Congratulations, You’re a Winner!

Today’s guest post comes from Plain Jane.
OK, so I’m gullible, naive or plain old stupid, and I’m apparently not alone.

With some regularity I see Facebook friends “sharing” on FB a picture of Bill Gates holding up a note saying that says he’ll send $5,000.00 to everyone who “likes” this picture.  Really!  And where would he send it?

Another one is a little more nebulous as to where the money is going to come from.  It has some religious theme, praying hands, a lit candle,  or some other “spiritual” picture that promises that if you “share,” lots of money will soon come your way.

When I first arrived in Cheyenne, I remember seeing an advertisement from some coin dealer.  I don’t recall the exact wording, although that’s clearly where the deceit was lurking, but I understood the ad to promise me thousands of dollars if I owned a certain Indian head penny.  So I started collecting and paying attention to the pennies that came within reach, surely, sooner or later I’d stumble across one of these valuable coins.

I even recall, just to be on the safe side, taking every penny I owned to the local coin dealer to see if I might have something of value.  I remember being greatly disappointed when the coin dealer told me that what I had was exactly the face value of however many pennies I had brought in.  I began to appreciate the subtleties of the American language.

But, I still believed in luck.  For a while there, I sent in every Publishers Clearing House registration that came to the house.  You never know; although I knew the chances of winning were astronomical, I knew that if my name wasn’t in the hat, my chances weren’t slim, but nonexistent.  So I sent them in, and sometimes, for good measure, I’d buy a magazine, too.  Couldn’t hurt, could it?

That was years ago.  Imagine my surprise when last week I received a plain white, stamped envelope with a letter notifying me that I had won the tidy sum of $1,500,000.00 cash.  All I needed to do was call Mr. Richard Banks (don’t you love his name?), and give him my claim number.

I reread the letter, twice, just be be sure, but there was no mistake, I was finally a winner.  For some reason I didn’t think it odd that the envelope was plain with an extremely bad address label, and the letter itself was printed on cheap yellow paper.   No PCH van, or representative with flowers and a giant check.

I spent a few minutes pondering what I was going to do with my new-found wealth, and that was really fun.  I discovered that I don’t really need or want lots of money for my own use.  Rather, identifying the individuals and causes I’d support was a process that was both edifying and thought provoking.  I’m still thinking about it even though the letter from PCH was obviously an attempted scam.

What would you do if you suddenly came into a small fortunate of, say, $1,500,000.00?

95 thoughts on “Congratulations, You’re a Winner!”

  1. thanks for the smile to start the day pj.

    if i had 1.5 mil handed to me today would pay my bills, fund the 2 projects i have started right now with the shoestring budget i am able to do them on currently and have a much greater respect for the dollar than i did 10 years ago when i pissed it away without realizing it was not a forever thing.

    it used to be with money at a normal place in the world that you could put it in the bank and earn 5% interest in your sleep and 10% if you were any good

    the people who were good could stick their money into an investment and live of the interest. if 1.5 mil provided 150 k to live on i think i could live nicely on that and learn to have a lifestyle that was rich but restrained at that level.

    kids are expensive and the 5 ive got to deal with are great but the price to get them sent of to the world is more than i would have guessed. the stuff i want them to do is expensive let alone the stuff they want to do.

    i would guess 1.5 would be about all i need to get my ship straightened around. thanks pj for the insightful view on what i need for a fix

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ot
    the meteor showers are on again tonight. i had the delight of getting into the car with a son and daughter about 9 last night and driving out to meet the daughter with her husband at a spot we hoped would be dark enough to see the light show and it kind of was but the smiles and memories of the impromptu moments were
    much moe wonderful than the night sky. the clouds started rolling in by the 1100 curtain call for our stargazing and were still out at 4 when i went to revisit the sky this morning.
    nice morning with a gentle rain but no lightshow

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Morning all! This is actually a story about my friend. She and her husband buy a lottery ticket every weekend. Once several years ago they had fantasized about they would do if they ever won big. Well, they woulede do this one thing for themselves and this other thing, then they’d make sure their two kids were OK, then they’d help Sherrilee out a little… on down the line.

