The Mega Millions jackpot is huge. Friday's multi-state lottery will be $237 million, the largest since May. During last night's drawing, 17 tickets throughout the U.S. had five of the winning numbers, but none had the Mega number. So close, but so far. And considering that the odds of matching all five numbers and the Mega number is 1 in 175,711,536, according to the Mega Millions website, winning requires a little bit more than just luck.
I'll admit it: I'm lucky. I've won four radio contests before, and just this year, I won $500 off a scratch ticket at Sports Authority during the Black Friday madness. The only rule for my sporty winnings: I had to spend it all at the same time, in the store, that day. I wasn't prepared. I didn't know HOW to spend $500 at once, and had to go back three times from the register to find more items to meet my spending quota.
But this time? I'm prepared. If I win the Mega Millions, here's what I'd do:
Go on a cruise (or five): There's just something about cruising that I absolutely adore. Having no connection to technology (unless you want to pay the $2 per minute Internet fee), the taste of pina coladas on the hot ship deck. If I won Mega Millions, I'd go on my dream cruise to Europe. But, I'd have to put off until the weather gets a bit nicer.
Buy an all-wheel drive car: Many years ago, my parents broke me a "go to an in-state college" deal and suckered me into staying closer for home in exchange for a 2005 navy blue Jetta (Go Huskies!). The problem: I'm absolutely terrified of driving in the snow. Sorry Volkswagen, it's no secret that the Jetta isn't exactly a snow beast. If I got a car with all-wheel drive, maybe I'd be able to get from my house to the grocery store in two inches of snow -- without crying.
Never worry about paying for my commute: I love my job. I just wish the commute was free. In my dream lotto-winning world -- this commute would cost $10 round-trip instead of $33. In my dream world, I'd be saving more than $345/month. Or ... I could just pay it and not care because there's a few million (or hundred) where that came from!
Buy expensive clothes: This one's a given. I'm a bargainista. I don't think that I'll have a $20,000 Christmas list anytime soon -- I find a good deal thrilling. But maybe I'd feel okay splurging for a to-die-for pair of Steve Madden heeled booties or a new Louis Vuitton speedy bag.
Donate: A good friend of mine passed away a few years ago unexpectedly, and since then -- I've raised money for his scholarship fund and run a half marathon in his honor every October. To send someone to college, full-ride ... would be the greatest gift and reward.
What would you do if you won the Mega Millions jackpot?
Image via AMagill/Flickr