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I didn’t win the Mega Million or the Power Ball last night and that’s okay.  I heard on the news yesterday that there was a 60% chance that no one would win.  I bought three tickets anyway.

Because it is not about winning, it’s about the thought of winning.  What would you do first?  Who would call?  How would you spend the money?  And would you let it change your life?

The first thing I would do is call a friend who is an attorney and seek his advice.  Then I’d call my family.  Spending the money for me does not mean going out and buying a new house, car, boat, and other luxuries.  I would divide the winning money into sections with the largest going into a foundation I would set up (with the help of an investment counselor), appoint a trusted friend and a member of the family to head up the foundation and make it available for worthy non-profit organizations.  The next portion would go into setting up a corporation that would be the parent company of small businesses.  I would not run the businesses; just invest in them to help create the small businesses.  And finally I would give my children the rest of the money to do with as they please; keeping the smallest portion for me and my husband.

It is here that it gets sticky because I do not believe in trust funds that can be portioned out at a certain date because I believe it enables children to not grow and thrive on their own (because they know the trust fund will be there one day.)  That is why I would just hand each child’s portion over to them.  They are grown children and have families of their own.  And if I have done my job right as parent by raising them well, then who am I do deny them the opportunity to build a better life?

There are thousands of stories of people who win the lottery and then trash their life and the lives of the people around them.  You are always going to find people who abuse a situation.  It is these people that bought the lottery ticket for the wrong reason.  And here I use the lottery ticket as a metaphor for all those things that weren’t good for us when we did it.

When I see people putting down other people because they bought a lottery ticket, it makes me sad.  Sad that they feel like they are better people because they didn’t buy a lottery ticket.  Sad that they can’t see the bigger picture – the fellowship at the local stores with everyone lined up to buy a ticket, the money generated to help with education and the money the businesses who sold the tickets make, but most importantly, the spirit of cheer spread throughout the country in anticipation.

In my book, that is a God Thing. Anywhere there is cheer, there is God.  My God lives in me enjoying life, living life to the fullest, appreciating and being grateful for the things I have and yes, spreading joy during the holiday season even if it means buying a lottery ticket.

And what could be healthier than the gift of joy at this time in our lives?