On Saturday, we all woke up to the news that someone in Maine hit the winning lottery jackpot and could soon collect a boatload of cash. It is a big deal, a $1.35 billion deal.
For the record, I want all my friends, relatives, acquaintances and even the guy who summers in a camper perched in the wooded hillside across the street to know it was not me.
I shopped at Hannaford on Friday evening. And yes, I did think about purchasing a lottery ticket. But, no, I thought better of it and drove home and baked a nice chicken dinner.
But, what a fantasy. Wouldn’t it be fun to wake up and find out you could pay off all your bills, not worry about the price of gasoline or heating oil or the rent or the mortgage?
Think about it for a moment. What would you do with $1.35 billion?
I know the first thing I would do would be to hire a damn good lawyer – a tax lawyer – to help me with the numbers and the taxes I would owe. I am sure the income tax bill owed on $1.35 billion would be a bit more than $750 paid by one prominent wealthy fellow.
That chore taken care of, I guess I would start to think about spreading some of the loot around.
I am sure Tim Hodgdon would love to build me a toy boat as he did for some of his high-rolling clients. I am sure it would be a super project but don’t worry, Tim, I wouldn’t ask you to build one with a pipe organ in the main salon.
Nah. I don’t need a boat. I don’t even own a pair of boat shoes.
Bruce Tindal and his merry agents would love to find me a new house on the shore where I could sit on the porch and watch the lobster pots bob in the waves.
It would be nice, but, well, I sort of like the house my bride and I built on a hill. It is small enough so I can keep it ship shape and large enough to let me host the weekly bridge gang when it is my turn. It doesn’t cost too much to run, either.
So, at least for now, I would like to stay in the house. The memories she holds are worth more to me than a place on the shore.
How about a new car? While in high school, I worked at a gas station and envied the customers who paid me $1.25 to wash their fancy cars.
Every Saturday morning, I would man the “wash rack” and smooth a chamois over a dozen beauties, especially a 1948 Packard station wagon. It was a deep maroon with lots of shiny wood trim. Her engine would just purr. I washed a Studebaker Golden Hawk that was fast as a rocket. The downside was you had to be a contortionist to wash the inside back windows or change the spark plugs.
But today, I have two cars, an SUV and a toy run-about. I don’t need a new car.
How about clothes? I remember my dad, who wore suits to work, always said he would love to own a suit made by Hart Schaffner & Marx. He never did. Years ago, I finally got one, and it gathers dust in the closet while I pull on flannel shirts and jeans. If I need another outfit, I’ll bet the ladies at St. Andrews Thrift Shop could find one for me.
So how would I spend my imaginary ill-gotten gains?
Travel? No way. I have seen London and the Far East. Truth be told, I liked London a lot better than the Far East. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just ask Southport’s Jim Singer or Boothbay’s Barry Sherman.
No, if I was the big winner, I am sure my East Boothbay mailbox would soon be stuffed with send-me-money letters.
And political candidates of all stripes would plead for cash. They would have to wait for a while. However, I do have an old friend who is thinking about running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Indiana. He is a good guy and I might send him a check or three.
In truth, I think the best part of winning the lottery is the chance to help out some folks who need a hand or study ways to cope with the changing climate. Wouldn’t it be nice to help out our local food banks and fund scholarships?
Finally, there are lots of medical labs working to cure cancer. Yes, I would support them.
Maybe that would be the best of all.