So, I didn’t win the $380 million Mega Millions jackpot. But all is good, because I wasn’t expecting to. Like most Americans, I don’t typically pay attention to the lotto unless the jackpots are large. I had no intention of buying a ticket until someone came around at work, collecting money and I figured I’d give it a shot. Plus, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was having their quarterly open house (woohoo free seasonal coffee), so I just took the $5 I’d normally spend on my weekly coffee and put it towards my share.

Later on, Justin & I were at the grocery store, when we noticed the rather LONG line of people waiting to purchase a lotto ticket. J expressed interest in buying a ticket, and he owed me $5, so I bought another $5 ticket. I joked that if we won, our kids could be trust fund babies, and I’m pretty sure J wasn’t amused by that 😉 However, he did let out a chuckle when I corrected myself and said that Roxy could be a trust fund puppy.

8pm came and went, and I got the winning numbers from a friend. Truth be told, I didn’t even look at all my numbers. I gave my tickets a cursory glance, saw that I didn’t get the mega ball number, and set the ticket aside (although, I suppose I’ll scan them to see if I could even get $5 back). Worst case scenario – I’m out of $10 that probably wouldn’t have been spent productively anyways.

$380 million dollars is definitely not anything to joke about. I’m not even sure what I’d do with out, once I got the typical debt payoffs/travelling/charity donations out of the way. And honestly? I would be ok with even just a million dollars (post tax)! I’m only 28 years old and still have a long life ahead of me, so I wouldn’t retire with just a million dollars. And I really don’t want to retire. I think I’d be too bored at this point in my life.

However, I could take active steps towards fulfilling a lot of goals. I could:

  • Donate directly to organizations/charities near and dear to my heart.
  • TRAVEL – specifically SE Asia and the Americas.
  • Quit my job and really pursue a career that is mentally, emotionally and financially fulfilling for me
  • Pay off debts, specifically my student loans, so that I could…
  • Apply to grad school!!! Grad school has always been on my radar, but the cost of tuition has always been daunting to me. USC is high on my list of grad school options, simply because I’ve always loved the campus and they have a program specifically geared to my career of choice. Plus, I’ve always wanted to change my USC status from Legacy to Alumni =P
  • Get a second puppy! I love Roxy to bits, but I’d love for her to have a constant playmate. But owning a dog definitely isn’t cheap, and we spent quite a bit on her last year.
  • Finish renovations on our “new to us” condo. If I had extra cash, I’d pay the mortgage off completely.
  • Hmm. Maybe I do want the entire $380 million, or at least a large amount of that. Then BF could quit his job, and we could finally move out of SD! We’re only here b/c he owns property in SD and he has a stable job in a field he really enjoys (and is specific to a few cities around the nation). If I had my way, I’d be living in NYC or Chicago (or even near my parents in LA!)

Yikes. Now I’m getting ahead of myself. If anything, I appreciate how the lotto allows me to dream (and I dream BIG). Once someone else wins the jackpot, and I’m brought back down to reality, I realize what is really important to me. All of my dreams are feasible, eventually. But then I stop to prioritize them, and brainstorm how to achieve them NOW. There’s an item in particular on the wish list above that I’m trying to strive towards this year, and I’m absolutely certain that once I achieve it, everything else will fall into place =)