What if you won the lottery...

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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#21  Postby Grimstad » May 27, 2011 2:24 am

With great amounts of money comes great amounts of responsibility but I welcome the challenge. Honestly, the very first time I saw a lotto pay out that was $1000 a day for 20 years, one of my very first thoughts was, "Wow, I could develope a serious chemical dependency on that kind of money".

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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#22  Postby Arcanyn » May 27, 2011 2:27 am

I'd take the $50 million, build myself a nice, well-equipped lab, and do medical research.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#23  Postby Grimstad » May 27, 2011 2:37 am

Yeah, "medical" research. Uh huh.

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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#24  Postby tuco » May 27, 2011 3:10 am

TMB wrote:There are some studies where they followed the fortunes of lottery winners - will try and find this. Here is an interesting reference to lottery winners happiness levels and accident victims.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/690806

They found that mostly they wer worse off than before. The issues seemed to be the inabaility to manage the money on the basis they did not have the experience to know how to moderate their spending usually betwen capital and operating cost - ie. buying a home for $5m is quite easy, however it might take another $500k to run the house each year, and many winners were unable to manage the ongoing cost of their expensive assets. I knew a man who lost both wealth parents when he was in his early 20's. He bought himself an expensive car, a helicopter and boat. 30 years on I believe he now has much less, presumably because he was unable to handle that quantity of money.

The people I know who won lottery have found their teenage kids think life will be easy (they did not tell the kids) as Mum does not work, Dad has an easy job and they lstill ive a great life - ergo you dont need to work to live the good life. They fell out with the friends they shared the winning ticket with, spent wildly for the first few years, left the city they were in because of this, nearly split as a couple and moved cities to start a new life. Now they live a more moderate lifestyle (aside from the kids attitude to money) - they won $4m split between 2 couples - $2m per family.
The $30m winner was busted by the press. He pulled his son from school to avoid kidnap ransom, moves suburbs and now spends his time managing the money, has bought a flash house and car, but lives among peoplpe who have far more than he does so has some perspective.

I think giving money to friends would create issues. How much do you give. to whom, do you judge how they spend it, what if you run out of money, is it still really your money?


Dan Gilbert, I think, uses similar data in his TED talk on synthesized happiness: Dan Gilbert asks, Why are we happy? - http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_as ... happy.html

He has another one touching the subject: Dan Gilbert on our mistaken expectations - http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_re ... iness.html

This reminds me of the other thread of yours TMB asking women if they would engage in polygyny with someone rich, handsome and famous if they had the chance. As much as it is an interesting subject over a couple of beers, I still maintain that hypothetical questions have hypothetical answers only and hypothetical answers are of a little value. In other words, what people say and what would they actually do is not necessarily the same thing.

Well, $50 mil, and I'd spend it with/on mamasitas, because data suggest that it is what I do with money.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#25  Postby natselrox » May 27, 2011 3:26 am

I'd take 50 millions and burn it. The whole of it. Seriously.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#26  Postby Arcanyn » May 27, 2011 3:45 am

Grimstad wrote:Yeah, "medical" research. Uh huh.


All right, and create a few interesting weird and freaky mutant monsters too. A guy's got to have a hobby, after all.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#27  Postby NineOneFour » May 27, 2011 5:00 am

TMB wrote:Suppose you were to win the lottery, but instead of receiving a specific amount, you had to choose between 3 amounts. $1m, $5m and $50 million. Which amount would you chose and why?

Note that I have chosen the amounts in that each should make a significant difference to your life but whereas $1m might allow you to retire 10 years earlier, startup a business, pay off debt it might not affect your circle of friends, lifestyle, job etc. $5m would allow you to totally transform you life, new car, house, holiday house, overseas hoolidays, immediate retirement and could mean leaving all your old friends and neighbourhoods, life etc for a totally new one.

$50m is an amount that most people would not understand how exactly to spend and its potential to destroy is high.

Consider how your winnings might affect your children and how they value money, your friends (if you tell them), if you give money away see how this gift might affect the friendship of people who you gave money to.

