Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Aug. 27, 2001

I won the Powerball!


I guess that this is not exactly an accurate title for my column this week, but it was what I wanted to say prior to the Powerball lottery drawing.

As you can probably guess, I didn't win. Yes, I am depressed about it, but realistically, what can I expect when I only bought two tickets? My mindset was that, it only takes one to win, so I'll double my chances.

I had already practically spent all $5 million a year for the year 2001. And I must say, it's been a lot of fun spending money in my mind.

We all have our own ideas of how we would spend our lottery winnings, and I am no different. There are always the first priorities ­ eliminating all debt from people I care most about by paying off their expenses.

Most people these days carry some sort of debt, whether it be car payments, mortgage payments, credit cards, student loans, whatever. Could you imagine what it would feel like to have no debt to speak of? Heaven.

Then, of course, there are the charitable causes that I would love to contribute to, which I'm sure would magically show up at my door shortly after winning. Of course I would contribute, but only after checking out it's legitimacy.

And don't forget the job-thing. I must say, I would no longer be a "paid" part of the Herald and Journal staff, but I would love to stay on to do some of the fun things, like write my weekly column.

My step-mom has a great way of looking at working after winning the lottery. She says that she wouldn't feel right about having a job that someone else needs. Well put.

Also, I would love to spend money sometime on whatever strikes my fancy and not have to be concerned about silly things like groceries and phone bills.

I would finally get the one thing that I really want for myself ­ a hunter green Lexus SUV with integrated child safety seats. After all, I'd still be a mom . . . just a wealthy mom.

With all of the spending I would be doing (and trust me when I tell you, I am very good at spending), I would need an accountant before I made it on the 6 o'clock news to announce me as the winner.

And I'd need another accountant to make sure that the first accountant is honest, because I wouldn't be too difficult to embezzle from.

I've heard that the majority of lottery winners in the United States end up bankrupt within a few years. I just don't understand how that could be, but I know it would never happen to me.

If I had to declare bankruptcy with $5 million a year, I would hope that someone would duct tape my checkbook to my accountant.

I am guessing, however, that I will never have to go to that extreme, because I've also heard that a person has a better chance of being hit by lightning than winning the lottery, which has an 80 million to one odds of winning.

But the dreaming was sure fun.

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