Monday, August 30, 2010


The guys in my house drive me nuts with their penchant for reality shows. You might guess from that statement I’m not a fan and you would be guessing correctly. They also like watching documentaries—that’s what I’d call them, anyway—which aren’t always as bad as hearing some silly housewife, models, or chefs (or insert any profession) pulling attitudes wherein the real world, they wouldn’t have a job with such stunts.

Then there are the ones where survival is the issue and some of the things they do or don’t do in those environments have me rolling my eyes. While some of the things are informative, some of the things they do are for effect of the camera audience. There are some practical things totally overlooked, but that’s another story. Let's not forget the shows with all the jackasses doing too stupid to live stunts. Why? To say you have? I could understand it if there was a purpose, but most of them fall into the category of ‘my mama dun dropped me on my head and now my thinking processes are totally gone’. Watch y’all while I demonstrate it (kinda reminds me of something I read recently, you’re a Redneck When… Someone in your family/circle of friends died right after saying, “Hey, guys, watch this.”

Today, they were watching a show on the lives of big lottery winners. They followed 15 lucky winners who won several million and what they did with their lives. I caught parts of it to and from the bedrooms to put away clean clothes. Pretty interesting show. What was more interesting to me was listening to the discussion of what they’d do with winnings like that. The usual stuff like they’d buy the car/truck, newer X-Boxes and games, clothes, tour with a rock band, a boat, house, and hunting cabin of their dreams.

What surprised me after that was how they’d pay off all debts of their parents, or buy them a house and set up and additional annuity income. A couple mentioned setting up a fund to get better teachers in their school and set up a voc-tech high school in the district for hands on training (that one seemrd to get quite a discussion going), or a college fund for kids to go to school. One thought putting aside money so teens could have summer jobs in the trades, or learning the mechanics of cars, computers, and one mentioned setting up a safe place for people in abusive situations with training for how to support yourself and your kids. These were teens, mind you. I was rather impressed.

I know if I ever won the lottery, as in millions of dollars, it would change my life. Privacy, safety, and sanity would be at risk, I imagine. What would I do with it? My thoughts would be similar to the teens in my living room. Stuff for me and to be able to give things to others.

I’d invest and have someone who knew what they were doing help with that. I would pay off all my family’s debts, my mom is well placed, but still, I’d want to put something aside for her.. I’d want to give something to the community too via charities but I have to say I like the idea of either having kids have a chance to learn how to do certain jobs by setting aside funding allowing the community business people to bring on interested teens and teach them, or a help fund a Voc-tech high school. You can’t do alone but I know marketing/PR well and wouldn’t have a problem getting the additional funding to finance one and the teachers and equipment necessary. We had one where I grew up. Taught masonry, construction trades, had courses for learning to operate heavy equipment. There was the office side and a tech department that taught everything from repairing computers to programming and graphics. Now we depend upon community colleges to carry some of that load.

On the personal side? Travel. I’d love to take my son on a tour of places in the world with a tutor so he could see other areas, cultures, and lifestyles and still get in his required education.

  • So, if you won several million dollars in a lottery, what would you do with it? How would winning millions of dollars change your way of life?

Upcoming: Erin Kellison, author of Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall, is my guest on, Wednesday, September 1st.


tonya kappes said...

Oh how I could use millions of dollars:) I'd keep working, I'd give my parents a couple million, I'd keep my house, I'd give my kids money (but they have to go to college), and I'd travel. I don't think it'd change who I am, but it would help out with dreams. I don't keep debt. We are a debt free family with the rule "if we can't pay cash, we don't need it" so I don't know what it's like to have a car payment, credit card debt. Sooo, I'd probably travel with the lottery money too. BUT ultimately, I don't think money makes people happy and I'm a pretty happy person with out it:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd secure our future, and our parents', too. Plus give a lot to our church.
And I agree - most reality shows stink!

Elle J Rossi said...

Great question, Sia, and one I think about often. However, I never play. Kinda crazy, right?

