A friend of mine was telling me a story about the time he called his boss one late Friday afternoon. My friends boss was driving back from a business trip in a neighboring state that had the lottery. He asked his boss how everything was going and his boss responded fine, he was sitting in traffic thinking about how he would spend the 30 million dollars if he won the lottery with the Powerball ticket he had just bought. My friend was the accountant/bookkeeper for this company and told his boss the odds of him winning the lottery were at least 1 in 100 million maybe even 200 million. As a matter of fact, he continued, just to rub a little more salt in his boss’s wound, the odds are about the same whether you play or not.
The phone went silent, my friend not really known for his sense of humor thought, oh shit I have just pissed off the guy that signs my paycheck. He heard a loud sigh on the other end and then “I have had a long day, I am sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, I haven’t moved a mile in one hour, I want to be home, in my recliner, drinking a beer in my underwear, but I am not, I am here listening to you screw-up my daydream. YOU have a good weekend.”
My friend stressed all weekend long about this incident. Monday morning he made sure he was at work bright and early before his boss arrived. His boss never said a word to him about it and my friend has never attemped to be humorous with the guy that signs his paycheck again.
In my life I have only met one person that has won the lottery. She was from Virginia and won $50 million dollars. She and her husband left Virginia a year later and built a house deep in the woods of the North Carolina mountains. I asked her once why she left, why would she leave her family and friends behind. Her answer was simple, “We had too”. She had given some money to her Mom and Dad, her brother and sister, two childhood friends, a couple of her husband’s family members and her church. Then, she said, people wanted more, including her church. The strain became too much, repeatedly saying no to painful so she and her husband went off the grid, long before that became a thing.
I haven’t spoken to her in years. The last I heard she and her husband were happy, still off the grid, with a house full of kids on top of their own private mountain.
I buy a Mega Millions or Powerball ticket from time to time and have those same daydreams my friends boss had. I think about both the good things and the luxuries I would spend the money on. I know it is silly. I know it is a waste of money but who am I harming spending two dollars on six lucky numbers, no one.
One week the Mega Millions jackpot was over 300 million dollars. A friend I ride bicycles with, also an accountant, overheard me say that I was going to buy $20.00 worth of tickets. He suggested a better course of action would be to put that $20.00’s in a savings account and with compounded interest and all that it would grow too….and I stopped him. $300 million dollars I asked? Well no, he responded, but….I stopped him again. I told him to let me live my foolish dream, a dream that includes setting up education scholarships, supporting some of the nonprofits I care deeply about, helping my church, taking care of my Mom and Dad, my children, and oh yeah a beach house, a mountain house, a lake house, a couple of new bicycles, a BMW for the wife, maybe a Sprinter Camper Van, and I could use a new pick-up truck………..sometimes you have to dream before your dreams can come true, even the foolish ones.