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Lottery Winner Plans
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If you won a big lottery payout what would you do with the money and why?

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Give some of money away to my family and friends. Spend some on an around-the-world trip. Save some as cash reserve. Invest the rest, hopefully for bigger returns. I know the first thing a lot of lotto winners do is to quit their jobs. I know I won't.

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Go on a trip around the world; pay off my parents' mortgage; buy a house in santa fe, or somewhere else warm, and live simply, writing daily...

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I'd pay off all my debt first, then my mom's, fix up the house we have and invest most, then decide which charities to donate the remainder to...and that decision making would take a while, though Heifer International is my pet cause these days and would likely get a hefty portion.

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First, like most people, I would eliminate all of my debt and my wife's debt.

I would then go to a financial adviser, because I'm not ego-driven enough to think I know everything about financial matters. I know about managing debt, maybe, but not managing wealth.

However, I would have some priorities for the remainder of the funds.

1) I would want the annuity. I'm still young enough, and I think giving up 40 percent or more of a huge payout is simply foolish and rash, unless you're over 55. If we're talking about a jackpot of $100 million or more, anyone who can't live on what would work out to be at least $4-5 million or more per year, doesn't deserve any of it, because they'll blow it all and end up destitute. Which happens a lot, by the way.

2) I would want to set up trusts for my wife and myself, as well as for any future kids we might have or adopt, so there's some security for them for the future.

3) I would invest most in the more stable, low-risk investments, while setting up a modest (like, $5,000 only) fund for playing around on the stock market.

4) I'd set up another fund for holiday/vacation spending, so that when my wife and I want to make trips, such as a trip to Israel, we can... but we'll take a more disciplined approach to it.

5) I would want to donate a nice portion of it to my local house of worship, but spread it out over healthy weekly donations, rather than as one lump sum. Quietly, also, without seeking any acknowledgment.

6) Set up a scholarship program for English majors/prospective writers at my alma mater of Mankato State.

7) I would make periodic donations to charities or my high school of origin, each year as I get a new disbursement from the annuity.

8 ) Buy a nice, but not extravagant place where my wife and I can live debt-free... possibly in Oregon or the Carolinas, within an hour's drive of the ocean (my wife's dream).

9) Do my best not to spend extravagantly, live a flashy, attention-getting life, or go greedy and live beyond even my new standard of living.

I'm not one of those who is gonna pose and say "I'd give most of it to charity" just to sound compassionate and selfless. I'd do good things with the money, but I'd take a decidedly unflashy, nonpublic and quiet approach to it.

Oh, and I would quit my current job, because it sucks. But I would want to find a job I like better and continue working.

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