I have a secret hobby. I like to look at how much money the Powerball is worth, and then figure out a budget based on how I would live if I won. My secret desire in life is to not have to do anything I don’t want to do, and then of course, talk about it on the internet. It probably isn’t the most noble of goals, but it is what I spend quite a bit of my life aspiring to. It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing things, so much as I feel like the 90,000 hours of my life that I will spend working for someone else would be much better served to myself and the community as a whole if I was pursuing my own goals. I mean that is 10 years of my life that I’m selling to someone else (and that’s not counting the almost 4 years of my life that I’ve already sold away. That is a lot of your life being eaten up by working. Really, though, the only way I can see getting out of that crummy deal anytime soon, is to win the Powerball.
The Powerball is currently sitting out an estimated $155 million! If you look at it the way I do, obviously you take the annuity payments. After taxes, that means you get about 3.1 Million a year to live off of. That is a crazy large amount of money if you really think about it. Even at its smallest, the powerball is $20 million over 30 years, which is still $330,000 a year. That’s multiple times the highest amount of money I’ve ever made in my life, so I’m pretty sure that if when I win the powerball, I’ll be set, right?
I think what attracts me to the hobby of making budgets for it is that it seems damn near impossible in my mind to spend that much money. It actually took a lot of time for me to fill out a $1 Million wishlist the first time someone asked me about it, and it got even more difficult when they told me the game required me to spend it all. Now that I have an idea of how I would spend things, though, it’s a little easier to just modify it to the amount I’d win, when I eventually win.
How I would budget $155 Million over 30 Annuity Payments
I like to start by dividing the annuity payments up into the 30 payments. For $155 Million, that comes out to about $3.1 Million per year, after taxes. Right off the top, I take a big hunk of that and put it into things like savings, bonds and gold. Yes, I’m very weary of the stock market. It seems way to easy to manipulate, if you have the time and money to manipulate it. I like to put money in things that aren’t going to ever really go down in value.
3.1 Million Per Year – 1.1 Million Saved
Of course, from the first years savings, I pull out the $500,000 I would use to pay off all of my debt, re-roof and re-side my house, build a nice privacy fence, replace my carpets with nice shiny hardwood floors, and build a nice barn shed in the back. After that, all of it gets separated out by percentages:
- 20% Goes directly into savings accounts – I would have multiple, of course. My retirement savings, a trust fund savings account for each of the monkeys (the monkeys being my nieces and nephew), and a savings account that I would create simply entitled “Airship Fund.” I feel like that is self explanatory.
- 10% Goes to buying Gold Bricks – No, I’m not joking. Gold is an amazing investment, and one that comes in handy in all kinds of ways. Plus at $1,400 an ounce, this isn’t really that many bricks, considering the average gold bullion is a little over 2 lbs. That’s basically only a pallet load of gold over the course of 30 years. This gets buried on an undisclosed plot of land that I own, of course. Possibly even in a secretly built concrete bunker, those aren’t nearly as costly to build as one might imagine.
- 30% Goes into Bonds – Specifically Treasury Bonds. I’m not sure what it is about the idea of owning a portion of the United States, and its all nice in my mind to be buying it back from China, even if anything I could contribute would still be a drop in the bucket by comparison. I think my favorite part of it comes from the fact that I can envision myself dying at a ripe old age (or rather leaving Earth behind in my advanced robot body to explore the universe with my homeys), and having some great-great-grand-nephew inherit a dusty old box of these bonds and becoming an instant millionaire.
- 20% Goes into Robot Body Research – Someone needs to fund this thing so we can get our robot on!
- 10% This is my contribution to society, instead of saving this money, 10% of it will be given to my favorite charities. In fact, I will probably give a bit more to some of them.
- 10% The M. A. Brotherton Go to College and Do Something Awesome Fund – This will be used to establish an awesome scholarship fund. The idea is, if you want to go to college, with the goal of doing something awesome, you can apply with an essay on how awesome you will be. My committee will bring me the top 10 entries, and I will hand pick the awesomest person to get a scholarship. Of course, I would probably add to this fund if enough awesome people applied. Do I really need to put 30% of my savings money into the idea of making a distant relative a rich?
2 Million Per Year = 165,000 per month
This is always the hardest part, when you live on less than $2,000 a month normally, the idea of having access to 82.5 times that much is completely baffling, unless you start to think like a crazy nerd, it also helps if you start to think about how you can spend money to help your friends pursue their dreams.
- $5,000 – This is my pocket money, and will be in its own checking account. The only money I will carry on me at all will be the debit card or this account. As far as I’m concerned, if I can’t buy it out right with that kind of money, I don’t need to buy it, or it only has to be bought once a year at most, like a new car, or a giant screen TV.
- $5,000 – I’ve thought for a long time about it, and decided the best way to handle winning the lotto while I’m still going through my divorce, and thus still owing half of everything I own to my ex-wife, would be to buy her off. My ex isn’t a vengeful person, we are friendly, and it would make me happy to know that she was able to live comfortably without having to work her butt off, too.
- $100,000 – This money will be invested in building a company. I’d love to have an awesome loft office in the river market area (about $1000/month), with a dedicated T1 connection, our own awesome server hub, and only a handful of employees. I’ve got a pretty neat idea for a business, and I’m hoping that I can one day get it started without winning the powerball. I might just have to skip the loft offices and T1 connection.
- $45,000 – This is money that would be used to invest in some of the business ventures of people I know. I have a lot of friends with some really great ideas that I’d be willing to put money into helping the accomplish if I had it. One of those ideas is a combination gaming store and cafe. I don’t know how many times I’ve been at a gaming store and thought, “Man, I could really go for a awesome cup of coffee and a piece of pie.” Of course there might be kinks to be worked out around the “gaming store customers smell like rank ass” issue. I don’t think “rank ass” and “tasty cookies” go in the same place.
- $5000 – This is money that would be put into the “buying cool stuff” fund. It would be used to buy things like a Honda CR-Z, a 90″ HD TV, or a computer that is so advanced it can play video games by itself, if I was inclined to let it.
- $5000 – This should more than cover all of my living expenses, food, utilities, gas, new clothes when I need them.
There you go. That’s how I would waste all my money if I played to powerball. I suppose stockpiling gold bars and building an airship would probably imply that I’d turn into a James Bond villain. Well, maybe I would, I could dig that.
What would you do if you hit the big one and won the Powerball?