What if you did win the Powerball?

Since I’m still writing in this blog, consider this my admission that I was not a major winner in Saturday’s record-breaking Powerball jackpot.

But, I can say that I am walking away with more money than I invested. Thank you lucky number 13.

What will I do with that $12? Don’t worry – I won’t spend it all in one place. While it could purchase a six-pack of beer, it will likely end up in the “kitty” where stray dollar bills end up. (Previously, this was our swear jar when Aaron and I were trying to kick the habit of one particular word in our vocabulary. I can’t speak for Aaron, but I can say that having to put money where my mouth was did help curb the frequency of usage of that particular word. Have I been as faithful to following protocol as of late? Not really. Add it to the resolution list.)

Let’s play a visioning game for one moment. Now, the Powerball for Wednesday night is $1.4 billion. Granted, if you opt for the 30-year payout (which would carry me to retirement), that overall winnings are reduced to $868 million. Plus taxes. But, at least in this country we have all those loopholes for wealthy people, right?

This Wired article walks through the various deduction scenarios, projecting a final payout of $394 million. That leads me to ask you:

Dirty Harry aside, can you actually imagine having $394 million dollars? What would you do with such a sum of funds now overflowing sock drawers, bank accounts of the Cayman Islands, etc.?

I can barely imagine having one million dollars. Of course I’m a nonprofit professional because I don’t want to make money.

[cut to: tumbleweeds rolling through the desert]

Fact check: not true. 

Back to winning the Powerball though because it’s fun to fantasize about the Amazon shopping spree that would await me. [Glass Pyrex containers for DAYS!] Think of all the books I could buy! And then I would need more bookcases and shelves to put them on! And then more lamps to read by!

In truth, if and when I can make more money or win the Powerball, I want to give it away. No, not all of it. Please. I can be a selfish human, and I have a family and want to see the world. Still, I recognize the constant need in our society for additional resources – from  providing funding for pre-K and after-school programs who success rates are rooted in evidence-based practices to increasing access to health care resources for vulnerable populations/rural communities to investing in clean energy technologies that allow us to reduce our dependence on dangerous fossil fuels.

And more. Helping to support animal shelters. Investing in racial equity training to dismantle our white supremacist systems. Supporting scholarship programs to vocational and university programs. Increasing access to the Internet. Putting music programs back in public schools. Oh, this list could go on and on and on…

Sure, I would mind overthrowing a corporation or two, or trying to compete with these guys in the 2016 Election:


But that payout..it’s really just peas and carrots when you step back and look at our political landscape…which is scary.

So, in the meantime, I’ll put my money where my mouth heart is – investing in creating a more equitable, sustainable future for all people, not just the privileged, not just the ones who can and have access to the right resources. Money can’t fix problems, but it sure can help support the people on the ground, in communities, committed to helping build a better quality of life for all.

And take that trip to Ireland. Because, you know: #yolo.



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