimately come to the realization that you’re pretty happy with the way things are now. No, they’re not perfect and, yes, an infusion of cash sure would be nice. But all in all, life is sweet just the way it is.