Tonight’s lottery is 800 million dollars. My husband and I don’t play the lottery on a regular basis, but occasionally we will buy tickets so we can dream about what we would do with the money if we were to win. We have always said it is worth a buck or two just to talk about those dreams.
Yesterday was different, though. We bought four tickets, and when we started talking about it, we got a little scared. One of us asked, “Would we be the same people we are now if we won 800 million dollars?”
“No.” My husband said.
“What would we be like?” I asked.
“I’m not sure, but we wouldn’t be the same,” he said.
“What if we started fighting and wanted a divorce?” I asked.
“I don’t think we would fight over money. We have never fought over money.” He said.
“What if we fought over other things like projects, or who to help out?” I asked.
“800 million is too much. Going forward, we are only going to play the lotteries with 1-8 million dollars as a prize.” He said.
I realized while we were talking that I already won the lottery. I have my health, and it isn’t perfect, but it is fairly decent. My husband has an autoimmune disease that seems to be stable (so he is relatively healthy). I have a wonderful husband. We have access to healthcare. We have a savings account. My husband has a job. We are both educated. There is always more than enough to eat. We have a warm condo in the winter and cool condo in the summer. We live with many freedoms. We laugh every single day. We rarely argue or even disagree. We have a good group of friends. I could go on and on.
If we won 800 million dollars, I don’t know if we would still be happy, or grateful, or if the issues that kind of money brought would quiet our daily laughter.
I still have the four tickets, but I don’t think winning that money would be the best thing that could happen to me. I love my life now. Winning enough money for my husband to retire would be a dream come true, but winning 800 million may decrease my joy instead of enhancing it. With that much money, you have to consider what you might lose instead of what you might win.