It’s been a family tradition for years for family members to send Ervin Smolinksi scratch-off lottery tickets and chocolate for his birthday. This year it paid off.
The 94-year-old man made the news when he won $300,000 in the Michigan Lottery. His daughter-in-law bought the winning ticket as a gift for the World War II veteran.
“I’ve seen a whole lot in my life, and I don’t get worked up easily. I think my son-in-law was more worked up that I was,” Smolinksi said. In the CNN coverage the former sailor said, ”
His win got me thinking though, as I probably too often do, what I would do if I won the lottery. Considering I don’t often play the lottery, it’s really a ridiculous game to play in my head. Yet, I enjoy the mental game. So, because this blog is often about giving, let me give you my top 5 ways to spend lottery winnings:
- Travel the world. Truly. Buy a tour package that has a travel agent set it up for you to get to every continent and live it up in luxurious hotels along the way.
- Pay off (or if you’re renting now buy with cash) house. Think of the joy of having a home that’s all equity. Come time to sell it, or pass it on, you’re sitting on value.
- Build up the college fund. With just one kid it’ll be easier for me to top up the account with some of these extra dollars, but putting it in his account in advance gives my family the benefit of accrued interest.
- Throw a massive — and I mean massive — par-tay for everyone I know and love in a destination location and with me footing the bill for hotels and travel and all that. Sort of like a wedding party, but I pay for it and we don’t have to say “I do” again.
- Donate. Find a few causes that you truly care about. Do the research about their credibility and give, give, give.
Those who are good at math might realize something here…I’ve probably overspent the $300K. Especially after the government takes the taxes out. Still, it’s fun to imagine isn’t it? Do you have a different top five? I’d love to hear other suggestions.