With all the hoopla about the PowerBall drawing tonight and the absolutely obscene amount of money involved, it got me to thinking. If I won and after I had set up financial security for every member of the family for multiple lifetimes, bought the horse(s) and tack of my dreams, there would still be more money left over than one could ever need.
So, what would you do? Some of my thoughts--generous donations to horse rescues or institutions of my choice. Still a proverbial drop in the bucket.
Subsidizing a retraining center for OTTBs utilizing up and coming young riders (under supervision, of course).
Establishing hay banks/feed banks within various states. Subsidize gelding/euthanasia groups. Establish a foundation within a local veterinary school to help pay for those horrible medical problems that come up that many people can't afford.
Well, I'd be on the phone to a trainer/owner at Finger Lakes so fast it'd make your head spin...faster than my Schwab consultant to deal with the rest.
And I'd get new fencing for ALL Dad's property, the whole 120 acres...I've been saying that about any hypothetical get-rich thing for years, though. (It really needs it, we don't have livestock, but the old fencing's long down and dead.)
I'd turn up the heat in here a couple degrees, too, natural gas isn't cheap though so I keep it colder than I really want.
In no particular order, here's what I'd do: Give money to my family (I think probably 20% of the jackpot would be a good start in repaying my debt to my parents), help out some friends in need, buy myself a farm and a bunch of horses (maybe even open my own rescue/TB retraining center/Handicapped riding facility), go on a nice extended vacation, get a new car, start a trust fund for my nephews and niece, swim in it like Scrooge McDuck, and smoke the $1 bills just because.
People call themselves animal lovers, then let their dogs chase the squirrels. You're scaring the shit out of the squirrels, you schmuck!
I would buy a nice little (fancy) horse property and hire some staff.
My first thought was "I'd keep enough to retire on and donate the rest". But let's be honest... I really want a different house. OK, maybe I'd tear this one down and rebuild on the spot. Donate the rest.
Someone else to run them (and then drag the arena)
Why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?
~ Dave Barry
Taxes and church off the top. Pay off all debts. Ample savings. Help out family and friends.
However, then . . .
I'd build my dream barn and indoor. Maybe 1 new horse, though I like current horses and breeding dreams. New tack, yes.
Shop through Back in the Saddle and actually buy myself the "non-useful" horsey stuff there I want.
Buy myself one racehorse, just for fun. Winning the Kentucky Derby not required. Winning the second race on a Wednesday would be perfectly fine.
As for giving to organizations, I would want to spread it around. Definitely, I would look at the horse rescues I've seen represented on this board, for one thing. Bluebonnet and such. I'd check into each organization on research. But the horsey list to be considered would include:
Horsepitals like New Bolton and such.
The Keeneland Library. Spent a marvelous two days there on my WEG trip. If they take donations, they'd definitely get one.
Find a young up-and-comer rider I admired, one I thought really might be Olympic caliber with funds and education someday, and sponsor his/her career.
Pay my local vet clinic for a recurring "free" spay/neuter day, say the last Monday of each month. All cats/dogs who could fit on that day's schedule are on me.
And on the non HR front, I would give a whopping amount to Alzheimer's disease research.
My one ticket is brought. I figure if I'm meant to win, one ticket will do it. If I'm not meant to win, however much I spend is just wasted money, so let's waste as little as possible.
Buy a ton of land, and operate a senior center for all those hard to place dogs, cats, horses, etc. that are stuck in the shelters. I too have a soft spot for the oldies, and think that they all deserve a steller landing!
Let DH purchase whatever he wants, in thanks for putting up with Willow's bills.
Make sure that DD had enough money to go to whatever college that she wanted.
This would be so hard. I'd rather win $250,000 after taxes or some modest amount. Really. When I was in law school we had a mentorship program and my lawyer/mentor had a client who had won and it totally destroyed his family. Everyone has a great business idea they want you to buy into...everyone is super jealous...you have to move because everyone in town blames you for the bond issue not going through for a school (I mean you have all that money, why can't you help out every time something comes up?).
I've seen people inherit money and go bankrupt. Just because you are rich doesn't mean you are business savy.
But enough Debbie Downer. I would make my grandma's house more accessible or buy her something else. I would contact my siblings, uncles, aunts, first cousins and find out who has the biggest mortgage + student loan bill and pay it off and gift the rest the same amount. I'd give my husband's and my folks whatever they want. I'd get my siblings a single premium immediate annuity that pays monthly so they can't blow it and I'd figure out the amount with my folks.
I'd give my good friends some money or gifts, but privately.
I would set up scholarships at our college and grad schools.
