The Lottery



It’s good to be married to someone with a sense of humor.

Sometimes the medical shots I have to take play havoc with my body, and my body was hurting so badly I told my wife even if we had lottery tickets and won, she would have to go to lottery headquarters alone.

Of course the ticket would have both of our names on it, but I told her when she got to lottery headquarters, she would tell them I didn’t need any of that money, and to just give it all to her. We had a good laugh about that.

Gretchen Carlson on TV posed the question about what is the first thing you would do if you won the $1.4 billion lottery, which may be more by the time of the lottery drawing.

The first thing I’d do is answer the telephone. It would be the IRS. The IRS on the phone would be telling me the pounding on our front door is the IRS Swat Team. I didn’t realize winning a bunch of money could be so educational. I didn’t even know the IRS has a Swat Team.

Those other people you see in the TV picture standing with my wife are the IRS Swat Team. They are helping my wife hold the check.

If my wife and I took a lump sum payment it would not be nearly the $1.4 billion or whatever total, but maybe half that, perhaps $700,000,000. The IRS would say we won $1.4 billion or whatever, and we owed half that which would be $700,000,000.

We’d have to hire a tax attorney to prove we only collected $700,000,000, and we only owe them $350,000,000, which leaves us with $350,000,000.

Then the state tax people show up and tell us we owe them $35,000,000. That leaves us $315,000,000. Our tax attorney does not want us to deal with odd numbers, which I thought was considerate of him, so he gives us his bill for $15,000,000, which leaves us an even $300,000,000.

People show up telling us to remember the number of times I said if I ever won the lottery I would do this and that. That leaves us $250,000,000.

My wife and I have always had a soft spot in our hearts for animals, so we would give $25,000,000 to the local animal shelter. That would leave us $225,000,000.

My wife says at our age we both need brain transplants, and now that I think about it, I believe she’s right. At the moment, I don’t think any brain transplants exist. We’d have to give $25,000,000 for R&D with the provision that we be first in line when brain transplants are perfected. That leaves us with $200,000,000.

My wife and I have always felt homeless people should have a place to stay. We would provide $50,000,000 to build a gigantic home for homeless people, with a significant amount of that being used to clothe and feed them. That would leave us with $150,000,000.

We would not want to be called cheap by our relatives and friends. We would spend $25,000,000 buying everybody we know a new car. That would be $15,000,000 for the cars, and $10,000,000 for the new car owners to pay the taxes to the IRS for the gift of a new car. That would leave us $125,000,000.

Now my wife and I have always enjoyed seeing the bright smiles on the faces of newlyweds. How many of them can afford a new house outright without paying a heavy debt-bearing mortgage? Another $25,000,000 to those couples. We could have spent the last $125,000,000 but we limited it to the first couples who contacted us. That leaves us with $100,000,000.

Oops, forgot the taxes those newlyweds would have to pay the IRS for the gift of a house. There goes another $15,000,000. That leaves us $85,000,000.

We have to give some to our kids, now adults, and grandkids. We’d put that in a trust for them. That would be $35,000,000, and another $20,000,000 to cover the taxes on the gift. That leaves us with $30,000,000.

That long line at the front door are friends we didn’t know we had. Looks more like the entire population of the city where we live. We divide up $5,000,000 for them. That leaves us with $25,000,000.

We’d feel obligated to give money to charities who have sent us literature over all these years. That’s another $10,000,000. That leaves us $15,000,000.

And we can’t forget the various Veterans’ organizations. Without the Vets we wouldn’t have been here to win the lottery. That’s another $10,000,000. That leaves us with $5,000,000.

And there are some other people we have met along the way that are less fortunate than we are, and we said we would do something for them if we ever could. That’s another $5,000,000. That leaves us $0 from the lottery.

I tell my wife, “Honey, if you have $50, we’ll eat at a restaurant.”

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