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Around the Bluhmin’ Town

1/20/16

Judy Bluhm

I won the lottery! (In my dreams). I see it all now, flashing before me. I turn on the television and watch excitedly when they call out the winning numbers. Nervously, I look down at my Powerball ticket and then in complete disbelief, I realize I have won 1.5 Billion dollars! I keep staring at the flimsy piece of paper in my shaking hands as I look at the five sets of numbers on Line A that suddenly mean my world has changed forever. From this moment forward my life will be grouped into two distinct chapters….before winning the Powerball and afterwards. This is usually when I wake up.

Hey, we Americans know how to have fun and maybe a good laugh. With the stock market tanking, why not plop down ten or twenty bucks for the chance of becoming a billionaire? We get nothing from interest in our savings accounts and we continue to roll the dice by putting our hard earned money in the markets, so why not gamble like a fool on a three million to one chance of winning the lottery? It has been said that we have more chances of getting hit by an asteroid than winning. Or a greater chance of getting hit by lightning while swimming and fighting off an alligator. Well, all that could happen!

We are not supposed to think about what we would do with the money we win till we win it. But I already know that there is a certain horse ranch in Peeples Valley (Hidden Springs Ranch) that I admire every time I drive by it. I think if I won the lottery I would walk up the long driveway, knock on the door and tell the owners (nicely) to start packing. Leave the horses! Name your price! (Hope the owners are not reading this). Oh yea, winning could be a blast.

I do know that handing out million dollar bills (is there such a thing?) to kids and grandkids does not necessarily make for a happy life. I would emulate Bill and Melissa Gates who know how to responsibly give huge amounts of money away for worthy causes that matter. I told my husband, Doug, that if I won the lottery we could give 100 million people one hundred thousand bucks and end poverty. Of course, he pointed out that my math is off and it is not that easy. Oh, the hassles of becoming a billionaire!

Some folks who have won the lottery have been pretty stupid! Do not win 10 million bucks and then six months later go out and steal a car because you are bored! Do not hand a “friend” your winning ticket to go collect the money for you (lawsuit pending)! Never win 15 million and spend it on booze, parties and demolition derby activities! A man in Texas won 31 million and in two years was broke. Sadly, he took his own life when faced with being poor again.

How is your timing in life? One man won 5 million…the day after his divorce was finalized. Seems his new ex-wife tried to reconcile. Then she tried to get alimony. When that didn’t work she tried to sue the judge for “speeding up the divorce date and causing her to lose a large sum of money.” Sounds like a sore loser to me. Hey, sudden wealth can bring out the evil in people. One guy (psychotic) in New Jersey hired a hit man to kill his own brother after the brother won 20 million in the lottery. Guess “big money” can create bigger problems.

Oh, getting back to my lottery win, I promise to learn from other winners’ mistakes. I will not go on a spending spree and buy fancy cars, toys or houses. Okay, well maybe a few pairs of shoes. And I could never have wild booze parties because I don’t have wild friends. And, fortunately, I don’t think my brother would try to kill me. Well that’s a relief. I could start making a bucket list. You know, maybe take a vacation to Monaco and sip champagne while counting my chips at a casino. Oops, I think that is out of a James Bond movie. Okay, better to call financial guru Dave Ramsey and ask him what to do.

I could run for President. You know, like Donald Trump become “the Judy” and happily spout off ways to fix the country and make it great again. Or, I could buy a villa in Italy and take up painting (sounds like a place to dabble in water colors) and learn how to make pasta from scratch. Or maybe an oceanfront mansion in La Jolla is calling my name!

My girlfriend is an attorney and she said the winner of a billion bucks would have to go into hiding, almost like into the witness protection program, just to keep the masses of scammers away.  She said if I won the lottery I would have to move immediately, stop working, change all my phone numbers while figuring out a strategy. She also said wearing a dark wig and sun glasses would not help (my original plan). Hmmm…doesn’t sound like much fun after all.

So, Dear Readers, if this is my last column you know what happened. I won the Powerball and it wasn’t just a dream! Or I got hit by an asteroid, struck by lightning and eaten by an alligator. Good luck to all of us. May you have a “winning” week.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.