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.