I would not buy anything else for a year or change my primary residency. I would add a second & 1/2 garage stall to the house and insulate/heat it, pave the drive, perimeter fence the farm, add auto waterers, add perimeter gates and a series of security cameras, bring in some big privacy screen trees (one side is ont he highway) build a very modest 3 stall barn, but only whatever else I want for the next two years, as I imagine we would move. I would re-roof the detached garage. I would splurge on the barn style garage doors for the house and attached and detached garages and next spring I would replace the siding. I would do immediate estate planning with the intent to redo as needed.
I would pay off the church's shortfall this year.
I would buy a compact tractor ASAP though. New. So I can do my own snow removal. Heated cab. Sweet.
I would probably start my mare in May and breed her next summer.
I would find a horse to ride. Next summer (husband is a teacher) I would do a ton of traveling. I would have to figure out how to do that with a doberman. I'm sure the money will help
I would get a truck and a better trailer. Nothing too crazy. Probably used. I do want heated seats though.
Meanwhile, with the vast bulk of the money, I would work on creating a charitable foundation. I would set up donor advised funds for my family members to manage as well, so they can be a part of giving the money to charity. I would also like to sponsor individuals (be that in the arts, equestrian, etc.). I would be a patron. I would like to get my CFA.
Really before I did anything too big, I would think about it for a few months.
I would buy a large piece of land on which to build our dream farm. Luxury barn, indoor covered dressage arena, outdoor ring with jumps, and plenty of fields and trails for hunting pleasure. Of course we would also build our dream home on the property. Then I suppose I would have to buy some horses. A dressage schoolmaster for me and a horse for my husband, to start. I also have had a dream of rescuing slaughter-bound horses. With that kind of money, I wouldn't have to worry about whether I could re-home them or not. The ones that are too old/too damaged to be ridden, I would just love and spoil for the rest of their lives.
I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo
Along with all the "musts" that have been listed (taxes, debt, church, family.....)
I would love to set up some sort of program to help out really talented, really broke riders. I was blessed with some really great friends and mentors growing up who let me ride some amazing horses, hauled me for free, gave me SO many opportunities that I could never had done if I were having to pay myself. I'd like to pay it forward, large-scale. It makes me sad when it seems like only the rich-ish ones get all the goods.
Trot's list is pretty comprehensive. I have a widowed cousin who cosigned on her doctor daughter's student loans so the first thing to do would be to figure out how to get them paid off without creating some tax nightmare. Definitely hide the rest for a while - oh no, I'm a different Resomething than that one that won the lotto - what a coincidence!
I belonged to a non profit that put together a decent little scholarship once and I remember just how hard it was to give that darned thing away - I think we were too restrictive by selecting a local high school only, they just didn't have enough kids, but I'd like to do that again. Actually I'd like to somehow make it easier for kids to participate in all those extracurricular activities like Band and sports and clubs - the kids with single parents that can't be two places at once to get kiddo to the event.
And then of course there's finish all the projects around this place.
The amount of money involved is obscene. I can deal with the idea of $10 million or so very nicely. However, an estimated 1/2 of a BILLION dollars???
Even after paying off every member of the family's debts and gifting them a nice 1-2 million each and establishing a nice "little" personal fund there is still far more money involved than anyone--even Justin Bieber--could possibly spend.
I just thought of a fun way to go with some. Everyone is talking about all of the poor but talented riders out there with no chances of making it to the top. With eventing as an example, why not pick out, say 5 deserving but talented riders. (And no, I am not going to buy each of you a Mr. Medicott or Mystery Whisper). What I might do is say, "Here's the CANTER (or pick another similar organization) listings. Pick 5 horses that you like. I'll pick up the tab for the cost, training, board, etc. Let's see what you can do with them." All reasonable expenses paid. Want to study under someone, fine with me. Want to go to England and ride under WFP? Fine. Only you train the horses. If they don't want to event, at least they will be well trained for another career.
And I would buy some drop dead gorgeous Warmblood mares to breed. I'd also buy myself a fancy Grand Prix horse and a new truck... The '89 F250 has about had it
Other than that I would donate a bunch, probably rescue and rehab as many down on their luck horses/animals as I could responsibly handle, pay off my parents mortgage, buy my brother a house, and just generally try to be a good generous person. I would also invest responsibly so that we'd be comfortable for the rest of our lives.
I'd do something similar to betonbill's plan -- after taxes, debt, and gifts to family and friends, I would sponsor a bunch of eventers. I'd sponsor our working student, our visiting European rider, and as many more as I could. I like the plan of saying "here are the CANTER/FLF/local track listings; go buy a horse or three and see where you get."
I'd also back riders like myself, working adult ammies who never seem to have quiiiiite enough money for the new saddle, the next show, a nice truck or trailer, two or three lessons a week, etc.
Of course, I'd buy myself a fantastic set of saddles, new boots, a pair of summer FITS and a set of winter FITS for each day of the week, maybe a truck and trailer, a little piece of land and a TinyHouse, and never, ever again come to work in the cube farm. Just the farm-farm.