    Fast forward about 6 months and I come home to a fun greeting card from them with a dollar and a post-it saying “call”. Turns out they had won $5 off their lottery card and remembering how they had thought they would spent the money, they split it 5 ways. $2 for them, $1 each for their 2 kids and $1 for Sherrilee! It was the best dollar I ever made!

    Liked by 9 people

  4. Morning all! This is actually a story about my friend. She and her husband buy a lottery ticket every weekend. Once several years ago they had fantasized about they would do if they ever won big. Well, they woulede do this one thing for themselves and this other thing, then they’d make sure their two kids were OK, then they’d help Sherrilee out a little… on down the line.

    Fast forward about 6 months and I come home to a fun greeting card from them with a dollar and a post-it saying “call”. Turns out they had won $5 off their lottery card and remembering how they had thought they would spent the money, they split it 5 ways. $2 for them, $1 each for their 2 kids and $1 for Sherrilee! It was the best dollar I ever acquired!


  5. Rise and Fantasize Baboons!

    When I was 8-12 years old my list of “How to spend $1M” was

    1. A swimming pool in the back yard
    2. A horse (to ride, to eat the grass so I did not need to mow)
    3. Medical care for my dad so he could get well.

    Now the list is

    1. Invest the money to support my life.

    2. Funding at a much higher level, the 4-H scholarship in both parent’s names at Iowa State University (for 4-H-ers only–and our family really does have a scholarship in dad’s name there) for students studying education or organic farming techniques.

    3. Garden stuff and Art supplies including an elaborate studio where I create beautiful things that I give away to whomever wants them just to give them joy…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pay off the bills, sock some away to pay for college for Daughter, invest a portion for myself and invest the rest and use the proceeds to make donations to causes of my choice. Oh and a trip to Italy. And Paris. Maybe to the big Wagner festival in Bayreuth. Go back to Norway. Visit St. Petersburg and Moscow. Hmm…all that traveling might not leave much for saving – ah well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pay off my student loan from paralegal school, take everyone to the doctor/vet/optometrist/dentist, buy some land and build an ecohouse, then, hopefully, live off the rest while taking classes in all sorts of interesting things at places like the North House Folk School. I’d also donate to domestic violence shelters, animal causes, and certain Pagan organizations, and have my friends’ house re-stuccoed for them. I’d once considered starting a small press if I fell into a fortune, but there are other people doing what I would have done, and probably better than I ever could.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I would buy a fancy travel trailer and visit every national park in the US and Canada. Next I would visit every capital city in Europe and South America. Those I’d have to fly to instead of driving. I figure it will take about 3 years to see these sights. By then the money would be gone and I can apply for a greeter at WalMart position.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. My friend Marilynn to whom I write a letter every morning is miserable these days because she doesn’t have enough money to go on giving it away to “good causes.” She never had much money but used to live so cheaply she could send what little money she had to such causes as Indian colleges, progressive politicians, public radio & TV, the Minnesota Historical Society and others. She suffers, really suffers, because she cannot afford to continue sending most of her money to her causes.

    Which makes me feel like a selfish turd. Not sharing my wealth causes me to lose no sleep. I feel a little guilty at times, but I can feel guilty for just about anything I do or don’t do (thanks, Mom!). If I were to stumble into a fortune i would find a way to give it to my daughter and grandson.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Friends of friends: he is very successful dr. In Rochester. They live a very modest life, live in small 50’s house. She runs an international medical aid society pro bono. He does Drs. Without Borders. They give away lots of money.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I would plan on having about $500,000 withheld for taxes, first of all, leaving about a million in disposable income. Then about $85,000 would pay off all my loans. I would get some estimates on some remodeling and fix-up projects. Not sure what it would take…rooftop solar can be pretty pricey up front. And I would want to put on an addition with a bathroom upstairs and a really big walk-in closet. But let’s say I have about $750,000 left after achieving my dream home.