I know two instances where people have won lotteries, the one was $30m, the other $4m, and am able to watch the $4m story unfold, the $30m I have limited visibility of. Note that the history of past lottery winners is filled with bankruptcy, suicide, heartbreak as they struggle to handle the corrupting power of money.

Make your choice.


50 mil since after tax I'd have about 30 mil.

A nice house in Paris would go for at least 5 mil.

A nice house in the US somewhere would be at least 1 mil.

A few political and scientific causes would collect a cool 10 mil total.

We'd have 14 mil left and live off it.

I doubt we'd go bankrupt, get divorced, or commit suicide. We're pretty well-grounded and have no addictive gambling behavior, etc.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#28  Postby TMB » May 28, 2011 12:32 am

tuco wrote:
TMB wrote:There are some studies where they followed the fortunes of lottery winners - will try and find this. Here is an interesting reference to lottery winners happiness levels and accident victims.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/690806

They found that mostly they wer worse off than before. The issues seemed to be the inabaility to manage the money on the basis they did not have the experience to know how to moderate their spending usually betwen capital and operating cost - ie. buying a home for $5m is quite easy, however it might take another $500k to run the house each year, and many winners were unable to manage the ongoing cost of their expensive assets. I knew a man who lost both wealth parents when he was in his early 20's. He bought himself an expensive car, a helicopter and boat. 30 years on I believe he now has much less, presumably because he was unable to handle that quantity of money.

The people I know who won lottery have found their teenage kids think life will be easy (they did not tell the kids) as Mum does not work, Dad has an easy job and they lstill ive a great life - ergo you dont need to work to live the good life. They fell out with the friends they shared the winning ticket with, spent wildly for the first few years, left the city they were in because of this, nearly split as a couple and moved cities to start a new life. Now they live a more moderate lifestyle (aside from the kids attitude to money) - they won $4m split between 2 couples - $2m per family.
The $30m winner was busted by the press. He pulled his son from school to avoid kidnap ransom, moves suburbs and now spends his time managing the money, has bought a flash house and car, but lives among peoplpe who have far more than he does so has some perspective.

I think giving money to friends would create issues. How much do you give. to whom, do you judge how they spend it, what if you run out of money, is it still really your money?


Dan Gilbert, I think, uses similar data in his TED talk on synthesized happiness: Dan Gilbert asks, Why are we happy? - http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_as ... happy.html

He has another one touching the subject: Dan Gilbert on our mistaken expectations - http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_re ... iness.html

This reminds me of the other thread of yours TMB asking women if they would engage in polygyny with someone rich, handsome and famous if they had the chance. As much as it is an interesting subject over a couple of beers, I still maintain that hypothetical questions have hypothetical answers only and hypothetical answers are of a little value. In other words, what people say and what would they actually do is not necessarily the same thing.

Well, $50 mil, and I'd spend it with/on mamasitas, because data suggest that it is what I do with money.


Very interesting clips of Dan Gilbert.

On your comment of hypotheticals I find subjects that demonstrate just how different peoples hypothetical and actual reactions are to be interesting and when these dichotomies occur, to see if people can be challenged to try and think the gap between actual and theory a bit smaler. Much of this arises because on many subjects some people have eperienced the actual while others have not.

On the lottery, while I have not experienced the actual I know a couple very well who have and I have seen the challenges it imposes.

On the hypothesis of women being attracted to wealthy, powerful men and being prepared to share with other women. The knee jerk reaction is outrage that this violates a pervasive feminist view that this somehow devalues women, yet watching female groupies do just this with celebrities weakens the hypothetical position.

Stanley Milgrams experiments on obedience showed a huge rift between how people thought they would act, as opposed to how they did act. In my mind these differences are caused by a subtle social mechanism that exists to make people live in a highly illusory society and is a reason why humans have managed to live successfully in such large groups. If there was less difference between our perception of reality than reality itself, I suggest it is unlikely we would be able to exist in such large communities.

