Powerball.

You had a 1 in 292,200,000 chance of winning the 759 million dollar Powerball jackpot on August 23, 2017.

You’re more likely to get attacked by a shark or get struck by lightening. A Massachusetts woman beat the odds. She also landed into the 100% odds of the government taking its share, leaving her with $480 million.

Why are we talking about this?

Because every so often, a jackpot will get so big that you start dreaming. You buy a lotto ticket. You start throwing out promises of giving away money to Instagram followers if you win because you need their good karma.

Because if you want to see Scott and I fight – screaming, walking out of the room, and flipping each other off behind each other’s back because he’s so wrong about this –  then let’s talk about winning the hypothetical Powerball.

What would you do with $480 million?

I think most people are in agreement –  you would hire a financial planner. You would pay off all debt. Sell your house. Donate to charities. Go on a ridiculous shopping spree.

Scott and I would set up Emma and Kate’s college fund to be paid in full at Kansas State University. Maybe we would buy a building and name it Burton Hall.

Kansas City would be our “home base.” We wouldn’t move. We love our neighbors and schools too much. I’d call designers over to decorate for me. Every door would get a screen to allow a proper breeze. We would add a pool to our backyard. The fire pit and basement would be complete. I would hire a maid and hire a chef. I’m a simple woman. I don’t need a mansion.

We would buy a house in the Florida Keys. Scott grew up in South Florida and knows the area well. Jimmy Buffet would not be playing from our speakers. No, Jimmy Buffet would be live in concert in my kitchen overlooking the ocean. I would buy a boat and hire a captain and mate. We would fight sailfish, marlin, tuna, and mahi around the world. We would fly our Kansas friends out to come play with us. They could probably use the tan in December. Merry Christmas. 

We would buy a mountain lodge in Colorado. The lodge would be for me and anyone else that is normal and likes warmth in the winter. Scott likes sleeping in a sleeping bag at 15,000 feet in below freezing temperatures. He wants to be at one with the elk. Or maybe he thinks he truly is Jon Snow.

We agreed to take care of our parents and living grandparents with enough money to live with no financial stress.

But then our views differ: siblings.

Our siblings are the people that probably know us best. We would not be who we are if it weren’t for our siblings. Every childhood memory is shared with them. Every important event in our lives is shared – weddings, babies, vacations, tears of joy and tears of sorrow.

This is where Scott’s view of family equality really shines.

Scott has one brother. I have two sisters and a brother.

Scott’s view: His side should get half and my side should get half. Let’s say we agreed to $10 million going to our siblings. Scott’s brother would get half and my three siblings would get the other half, divided by 3. Five million dollars would go to his brother. My three siblings would each get a little over $1.5 million each, for a total of $10 million.

BACK IT UP, MONEY TRAIN.

My view: Every sibling receives $2.5 million each, totaling $10 million given to all siblings. All siblings are equal. Scott’s brother gets just as much money as my brother.

Our siblings are people, not his and hers towels. Just because I have two more siblings than Scott, does not mean Scott’s brother wins his own mini-lotto. I love his brother like my own brother but come on. My siblings should get the same amount.

The chances of someone in my large family winning the lotto is greater than Scott’s tiny family because my family has greater odds. I’m sure Scott would take lotto money from one of my siblings if they were to offer it. When you marry a person, you marry the family. When Scott said “I do,” he said “I do” to two extra sisters and an brother.

Of course, this is just a hypothetical argument. And worst case, I would totally slip my siblings an extra $3.5 million cash under the table at Christmas to make them equal to Scott’s brother.

Who wins the argument?

The odds of finding out the answer is one in 292,200,000.

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The selfish post.

I was left with a mind-boggling question. I still don’t know the answer to it.

It is confirmed that I’m the lamest person on earth.

This question was brought to Scott and me by our good friends, Danny and Christine.

Danny and Christine are somewhere over the Atlantic right now. They have 15 hours left on a plane since their last text message was sent to us around dinner time.

