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Glad I'm not an instant millionaire

December 2, 2012
By CRAIG HOWELL , Weirton Daily Times

Well, I'm still here writing which means I didn't win anything in the Powerball drawing Wednesday night.

I usually don't even consider the possibility of buying into the lottery, but every once in a while, when there is several hundred million dollars on the line, a few of us get together and start discussing throwing in a few bucks for a chance or two.

That discussion started around mid-day on Monday.

I'm glad I didn't get my hopes up or start making a list.

But really, what could I?possibly do with all of that money?

There would be at least a few choices of extravagant purchases; a house, some furniture (like a nice chesterfield or an ottoman), maybe build a treefort, get an exotic pet like a llama, emu or a monkey, some art that would probably just be stored somewhere.

There's the possibility of a car, although my current car is still fairly "young" and is running well.

I could find ways to surprise random people for various special occasions, like having gift anonymously delivered or sky-writing messages. But, sending a card, text or email has always been more of my style.

I certainly wouldn't buy a fur coat, though, and I doubt I could even get near the remains of Joseph Merrick.

Then again, the pet idea would have to go because I would have to get a place to keep them and it would be a massive pain to clean up after them. Plus, llamas are known to spit on people, emu can be mean and monkeys kind of scare me.

OK, so realistically most of those things are going to go out the window.

I've never really been big on flaunting things anyway. You can ask pretty much anyone who has known me.

The new house would still be on the table. Nothing outlandish though, just comfortable and nice sized. Maybe help some immediate family members out with a few expenses.

I doubt I could quit my job, as crazy as it makes me sometimes. I would be too bored just sitting at home, "relaxing" with little to do.

Then again, that would give me some time to go back to school or maybe focus on a couple other projects I've considered in recent years. Ultimately, though, I would probably stick around here for as long as they would keep me.

I could definitely go on a few trips, maybe out west or up north, or even overseas. I've always wanted to visit Ireland, Great Britain and a few other points of interest in Europe, the homes of my forefathers and such. Maybe look around the Mediterranean a little, head into Canada and "down under" to Australia.

But that's just focusing on myself. I don't think I could do that.

The community has several needs, so maybe a trust could be established to eventually help fund a few projects here and there.

There are several non-profit groups which could use some help. I'm sure several hundred million dollars would be a big help to them as they look to provide food, clothes, medical care, utility assistance and other services to those in need.

Maybe a few scholarships could be created for the local high schools to assist students who want to continue their education. Education is important, after all, and whether someone wants to go to a four-year college or a technical school, they might need some help. It gets expensive, you know.

But, would I really want to have all that money available? I suppose that should be the real question.

There have been great success stories for those who have won in the past, people who have been able to live comfortably without a care in the world and do a lot of good for others.

There also have been those who have seen their lives ruined by it. They have seen friends and family suddenly try to take advantage of them. They have made drastic changes in their lives because they felt they had some image to live up to, and then still found themselves having financial difficulties.

No, I don't think I really would want all that money.

It would be nice on some levels, but I'm simply not an extravagant person. I'm comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt with sneakers, I'm content to have a salad from Sheetz or sit at home with toast and eggs for dinner or macaroni and cheese.

I certainly don't need a limousine driving me around, or a jet or yacht.

I wish those new millionaires well. Hopefully, they make the wise decisions to keep their lives moving in a forward direction, keep themselves grounded and be careful how they spend their fortunes.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

 
 

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