Five hundred million dollars. Not one, not two, not even three or four -- FIVE hundred million dollars.
That's like...half a BILLION dollars. That's also a lot of money to someone like...me.
Maybe you're wondering just what the heck I'm talking about. If so, you either haven't been watching the local news over the past couple of days or you haven't stopped at any local gas station. The PowerBall payout for tonight's 11 PM drawing is a staggering $500 million, and people are starting to get crazy.
Just this morning, at my local QT, I was in line behind a lady who'd just purchased her first ever lottery ticket. She held it in her hand, looked at it quizzically, and then asked the attendant, "This is for all of that money tonight, right?"
"You mean the PowerBall drawing?" the attendant asked.
"I guess so," she said. "Is that the one that's giving away $500 million?"
"Yes ma'am. The drawing will be on tonight at 11."
"And this ticket is for that drawing?" she asked.
"Okay. Just wanted to be sure. I've never done this before, because I don't think gambling should be legal. But for $500 million..."
And with that she left the store.
I could get all high and mighty here, but I'll be honest: I thought about buying a ticket. Like the lady said, it is a $500 million jackpot. But the reality is that I would never be the 1 in 176 million chance that wins. And I also would be horrified if I played and actually won. While the money would be nice, I know enough to know that it would bring with it some major life challenges, many of them not good.
But still...$500 million! What would I do with that kind of cash if it fell into my lap?
Get my wife a new car.
Finally get an iPhone. With the cellular data plan.
Pay someone to cut my grass during the months of June and July.
Take my kids to Disneyworld.
Pay off some bills.
Go eat at Frontera and not worry about ordering the cheese dip or a Coke.
Get my daughter in to see the greatest asthma doctor in the world.
Do whatever was necessary to make sure my daughter's asthma was either well-managed or eradicated.
Get new glasses. Or maybe contacts.
Finally give money to the University of Georgia Alumni Fund.
Give money to Path Project, 7 Bridges to Recovery, Family Promise and Scottish Rite.
Pay off my parents' house. And probably some other relatives too.
Put more money into my kids' 529 funds.
Get the inside of my house painted the way my wife would like.
Get a faster wireless router for the house.
Give money to some of the single parents I know who struggle to make ends meet, and bust their butts to do even that.
Start an endowment. I'm not sure for what, though.
Buy books I've always wanted but couldn't afford. Same with Blu-Rays.
Just be generally more generous.
Those aren't exactly lofty dreams for that kind of cash, but they would mean the world to me if I could do them. And that's part of why I don't necessarily need that kind of scratch: by not having a lot, I appreciate what I have all the more, and know genuine need when I see it.
But that's just me.
What about you? What would you do if the $500 million ticket were in your hot little hands? Sound off below!