For a few years now, I’ve been a pretty regular lotto ticket buyer. I’m not obsessed and I am not consistent — it’s more like, if I drive by a sign or remember to buy a ticket, I do it. When the jackpots get really high — like over 100 million dollars — I will often do a pool at work. Not just to increase my odds, but because if I win I’d like to share it with others.
Some people think it’s a waste of time, but I bet the people who win hear that from their friends, too. I had a friend who used to say, “Someone’s gonna win, it might as well be me.” Now I say that.
I don’t play because I want to be rich. Not that I don’t want to be rich! But I also play because there are a lot of things I would like to do, dreams to fulfill, and having a shitload of money would enable me to realize those dreams. And they’re not all about me. So it occurred to me that I should make a list of what I would do with the money — write it down and put it out there to the universe. The day I started working on this I got the Mega number and won $1. It might seem silly but, ever the optimist, I took it as a sign. So here’s my list of what I would do if I won a huge jackpot (in addition to paying off all my bills and buying my house, of course):
1. Give my friends $10,000 each to pay off bills, take a nice vacation, and/or build up their savings.
2. Pay for my niece’s college education.
3. Make generous donations to causes I care about, to help those less fortunate and to help support the arts, the environment, and animal rights.
4. Start a production company so I could produce my own scripts, hire friends, license songs from my musician friends, and create opportunities for the many talented people I know to make money when they need it, get financing for their own projects, etc.
5. Buy real estate, and not just as an investment. One other reason would be to help preserve the history/architecture and prevent overdevelopment of my favorite neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and another would be to ensure that people who are struggling financially can have a nice, affordable place to live. I would like to buy apartments where low income people live, maintain them and fix them up if needed, and let the people live there without an increase in rent. I believe this would have a positive impact on their self esteem, inspire them, and give them hope for the future. I would also like to buy apartments where struggling artists could live affordably while they work on launching their careers.
6 Set up a foundation to help struggling artists with no strings attached and easy access. When I was out of a work a few years ago I got much-needed help from the Actors Fund and the Motion Picture Fund but their assistance was very limited. I made a vow to pay them back when I sell my scripts to repay my debt of gratitude and I would make an extra donation if I won the lotto. As for my foundation, I would help those who needed it (without becoming an enabler) with the hope that those who finally did make it would donate to the foundation to help others.
7. Travel to interesting places around the world and take friends with me to share the experience.
8. Publish my books of poems and photographs.
9. Buy art from my friends.
10. Help make as many dreams come true as possible!
11. Help make the world a better place.
12. Make a large donation to the SGI, the Buddhist organization I belong to, because over the past 14 years my practice has transformed my life in so many positive ways. This would by one way for me to repay my debt of gratitude and help make a cause for kosen-rufu (world peace).
14. Coordinate my travel plans with my fave bands on tour.
I’m sure I will think of more things to add, but this is it right now! Wish me luck, you could get lucky, too!