    Next project would be to buy a house for one of my friends to live in. Her husband died after a number of years of living with severe depression and diabetes, and she hasn’t had a permanent home for a couple of years, staying with friends and relatives, not an easy thing when you have three pets. I’d set aside about $350,000 for that – purchase price and an endowment fund for utilities, taxes, and maintenance.

    Then I have a list of about 40 charities I give to regularly. I’d take about $200,000 and distribute it among them. (That’s a little over 10 times my usual budget for charitable giving.)

    That would leave about $200,000. I’d entertain suggestions from friends and relatives on how that should be spent to generate happiness.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Like TGiTH, quit my job. I like my job but I like not being at my job even more. I’m not sure how I would tell my boss – text or voicemail!!!

    I owe some money to friends that I pay off every month – finishing that off would be first.
    Money aside for Young Adult’s education.
    Home improvement, including making my long term yard plan into my short term yard plan.
    New/safe car for Young Adult
    New/safe car for Nonny
    Then I have a fairly long list of organizations that I’d like to donate more to than I do now….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. After taxes, I would first take care of my family – badly needed home repair/renovation, paying off loans, savings accounts for future college, landscaping projects, newer car for one sister. I live pretty small but do splurge on travel. Despite having already traveled internationally extensively, there are still a number of countries/places on my bucket list. And I love Wessew’s idea of visiting the National Parks. Then hopefully there would be money left over to donate to several different charities more generously than now.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The Galapagos, Vietnam & Cambodia, Ireland, Scotland, Brazil, Greek Islands, Turkey, and Switzerland top the list. Also would love return visits to Italy (40 years since I’ve been there), Tanzania (the Serengeti was amazing), and Australia. A good friend would like to go to Antarctica – that would make 7 continents for us. Even though I’ve been in nearly all the states, a glaring exception is Alaska.


        1. Alaska is the only state I’m missing as well! I had a cruise planned for work 20 years ago this summer but ended up going to China to get my treasure. Well worth it. Most days.

          Liked by 2 people

  13. All the above. These days I get in the mail dimes and nickels from people who want my green. Publ. clear. House lost track of me years ago. We give to many charities, or used to. We get 1-8 requests for donations a year. The arthritis foundation is relentless. After four years of not giving them money, they are a nuisance with class an letters, some almost demanding. We now give most of our money more locally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After receiving at least a dozen pleas for donations from multiple democratic sites, I discovered how to “unsubscribe” to all of them. I took the time to methodically go through every one of them and now my inbox is 3/4 less full each day. Now, every time any advertisement for any kind of business arrives, I immediately go through the brief unsubscribe process.


    2. I think my mother could feed a small country with just the proceeds from recycling the paper from all the pleas, requests, demands, and threats she gets from “worthy” causes and political rabble rousers. She also hasn’t had to buy a greeting card, return address label, calendar, cheap fleece blanket, or note pad in lo, these many years. And then there are the catalogs. Who knew there were so many? I collect the excess “gifts” now and then and donate it to Art Scraps in St. Paul, but the deluge continues.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. That really is unnecessary. I have had a lot of success just sending a form letter to each charity I give to. I send them this with my contribution – either by e-mail or paper mail:

      To Who It May Concern,

      I am making a 2015 contribution of [donation amount] to your organization. I plan to make an annual gift, but don’t wish to receive any reminders. Please remove me from your paper mailing list, and place me on your “Do Not Call” list. Please do not share my info with organizations with which you share mailing lists. It is okay to send e-mail to [e-mail address].

      I have copyrighted this language. You may use it if you like, and pay me whatever you think it is worth.

      Sometimes an organization will need to be reminded, but usually once does the trick. I give to about 40 organizations, so I would be inundated if I didn’t do this. It’s been remarkably successful in keeping me off mailing lists for the organizations I don’t give to.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. After setting aside a big chunk for taxes, there’s still plenty left over to both do some good and have some fun.

