posted by Joe Anaya on April 23rd, 2012

Recently there was a $640 million Mega Millions lottery combining a few states’ lottery awards. People at work were pooling their money and sending a runner off to get a bunch of tickets. I can do math and understand that the bigger the pot, more people will buy tickets, increasing the odds of having to share an already astronomical chance of winning. But I chipped in my $5 bucks anyway as part of the social scene more than as a hope of winning, although it was fun to daydream about winning.

And of course, if I won big, I would set up my wife’s and my retirement, which is a rational idea but who wants to be rational when you’re already on the irrational path. Occasionally, you hear lottery winners say they are going to keep working, “What else would I do?” Those people are crazy; I have a million things I would do.

If it were a “life changing” size award, I’d take up welding, learn Spanish, hire a coach to help my jump shot, to name a few.

We’ve all heard of offices pooling their money and winning the lottery. There was a group of young coffee baristas that won the lottery. Everyone in the shop chipped in except one guy. He NEVER joined in to their weekly pool because it was “a waste of money.” Statistically he was right, but ouch.

I’ve always wanted to build a Flying Fortress model (I started one as a kid but lost interest before finishing.). And I’d trick out my Subaru Outback to look like a Seahawk’s car.

Then there’s the machine shop crew who won the lotto, but one of the guys who was out sick that day is suing to be part of the winnings, because he ALWAYS went in with them when they bought tickets.

Oh, I would love to learn construction skills and remodel our house on my own. I’d design and fix up our backyard too.

But be careful whom you go in with. I read about another group of workers who pooled their money. The woman they sent to buy the tickets told them that the batch she bought for them lost, but the winning ticket came from the batch she bought for herself. Of course, they sued her, and were able to prove that she lied and the winner came from their batch. But in one of those “who said life was fair” moments, her lawyer got the case thrown out because pooling money to buy a lottery ticket was considered gambling which is illegal in their state, thereby making any agreement to share-in-the-winnings an invalid contract. She got to keep the money.

Travel, lots of travel. Visiting friends around the world. See the Aura Borealis. Learn to play boogie-woogie on the piano. Understand quantum mechanics. Anyway, you get the idea.

File Under Jack of all Trades