I have a huge family. I'd definitely help some and then we'd hide from the rest. I'd like to build a house. It wouldn't be huge, but every room would have a purpose. Especially my office!

I'd buy two dogs and live in the country. (I don't need to win the lottery for this, but it's in the big plan)

I'd give money to people who are fighting cancer and don't have the money to either pay their medical bills or get the absolute best medical attention out there.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Elle, I hear you on that. I regularly give to Relay for Life and the Cancer Society. I also give to The Ronald McDonald House. A place to stay for families having to be in treatment locations--usually far from home--is expensive. The RMD house helps defray those costs somewhat. Having stayed at RMH I'm amazed with the accomodations and the support chat of other families in residence. It's a different world and one that makes you appreciate your life all the more.

VA said...

Set up a research institute to fund works that just aren't getting grants. Most companies, aside from pharmaceutical and cell phone companies have dismantled their R&D departments. Without investment in things that you can't see an immediate tangible output, there are no great leaps.

That's all I got.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tonya, I don't think a person could remain untouch or unchanged with the infusion of money like that. I do believe the core of who and what you are can remain the same. I agree, money, or the pursuit of money, doesn't make you happy. I believe happiness is something you find inside. Externals can enhance it, but without the inner, doesn't matter what you have or own.

Debt free family. Kudo's to you. We have some, like house and car. I don't count those. Other debt is fairly small but boy howdy, I'm trying my best to make that part disappear.

~Sia McKye~ said...

"Without investment in things that you can't see an immediate tangible output, there are no great leaps."

Very true, Viv, and something I hadn't really thought of.

aries18 said...

I like this question. I ask myself this sort of thing often. My answers give me insight into myself.

I'd move north up the coast, to be closer to my grandsons. I'd help both my sons with whatever they need, house, car, further education, whatever and my all my grandchildren as well. I'd put money in investments for my kid, grandkids and great grandkids too for their education.

I'd fund further education for local school kids, for those who can't afford college or trade schools. I'd set up some sustaining scholarships for the future scholarships.

Before all that however, I'd get some qualified person to help me pars the money into investments so that it would have the greatest earning power.

As for personal stuff.... a nice house, car, and some lovely trips. I don't need a whole of stuff to be happy. The best thing that money buys is time... the time to spend with family and friends.

Oh yes, I'd schedule some Wombat Meets for sure!

Judi Fennell said...

Pay off stuff for several people, and travel. A trip through Europe that might last six months would be first on the agenda.

Dang, now you've got me wistfully wishing...

~Sia McKye~ said...

It's nice to contemplate, my friend. Europe is a must, I agree.

Kat Sheridan said...

I'm a junkie for certain reality shows--Survivor, Amazing Race, and Colony top the list. As for the lottery, annuities for family members, and travel for me. The charities near to my heart as well--the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and definitely literacy projects. Teach a kid to read and you've handed them the world. I'm also a huge advocate for Center for New Directions, an organization that helps displaced (divorced) homemakers or abused women find new careers and self-sufficiency and achieve what their dream.

As the saying in "Hello Dolly" goes, money is like manure--it's best when it's spread around, helping new things grow.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I need to look into Center For New Directions. I love that one, Kat, "money is like manure--it's best when it's spread around, helping new things grow."

Anonymous said...

I'd still wear shorts and pullover shirts. And I would still write. I would move closer to the ocean though. And take a Maui vacation. And finally buy that iPad.

Oh, and I have an email I need to finish and get out to you.

Stephen Tremp

K. A. Laity said...

Move to London: set up a huge arts center with performance spaces for plays, bands and readings, a recording studio, offices, a multi-media gallery -- then have a lottery for access to all the space.

I'd give money to my brothers and my folks, too, and several friends, but that would be the main thing. And an iPad :-)

LuAnn said...

This is really an easy question for me as I've been telling my husband what I would do for quite some time!

We have been remodeling our 100-year-old home for what seems like forever. We are doing the work ourselves when we have the time and as extra money is available. I told hubby if I won the lottery, he's come home to find a complete crew of construction workers busy finishing up all our projects!