Let’s just mess around and say that I go down to the corner store here in my little town and I buy my usual: a medium cup of coffee, two beef sticks from the plastic thing on the counter, a Tootsie Pop for Violet, a Sugar Daddy that will last like six days and turn into a melted lightning rod for dog hair and dust for Henry, and, on a flighty whim, a couple tickets for the Mega Millions Lottery going off tonight.
Then, let’s just say…I win the thing.
$363 million. To a husband and daddy of two little kids in tiny rural Deer Ear, Pennsylvania.
His name? Serge Bielanko. Well, Serge “Sugar Daddy” Bielanko, that’s what they call him now. For TV’s sake and all.
Here I am, a regular dude, regular bills, pretty regular family: but now I am filthy rich. How does that change our life? How could I limit the effect of the wealth on my kids? Or is that impossible?
It’s staggering to imagine what fortunes sudden fortune could bring.
Here are some things I would buy on Day One of The Check Has Cleared:
-a mountain of my own covered in wild turkeys and deer
-a trout stream (all of it)
-some land, with a big pond, and a lot of fat bass in it
-a jet pack
-a trip to Cinque Terre and Rome and North Korea and Thailand and London and New Zealand and Paris and the Little Bighorn Battlefield and somewhere very beautiful in Africa and all over Spain and then down to Sea Isle City, NJ to buy a place on the beach.
– a nanny. No, four nannies.
-a library of the classics
– and some other stuff, I’m sure
But even more overwhelming has got to be the prospect of all the misfortune it brings along to, right? I mean, think about all those distant cousins crawling out of one of your old yesterdays. And friends you could care less about appearing out of the ether.
God, how many new Facebook friend requests would you get? That would be an interesting time-lapse short film, right there: some lottery winner’s friend requests just piling up.
And what would you do with all the dough? 363 million is probably still 200 million+ after taxes, and that’s a lot. I’d have to get it together for my kids, I guess. I’d finally be able to set something aside for their education and maybe help them get a great start in this tough world.
But still. I read this article the other day where the actor, Hugh Grant, a pretty wealthy guy in his own right, was saying that he won’t start any kind of trust fund for his child simply because he believes it does more bad than good. And I wonder if I might lean that way myself.
I guess we’ll know tonight.
When my ship comes sailing in.