Its a subject that fascinates me and many of my posts on this forum reflect the idea that this social mechanism underlies our behavior.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#29  Postby Ironclad » May 28, 2011 1:36 am

Some of the sorry tales we hear about stem from the dislocation winners feel, for example; a 40 something couple from a modest background - most of their friends are in their pay-scale, take similar breaks, are workers in the same factory/office/etc - winners lose that familiarity as the money changes everything. They move to an affluent area, immediately leaving familiar grounds & neighbours; give up work, quickly losing friends who have 'real-world' issues still. They are alone. They get bored of the lack of routine. They fight.
They should give ME the green. I have never had any money, know exactly what to do with it & have no issues with jealous friends (I keep just a few friends these days) & workmates I have are better off than me anyhow.
There is a lady who has been effectively my Aunty for ever, she still works and is in her 70s, she gets the max allowed as a 'gift', £70,000 in the UK, I think. That's sort her out, give her a break and allow her to leave something for her grandson.
My best friend is autistic ('spergers), I know he'd panic if I gave him money (some benefits malarky) so I'd buy him a flat of his own and a camper van and give him a small allowance and a holiday a year.
Mother needs little but to retire, so she gets the 'max gift' annually, or £1 Mill. Her choice.
Sister needs for little but I'd offer her same as mother, so she has choices she'd chew over.

Me? I know I could travel permanently, hotel it forever, but life needs a pattern - eventually. I want these:
This Island I need. A home in Chelsea. A home in LA. The house next to my sisters, so I get to visit the whole family whenever. A home on a Mediterranean Isle, but maybe the whole Isle if it's cheap enuff not silly money.
Next I need something to do, my daily/weekly routine. I like weight lifting but find it hard to focus because I need to earn a crust, so I'd open a gym and get me a trainer, but I'd get in one of those Arnold types as I really like the Mariusz Pudzianowski look. Also this gym isn't a crappy hotel-gym or a posh-gits-only Cannons, no namby-pamby crap; it also funds the staff a good wage because I don't need the money in my pocket.
Social life: my mega-gym is nextdoor to my nightclub. So now I have a job & my social life sorted. Not many people find themselves work with their bucks, I would do this so I don't go mad.
The party: I really want to do this one day. I organise a party on Drake's Island, entry fee to BHA or similar, I want to get in some great bands to play a few songs. I won't chose yet, but there needs to be a good mix. Some classical, jazz-fusion, some dance and rock. Hell, it'll be a weekend to treasure! Everyone I know from RDF gets return ticket from wherever you live, that'd be nice. Booze is on me, for us, cheap to the rest. Profits to BHA.
I do choose the £50 million, 1 or 3 won't cut it or allow me to properly help the few others I care for.

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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#30  Postby Tyrannical » May 28, 2011 2:12 am

The obvious answer is to buy part ownership in an adult video company.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#31  Postby Agrippina » May 28, 2011 5:57 am

I hear that they're not handing out the lump sum here anymore, they make you take an "income." So basically you rely on the organisation remaining viable while they control the amount of money you're doled out and if they go broke or a new regime rules the country that deems a lottery to be the work of Satan, and bam, your money is gone. I'd demand that the money be invested in an organisation of my choice and that I get the interest, not the lottery organisers. But boy I'd love to have a flat in Cape Town, one in Joh'burg and one in London, New York, LA, French Riviera, so I could fly around the world whenever I choose and allow my family to use them.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#32  Postby homan34 » Feb 16, 2012 4:30 am

mattwilson wrote:The money doesn't make them miserable, just like the money doesn't make people happy.

Money gives options, good and bad, and it's the options people take that decide their fate.


I would take $1m to enjoy with my friends and family. That’s enough for me.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#33  Postby DougC » Feb 16, 2012 5:01 am

I'll have the 50. Need half that amount to get the mono-rail built in my secret lair.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#34  Postby Agrippina » Feb 16, 2012 5:07 am

I would also take the $50 million. I would take one million to make my own and my family's lives a little easier, and the other $49m which translates into R381 billion, half to build schools and the other half into a trust fund to pay the salaries of the teachers employed there, in my country.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#35  Postby I-Am-Sauce » Feb 16, 2012 6:57 am

I'd pick 50 million, and start a small restaurant or tavern. Unimaginative, yes, I suppose, but I've wanted to run my own restaurant since I was small.