    I’d set aside college funds for my friend Aura-Lee’s two girls, and make some substantial contributions to several charities that I already support. Some local, some national and some international.

    I can also visualize a cruise from here to New Orleans on The Delta Queen with all the baboons; wouldn’t that be fun? Spending a couple of nights in the French Quarter, seeing the sights and eating some good Cajun food, and then taking the train back north. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket to make that happen! 🙂

    Which reminds me. Last summer the waitress in a small local restaurant/bar on South Robert Street won over a million dollars in the lottery. She had worked at that restaurant for years, and, of course, knew everybody. They had a big send-off party for her when she quit her job to pursue some of her dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be very easy to find out, BiR. I could just go up to the restaurant and ask. Pretty sure she’s in contact with any number of the people there, including the owner.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I read about her win in the paper. It was a Gopher 5 jackpot, so smaller than the typical Powerball or Megamillions jackpot, but still a lot of money. According to the story in the paper, the husband has multiple sclerosis, and the wife had been working overtime trying to make ends meet. They sound like a pretty down-to-earth couple, and hopefully will stay that way.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Speaking of rivers, boats, and New Orleans, I read a few months ago that Viking Cruises is going to launch two new boats on the Mississippi in 2017. The boats will stop in St. Paul. They have plans for cruise ships on other U.S. cities as well.
      I love the idea of a baboon cruise on the Delta Queen! My mother and an older friend went to St. Louis on the Mississippi Queen 20 or more years ago. Normally only ticketed passengers were allowed on board, but since I was escorting elderly passengers, they let me on and I got a look at the inner sanctum. I could live like that. I’ll buy a lottery ticket too!

      Liked by 4 people

  15. I seriously would not want to be suddenly wealthy. “Money is the root of all evil” seems to be a very true saying. Over time, I’ve read many accounts of lottery winners which were almost tragic, some even ending in suicide. Winning the lottery brings out all sorts of people – especially family and friends – who suddenly need some of your stash. Look at the many professional athletes who wind up filing bankruptcy?

    Life is so simple when there’s little money. No major decisions, no IRS audits, no giving into expensive cars, houses, trips, etc. In my practice, the most depressed young adults I dealt with were from affluent families. They had no direction, purpose, or self worth. I’ve always believed that my own three kids successes were a result of growing up poor. I met their needs; they met their wants.

    I would love to travel but not by myself. I honestly can’t think of one thing I’d buy or do if I had a lot of money. I’d probably pay back what I owe on my reverse mortgage instead of using it as my only retirement fund so that when I die, my kids would have the cottage free and clear.

    Finally, even being posed this question, I have to admit that any of the problems I have couldn’t be resolved with money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the saying goes that “The love of money is the root of all evil”. I would pay off bills, buy our children homes, and also buy my best friend a home.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You can’t be serious, Cb? You don’t really believe that people who have lots of money have more problems than people who don’t have any?

      I know what it means to just scape by, to not have money left at the end of the pay period, and to not have money to fix even a minor problem with the old car. Having a little cushion is a heck of a lot easier. Deciding between one luxury car and another is a heck of a lot easier than choosing between putting food on the table and buying medication you need.

      I’m certainly not suggesting that having lots of money can solve all of your problems, but neither do I believe that money necessarily creates problems for you.

      Some years ago, a very good friend of ours collected several million dollars in insurance money plus a settlement in a law suit over his wife’s accidental death. He’s basically the same person he has always been: kind, responsible, and generous with both his time and money. He did quit his job because he no longer has to work, but now volunteers his time working with young people. From the way he lives his life, dresses and the kind of car he drives you’d never guess that he’s a wealthy man. But if he wants to take his three adult children on a European vacation he has the means to do it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Warren Buffet lives in the same old rambler he’s had for forty years. Bill Gates is changing the world. I greatly respect being very wealthy if the excess is used to make the world a better place.

