Powerball ponderings

Tonight there will a drawing for a record setting Powerball prize.  Apparently there have been no winners in a certain amount of days, so the prize total has continued to climb.  The number of millions now up for grabs is now greater than the number of people alive today in the United States.  (According to the US Census population clock, which can be found at http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html. ) Statisticians and mathematicians have been ciphering and scratching their heads for days, and have finally announced that the likelihood of a winner being chosen tonight is great. (DUH!) The probability of multiple winners has increased as well.

Please understand that due to my lifelong math-phobia, all this talk about probabilities and statistics and millions post taxes has made my head hurt.  As always when numbers come into the conversation, the speaker suddenly turns into Charlie Brown’s teacher.  Handsome Husband came home explaining that the guys at work had it all figured out.  After taxes you would net BLAH million.  Dispersed in BLAH increments you would live on BLAH amount per week (which is BLAH per month) and would invest BLAH amount at BLAH percent to gain BLAH amount of interest…you get the picture.  I tried to keep my eyes from rolling back in my head during all that squawking, but I think he figured out he was talking over me.  He simplified it fairly easily after listening to my tale of woe regarding eBay (you can read that post here) by saying “If we won you could buy every purse on eBay and tell that lady to shove it”.  Love the way he knows how I think!

Our local news station was asking people this morning what they would do if they won the prize.  There were the expected responses about quitting jobs and moving to tropical islands.  This made me think about what I would actually do with that much money.  I have no plans like Hubby and his co-workers, I have not pondered the dividends and IRA options (those are real financial type things, right?) and I don’t have any clue what I might purchase or bankroll.  What I do know is this:  I would keep right on with my life, just with a LOT less bills.  I would still come to school everyday and encourage children to read.  I would still enjoy teaching students how to research.  I would still love standing in the stacks and being surrounded by the smell of books.   I would still take Little A to the same preschool, because I do believe we are right where we are supposed to be.  I would still live right on the middle of what is commonly referred to as “cop curve”, with a pre- civil war cemetery in the side yard because I love my house.  (Yes I would finally get rid of that awful carpet but that’s going to happen eventually anyway!)

My only big change would be that I wouldn’t be paying a lot of bills every month.  Student loans would be a thing of the past.  We would have Dave Ramsey’s envelope system down to a science, I swear!  I would do a lot of things that Hubby doesn’t even know about as well.  The tiny library in my hometown would get a major update for example.  The Tennessee Books from Birth program would never have to have fundraisers again.  Little A’s college fund would be set for anywhere she wanted to attend.  These are the things that are important to me.  All this talk of lotteries and Powerball and how people would spend their millions certainly made me think.  It even caused me to do something I have never done in my 36 years on this earth.  I bought a ticket.  Chances are slim, I know.  But that library really needs new books, ya’ll.   If you win, please send me a postcard or maybe even a plane ticket to come and visit your beautiful private island.  I’ll be tickled for you, I promise.  Hopefully if I win you will be as tickled with the book I donate in your honor.

You can’t win without a ticket, and for the first time ever I’m in.  I guess I was just waiting for the prize to get high enough to bother with.  I know we will be watching tonight. Wonder how many other people in the US will be doing the same?


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