As anyone in the United States with a pulse was likely aware, last Wednesday's Powerball payout rose to1.5 billion dollars.
Suffice it to say that I, like most of us, did not win that lottery. Dammit.
(Excuse me for a moment while I collect myself)...
Of course, as most of use learn somewhere along the way, the odds of winning any lottery of that sort are infinitesimal. And still, many of us buy a ticket when the jackpots get big.
For me, the purchase of that lottery ticket is a small price of entry into a period of several days of delightful fantasy - the what-ifs that go along with having an obscene amount of income. My rough, back of the envelope calculations put the annuity payout option at somewhere around $30 million a year after taxes. After giving it due consideration I thought: I could live on that.
It's probably been a decade or more since I last purchased a lottery ticket, and what surprised me a bit this time around was the nature of things about which I fantasized. In younger days my lottery purchases gave license to extensive mental debates about which exotic cars to purchase - Porsche or Ferrari? Would a Lamborghini Diablo be a reasonable daily driver? I could just toss the grocery bags on the passenger seat...
This time around it was the house, almost exclusively. All of the needed updates to the kitchen, the addition of a bathroom or two, adding on an attached garage, restoring the old barn, and on and on. Given the size of that jackpot, I allowed myself to play with the idea of lifting the house and replacing the old, porous foundation with something a bit more water-tight. And, while we were at it, why not convert everything to solar and wind power?
Discussing this with LB actually led to an extensive debate, in particular about that attached garage. She was concerned that it might change the character of the old girl too significantly, and then things went, well, a little awry. By the end of the discussion we agreed that perhaps we should install an underground parking garage that attached to the basement. But while we were able to compromise on that point, we could not agree on how to enter said garage. LB was arguing for the simplicity of a ramp, but I was angling for a car elevator hidden in the driveway, activated only after a gate closed and blocked the view from the road.
Because then I'd be one step closer to being Tony Stark.
I'd like to argue to argue that this change in perspective reflects growth, a development of maturity.
I'd like to argue that.