Some time ago, the Mega Millions multi-state lottery jackpot climbed to over $370 million before two tickets matched the winning numbers. As a jackpot like that starts to swell, people will begin to use their imaginations to describe what they would do with the money if they won. Many of them even claim they would give most of the money away.
While I rarely buy a lottery ticket, I am not immune to daydreaming about what I would do if I were to win a large sum of money like that. However, I am not going to lie by saying I would necessarily give most of it away. Most likely, I would opt for the lump sum payment (even though it would be less) rather than taking payments of the full amount over a period of years. No matter how much I won, I would give the first 10 percent (of the gross) to my church. What I would do with the remaining 90 percent would depend of how much I got.
First, I would want to pay cash for my dream home, a house that completely conforms to my specifications of comfort, luxury, and convenience. After that, I would want to keep enough of the remainder (in safe investments) to ensure that I would never have to work again if I didn’t want to. In addition, I would want to be sure that I would have enough to always pay other people to do all those household chores and other tasks that I didn’t want to be bothered with. I would also want to be in a position to buy a new automobile every year (without being concerned about the price), keep the one from the previous year as a backup, and donate the one from the year before that to charity.
However, I would not be interested in collecting a lot of “stuff.” The idea of accumulating things just because I could afford them does not appeal to me. Neither does the concept of acquiring more money just to get richer. Therefore, I would give away any amount beyond what I needed for the purposes I outlined above. Surely, $25 million (after taxes and tithes) would suffice. Assuming I spent $2 million for my dream home, I would have $23 million left to put to into money market accounts and make a modest five percent rate of interest. That would give me nearly $1.2 million per year ($600,000 after taxes and tithes) to spend on the kind of lifestyle I wanted.
So, if I won a large jackpot like the recent Mega Millions, even sharing it with another winner would result in a lump sum payment of around $1oo ($50 million after taxes and tithes). I would then likely keep about half of that and give the other half away.