        I think that too much money can create problems than too little – just different ones. As I wrote, I’ve mostly dealt with the kids from affluence, not their parents. These parents may be perfectly happy – I don’t know.


    3. Cb, you remind me of my favorite pithy quote, “if money can solve it, it’s not a problem”.

      That one has gotten me through more tight squeezes than I care to remember.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Seems to me that this is a quote from someone who has enough money. I’d revise that to say “if money can solve it, and you have money, it’s not a problem”. If you have a car that needs a brake job, and you don’t have money for a brake job, that’s a problem. At least it is if you need a car to get to work.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think that’s exactly right, Linda. Having “enough” money is the trick. As we say at our house, it’s expensive being poor.


  16. I’d make sure family members and close friends have what they need, set aside enough to cover taxes and our continued survival. Then I’d live out some fantasies about this house, including winterizing porches, waterproofing the basement, and knocking down wall or two. I wish I could just wiggle my nose and enlarge the screen porch…

    Then I’d spend some time deciding where the rest of it should go as donations. I would enjoy thinking this through and researching it.


    1. Two of my kids (sons, of course) are beyond wealthy. My firstborn’s success is measured by his financial worth and the last thing he’d do is help his less successful sister or mother. My second son (Steve) does better than his brother but places no value whatsoever in his net worth. He’s bought computers for both of us, paid for her home to be built, paid for our airfare to Miami for a cruise, and many too many other things to mention.

      It’s interesting to see two sons of opposite values come from a mutual childhood. Steve has passion for what he does – and, the money is a result; Dave has passion for increasing his net worth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I worked two summers in a flyfishing tackle shop near Brule, Wisconsin. Some of our clients were in love with flyfishing, but they could barely do it because they had no money. A substantial number of clients had log cabin mansions along the river, and they were people who came from families that had been wealthy or beyond wealthy for generations. For example, I sold stuff to the Orwell family (the family made wealthy by 3M).

        I don’t want to generalize, for there are surely exceptions. But the most personally messed up people I have met were some of those who inherited great wealth. I doubted my observations at first. The longer I spent time among the very wealthy, the more fervently I came to believe the most dangerous thing that can happen to a child is to inherit great wealth.


        1. I would disagree that wealth is dangerous. I’ve worked for two couples in similar situations, one who inherited from a certain department store fortune, another from (many generations ago) the invention of the cotton gin. One couple liberal, one conservative. Although I can’t say I know either of them very well, they both disproved my preconception of wealthy people as shallow, banal, and “messed up”. They are fine parents, devoted to their pets, committed philanthropists, serve on boards of nonprofits and arts organizations, and seem to me to have lives full of culture and purpose.

          There are no guarantees, but I think poverty presents far greater dangers than wealth does.

          Liked by 2 people

  17. This is actually a game the s&h and I have played for years, prompted by the song “If I had a Million Dollars”, which came out when he was pretty young.

    Like several of you, we first deducted the taxes, as we will never see that money anyway. Then give away 10%.

    Pay off the house and land, set up a trust for college. Build the sustainable homestead up on the Island.

    Invest the rest to keep everything going and we’re done.

    As the old prayer goes, “please feel free, oh Lord, to give me the opportunity to prove that sudden wealth will not change me”.

    As you can see, we are well prepared in the event of a windfall.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Well, at the rate money is flowing out just to feed the people in my household, I would say all the prize money would be gone in a year, so why should I plan on doing something else with it?

    But if there was anything left over after a few months, I would try to buy my freedom with it.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. my dads old golf cronies talked about buy a life insurance policy on everyone in the group for 5000 coverage. not enough to do anything but celebrate seriously in their honor. it came up a time or two that they wish they had done it. down to the remaining 2 or 3 if the 12 now. they could have had 9 or 10 real good outings
    any takers?


    1. To answer your question, tim, NO. If you’re going to party at my departure, do it on your own dime.

      Here is what I think of a a very sad story. Just yesterday I saw the obituary of the 49 year old son of one of my former co-workers. Don’t know the circumstances around his death, but the obit states that he died “unexpectedly.” He’s the father of three adult children, and in lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations toward his funeral expenses through Gofundme.


