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What would you have done with a half billion dollars? - Mark's Journal
What would you have done with a half billion dollars?
No, I didn't win the Megamillions lottery either. In fact, with two games played for a total of twelve numbers picked, I didn't get a single match. There should be a prize for that.

I hadn't really thought about it besides a vague plan to get a lottery ticket on the way home from dinner, but on the way to the Pines, my dinner companion asked what I would do if I won a significant amount of money.

The conventional wisdom is that if you manage it carefully, you'll do much better financially taking the lump sum and investing it than by taking the annual payments, but I think I would go the annual route. It greatly lessens the chance I would somehow blow through the whole pile in three years and have nothing left. I like to think I would be smarter than that, but I also know it happens.

I'd stop looking for a full-time job, of course, for now, at least. (I'd probably keep doing all the part-time and freelance stuff. I'll always need things to do.)

Pay off my mortgage and other, lesser debts.

Buy a nice lake house and a sailboat, and my dream camera collection.

Walk into a random restaurant and anonymously pay everyone's tab.

Put some money into a few local and national causes I care about.

Tip well.

One of my Facebook friends posted about an hour ago asking what it meant if you didn't get the Powerball number, but you only got the other five. I think she was screwing around, but if not, she won a quarter million dollars. My comment was that if she really had, she should a) be careful who she told, and b) consult an accountant and a lawyer before making any decisions.
8 comments or Leave a comment
polypolyglot From: polypolyglot Date: March 31st, 2012 04:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoops. Just saw that you had actually written in your entry about photography.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 31st, 2012 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Hehe. I was wondering where that comment went!

Yeah, I would buy a few of the lenses that I just dream about. Actually, my 70-200mm lens is a bit of a dream lens, and a splurge I would never have taken if I hadn't gotten a ludicrously good deal on it, used, when a friend wanted to upgrade to the latest version.

Some more prime lenses, probably a 300mm and maybe even 400 or 500mm telephoto lens. A new body or two... probably a D4 or a D7000. Maybe some fun flash gear.
polypolyglot From: polypolyglot Date: March 31st, 2012 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I would definitely rent a Leica for a week or two, just to be able to use the 50 mm f/0.95 lens

For my Canon, I'd upgrade the body to one that uses a full-frame sensor. And I would definitely take some courses in photography at ICP, especially in lighting.
polypolyglot From: polypolyglot Date: March 31st, 2012 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Would you take flying lessons of any kind?
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 31st, 2012 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I might! I enjoyed the lessons Dave was giving me a couple of years ago, and now that he's back in town full-time, we might be able to do it again. And then I'd buy a private jet. ;-)
angielabrie From: angielabrie Date: March 31st, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nick and I were talking about this last night. He laughed when I said I would go on a total online shopping binge (I am the biggest amazon.com fangirl) and then...finally...after years of ALWAYS wanting to do this...select the overnight shipping option for delivery. BOOM! Livin' large, man!
microbie From: microbie Date: March 31st, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the idea of anonymously paying the check for a restaurant of people. It'd be fun to watch people's reactions.
adelais From: adelais Date: April 1st, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
250K is probably about the perfect amount to win, really. Pay the taxes, take care of any deferred major expenses (I'm driving a 15-year-old car with significant rust and living in a house that will need a new roof sooner rather than later; someone else might have student loans or credit card debt, etc.), use the rest to catch up one's various retirement and college savings funds to where they're supposed to be, and you're almost certainly done. Peace of mind with no lifestyle change.
8 comments or Leave a comment