This past week, a woman from London, Ontario won part of a lottery, with the winnings totaling  just over $20 million. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. I said $20 million! This was an ordinary woman, working at a grocery store, trying to make ends meet. Someone who has never been able to own a house, but has now been given the chance to change her life. It has affected me in a strange way, because in essence, it could have been me.

I realize people say this all the time. “It could have been me.” Anyone has a chance to win a big lottery, such as this one. It really only takes one ticket. So, of course, everyone says this all the time. But under these circumstances, I’ve really been thinking about the ‘what ifs’.

What if I won $20 million?

There are the obvious answers.

  • Pay off the mortgage of my house. (But with $20 million, why wouldn’t I just buy another house? Maybe I would, but just being able to have a house paid for would really feel good!)
  • Pay off any debts. (My credit card companies would be thrilled to get paid off, but then where would they earn all that interest they are making right now?)
  • Put away money for my children’s education. (Yes, I know. I should already have RESPs started for my boys who are 10 and 11. But unfortunately, when you live pay cheque to pay cheque, it’s difficult to do, no matter what great intentions you have.)
  • Give money to charities. (This is very important to me. If you are able to give money to research, in order to find a cure to something such as cancer, the question is, why wouldn’t you? Sometimes I only have $20 or $50 in my budget to give to organizations for research and it just doesn’t feel like enough. I want to do more, but without winning a lottery, again, very difficult to do.)
  • Give money to relatives. (An interesting subject… I remember when I was a kid and my parents used to go to play bingo quite often. Late one night, they came home and my mom starting putting $20 bills on the table, displaying her winnings. I don’t recall how much she won, but this wasn’t something that happened very often. Then she gave my sister, my brother and I $20 each, which was a lot of money to us. Funny how you remember when people are generous towards you? I would love to be able to repay some of that generosity that my parents and my siblings have afforded me in the past.)

Then the not-so-obvious answers.

  • Buy a retail space to house a scrapbooking store on one side and a book store on the other side. (This way, my husband and  I could actually quit our jobs and run these stores, doing something we love, every single day.)
  • Buy a house for our cats. (Well, we probably wouldn’t be able to do this, though it would be amazing. A ‘Cat Hotel’ that my children would love to help take care of. There must be a law against this somewhere….)
  • Have healthy foods in the house at all times. (Strange answer? Not if you’ve been living week to week, living on Kraft Dinner and canned peaches. What I wouldn’t do to be able to have fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, homemade breads, yogurt, healthy snacks available for my kids every day when they come home from school!)
  • Pamper myself. If you know me (truly know me!), then you would agree that I am not a ‘girly girl’. I do not get my nails done. I have never had my ears pierced. I’ve never had a pedicure. I don’t get my hair cut at a fancy salon. I don’t wear dresses or skirts. I never buy or wear make up. And I don’t spend money on myself…ever.

But maybe, if I won $20 million, I could turn into a ‘girly girl’ for just one day? Yeah, probably not.

Thank goodness this is just a ‘what if‘ scenario!!!