  20. Hi–
    I’m back at ‘work’ work.
    Not sure yet if that means I’ll have more or less time to write.

    In one of the meetings with our financial adviser he asked what our goals were. After the usual future planning I said ‘I want enough money to take a private jet any where we want to go’. He just laughed. “You’ll never have that much money.”
    I laughed at him; ‘Get to work!’ I said.
    I’m not sure $1.5M will do it…

    We’ve already used the joke ‘Farm until it’s gone’…
    But I sure do love me some shiny John Deere Green paint!

    Liked by 4 people

  21. I find people’s attitude toward money really interesting.

    Husband, who grew up in a relatively well-to-do family, seems to have absorbed an attitude about money that says you can never have, or get, enough. He saves and saves, and has a hard time spending it; he likes to see the balance in his account grow. I often have to talk him into buying, say, a new lens for his camera that he covets, but that he’s too frugal to buy.

    I, on the other hand, grew up with a father who thought he was rich (he wasn’t, far from it) and a mother who grew up in extreme poverty. Dad was generous to a fault, and mom’s motto seemed to be whenever my sister and I wanted something “Who do you think I am, Rockefeller?” (My sister and I had no idea who Rockefeller was, but I got the idea early on that he was rich.)

    I don’t think either of us grew up with a “healthy” attitude toward money. While I don’t see a point in denying yourself every little pleasure along the way, I also don’t see a point in squandering money on absolutely meaningless things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I confess to being puzzled by something I do with money. When I am contracting and money comes in fits and starts, that is when the fridge finally gets replaced or something like that.

      When I am working a payroll job and get a check every 2 weeks, I fret that it will suddenly stop and don’t buy anything beyond what I absolutely have to.

      Is it because when I’m contracting I feel like I have more control and think, oh, I’ll just work more and it will be fine? Or is it because I’m home when I contract and can’t ignore those household expenses as easily?

      Liked by 2 people

  22. After my Dad passed away, mom moved to a smaller apartment and is still pretty frugal. But I think she’s less so these days.
    Of course it makes a difference if you’re trying to budget for 2 for ‘X’ number of years or just 1 for a smaller ‘x’ number of years. (She is 89.)

    I help with her banking and she’s got a good sum invested. But we talk about ‘Fun Money’ and what should she have for ‘Fun’.
    Hmmm, Her definition of fun and my definition of fun are certainly different.
    For ‘fun’ she bought some new towels. And took a trip to PA to visit her oldest daughter. There she bought some adult coloring books and colored pencils and even a pencil sharpener.
    She’s got a nice TV, she’s got a computer. She doesn’t drive. She did splurge this spring and buy one of those Magnifying reader things and she really likes that.
    But otherwise, she wouldn’t know what to do with $1.5M… I think she’d consider it a burden.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your mom sounds a bit like mine. She doesn’t drive, she travels out east to visit her favorite daughter, and she’s 89. And I doubt she would even want the bother of $1.5 mil. But she would never buy new towels or the coloring books (her eyesight is too poor for the coloring books and she wouldn’t buy new towels until her towels wore down to the size of a washcloth).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I don’t like to wear my towels down to a nub, but I can certainly relate to not wanting to throw perfectly good dishtowels away. I have a lot of old ones – and I do mean old – and they’re larger and of a better quality than the newfangled ones I’ve been given as gifts over the past ten years. Waste not, want not, I say.

        I think Ben’s observation about his mom may very well be true. I know that I look at the money I have in my pension plan and divide by the number of years that I think I might live (and I’m being optimistic about that) to figure out how much I can spend and not be destitute when I die. For each year that I don’t spend that amount of money, the more I have to spend during the remaining years. Of course, there’s another consideration to figure in. Will I be in any kind of shape to enjoy that money later on, or should I go for broke and spend it now when I know I’m still able to enjoy it?