As a bonus, I'd have a small child tell me three ingredients and make a delicious meal based on those three ingredients.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#36  Postby zulumoose » Feb 16, 2012 7:22 am

I find it interesting that nobody has commented on the fate of the other money if the $50m is not chosen.

I suspect there would be different answers if the use of the unused money were specified.

Does it go back into the 'pot' for the next jackpot winner?
Is it split, ie if you choose $5m are there then 10 $5m winners?
Does the unused money go to a specified charity or pool of charities?

Given the unspecified nature of the unused money anyone would be silly to choose a lesser amount, since their preferred use of the unused money then goes outside their control, even if it is a charity, it might not be used in a way they approve of.

SO I would choose the full amount, and try very hard to spend the first year or so tidying up my affairs, clearing debt, deciding where to live, what sort of house to buy or build, and what would be the most responsible use of resources to benefit my family for the future, without making any dramatic changes other than quitting work until my mind is settled.

I think most people have a need to feel useful to society, which cannot be satisfied just by donating money. Once you have no work commitments becoming a donator leaves a big gap, you would be better off using a fair proportion of your time and money getting actively involved in projects that benefit society in ways that are compatible with your interests.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#37  Postby Agrippina » Feb 16, 2012 12:07 pm

Exactly Zulu, which is why I would build schools and create a Trust to pay the teachers, one of whom would be my son, he would be in charge of the Trust and he would be in charge of seeing that the schools were properly run. Education is a major deal with me. That story about the kids who swim to and from school every day, broke my heart. i wish I had the ability to find someone who could build a bridge for them.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#38  Postby electricwhiteboy » Jul 16, 2012 4:38 pm

$50 million please.

Looking back to when I was twenty it would probably have been disastrous for me. Ten years on I would still have most of it but having nothing constructive to get up for in the morning and almost limitless funds during my twenties would have left me with a liver the size of a bicycle saddle.

I don't see it making much of a change to my social life now. I live in Edinburgh, I could move from where I rent my flat to a stupidly expensive Georgian town house in the New Town and have the same walking distance to my favourite pub. I could become a full time musician without having to worry if it paid me a penny, publish a couple of vanity novels, and travel more.

About the whole hypothetical conversation thing I believe that "character is what you are in the dark." I admit that I have no idea what money would do to me or my relationships, but I don't think it would suddenly create temptations that aren't already there in me. If you're going to leave your wife for a WAG type "upgrade" you would have that fantasy now. If you are going to run away from your circle of friends you would be secretly thinking what a shower of b*stards they are now. Money just increases the scale for your potential to screw up. It allows you to go from experiences like got some minor debts, drank too much and made some minor relationships mistakes, to burning through millions on status symbols, ending up in the priory, and divorced from insane, creosote coloured, shoe hoarding, harpy. I’m aware of my capacity for self destruction, and have a rough notion of which direction the edge is. If I’m going to screw up I’d do it anyway, and it’s nicer to cry in a jaguar than in a bus shelter. In the end I’d probably living a quiet existence keeping bees and making my own mead somewhere in the Lothians.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#39  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 17, 2012 3:52 pm

$50 million would allow me to go back to university for the rest of my life!

No choice whatsoever to me.

Then again, I honestly don't give a toss about money. As long as I've got enough to live, I am happy. I had thrift instilled in me from my semi-Victorian grandparents, and contemplating the state of our world, the simple fact is that we all want too much, and that there are too many of us. If we all pursue conspicuous wealth symbols, we're fucking doooooomed!

I'd buy a house with a garden so I could grow my own vegetables and have a bit of space for my cat to run around, and bung various family members a million each, then use the rest to no longer have a single consideration of finances hereafter, ultimately willing it to a range of charities that will be of far more pressing concern than now by the time I'm set to die.
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Re: What if you won the lottery...

#40  Postby laklak » Jul 17, 2012 4:04 pm

I'd contribute it all to charity and progressive political candidates, to make the world a better place. Because it's the right thing to do.

Ha ha ha just kidding, I'd blow it on fast cars, loose women and 100 year old cognac.
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