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Talked to Mom tonight. She went to the dentist today and needs a new bridge among other things. Dentist said $6000.
      I said there goes her fun money.


      1. And I hope the heck that your mom wouldn’t consider getting a new bridge as fun. That said, getting a bridge at age 89 is impressive, and I hope she goes for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. u of m is 40% less if that matters

        my mom just moved from a guy who finds a couple thousand dollars worth of work regilarly to a grad student at the u
        better care
        less money
        2 months out but worth the trouble

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Sometimes the Developmental Disability program managers I work with have intellectually and developmentally disabled clients who maintain jobs and even have health insurance benefits aside from Medicaid. Some of these folks are quite good savers. The problem arises when they retire and lose their commercial health insurance. In order to qualify for medicaid these folks have to spend down all their savings, so my colleagues take them on spending sprees, buying them things like funeral plots and caskets, headstones, new beds , etc. Sometimes the county social services who manage the medicaid funds balk at allowing them to prepay for headstones, even when they have their name already carved in the stone because the person could, theoretically, sell the head stone for cash if the stone was sanded down and the name removed. As very few of our Developmental Disability folks are Napoleons of crime to even think of doing such a thing, my colleagues and I can only shake our heads at the bureaucrat mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a disconnect there – if someone went through life spending everything as soon as the money came in, they’re eligible for help, no question. But if they scrimped and saved, then they are suspected of advantage of the system.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Renee, how does that work? Wouldn’t they loose their SSI if they’re assets were too high?
      We are dealing with this with our daughter now as she gets SS payments and is beginning to work.
      So we use her account for her food and clothing and such. And we’ve set up another account in our name. So she pays us rent for example and we save that for whatever her future needs might be. (is that bad? Should I have not said that out loud?? Haha– )

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think that’s a very legitimate question, Ben. Parents of special needs “kids” have an awesome responsibility that doesn’t just end when their child becomes of legal age.

        We have several friends who are parents to special needs children, and as those children age, the issues they face become increasingly complex. I know your girl is in good hands.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you PJ. We think we’ve got it pretty easy compared to what some parents are dealing with.
          And let me correct that typo up there: “… if THEIR assets…”
          Whew. Hate making that kind of mistake.


  24. If I was given a small fortune I would start out by doing some financial planning. I would get help on setting up a plan that would set the money aside in a safe place that would make myself and my family as financially secure as is possible

    Also, I would take some time to decide how I could do something good with the money beyond meeting my family’s needs. I would be glad to make donations to help support people who are doing good things. However, I think people power is more important that money for getting good work done. Throwing money at a problem may do more harm than good. On the other hand, I’m sure that many people and organizations are capable of making good use any donations given to them.


  25. My work is outdoors, and on a typical day I don’t have access to a bathroom while I’m working, so I take a restroom break at a convenience store if there’s one nearby. I generally make a purchase there, because it seems the polite thing to do. Most of the food is rather overpriced, so I often buy a lottery ticket. My sources tell me the retailer makes about 6 cents on a lottery ticket; not a very good margin, but it’s not labor-intensive for the retailer.

    I buy Gopher 5 tickets rather than the big money ones. Better odds.

    I don’t ever spend more than a dollar on any particular drawing, though. If you’re buying one ticket, the odds are overwhelming that you’re not going to win, you’re just opening the door to a very remote possibility. If you spend five dollars, you don’t increase your odds of winning in any statistically meaningful way. You’re just spending five times as much money.

    But it is fun to think about how you’d spend it.

    Nice photo at the top today!


        1. I am the greatest. I am huuuuge! Nobody is a better politician than me! Everyone else is a loser. I will Make America Grape Again. Drink More Whine.

          Liked by 2 people

  26. I highly recommend a chapter I just read in Me Talk Pretty One Day (the David Sedaris book for BBC this Sunday) called “The Great Leap Forward” about, in part, managing money while living in NYC. Some very funny parts… and something in it reminded me of this discussion, but I can’t find it now.

    Liked by 1 person

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