This picture will post before they even land. I hope I have their permission.
This picture will post Monday morning before they even land. I hope I have their permission.

 

They are flying to Johannesburg, South Africa. They are going on an African hunt trip. I told you we are good friends. What’s that saying? Birds of feather, flock together? Yeah, Scott wishes he was flocking with them on their 18 hour flight right now. Danny has his eyes on a baboon. Christine has her eyes on…well, I don’t know what Christine is doing there but I hope she takes a selfie with a lion.

One of our last conversations before they left –

“What would you do if you won the lottery? Not a few thousand dollars, but billions. Let’s say money is no longer a worry for you. You set aside money for the kids to live well. You set aside money for your families. How would you spoil yourself?”

I gave them a blank look.

Me: Oh. Um. Well, I have a laptop to write. I have books to read. I don’t have any other hobbies. Oh my gosh, who am I? Maybe start a publishing company?

Danny: You need a publisher? I know one.

Me: Oh! What? Well, really? That still doesn’t answer the question. Ummm…

I’ve been racking my brain. Am I human? Am I boring? Am I happy? Let me tell you, there has been some soul searching going on this weekend. I asked Scott again. Maybe he will find my answer.

Me: What did you say to Christine and Danny’s question? Buy hunting land?

Scott: I would buy hunting land in Kansas or Iowa as an investment.

Me: Investment?

Scott: And hunting purposes.

Me: If money didn’t matter, why would you need the investment?

Scott: The statistics show most lotto winners go bankrupt. I would have to prepare for that and make an investment. I would also buy you a house in the Keys.

Me: No, buying me a house is not a selfish reason. I’m talking about YOU. How would you spend money on just you.

Scott: Oh, ok. Hold on. Let me think…

Me: Really?

Scott: What? Is this a trick question?

Me: Nope. Go ahead.

Scott: I would start my own business of some sort.

Me: Money doesn’t matter! You would go back to work?

Scott: I would get bored. Maybe I would open a sports bar in Aggieville.

Me: Do you want your daughters going to K-State when their dad owns a bar in Aggieville?

Scott: Hm, yeah that might end bad. I would get a new truck, all jacked up. I know! I would make a sick hunting lodge for all my friends to use. I would build one in Kansas, Iowa, Florida, New Mexico. I would buy up elk tags too.

Me: (rolling my eyes)

Scott: This is a trick question. What do you want me to get you?

Me: I don’t know!  That’s what I’m trying to think of. Fishing boat?

Scott: Our friends have those. Why buy our own?

Me: To have our own crew? Hire a captain.

Scott: Nah, we can just bum off our friends.

Me: Hm. I’m out of ideas for me.

Scott: I would also get a motorcycle. And a boat.

Me: I just asked you if you would buy a boat!

Scott: No, like a lake fishing boat.

Me: Oh. Fresh water? Really? I’ll go fish in the Dominican with our friends while you sit on a lake in Kansas.

Scott: My house would have a 4 car garage and a tandem garage to the side.

Me: Whoa! You are just radiating testosterone right now, I think I’m growing a penis just sitting next to you.

Scott: I’d like to be a farmer.

Me: You mean to tell me if you were a billionaire, you would purchase land so you can farm it?

Scott: (laughing) You know, just have fun with a tractor on farm land.

Me: What? You would be a pretend farmer?

Scott: (laughing) This is a hard question!

Me: Well, I don’t know. You have quite the man-list here.

Scott: I told you! I would buy you a house in the Keys for you and all your girlfriends to hang out.

Me: Yeah, a house in the Keys would be cool but apparently I am already getting that from you. I would need a boat to fish from, nothing fancy. What is wrong with me? I don’t know how to spoil myself? I hate shopping. I do like to travel but buying a private jet is out because if a jet is going down, it’s always the small private jets. Nope.

Scott: You have serious problems.

Me: Wait, I got it! I would buy tickets to the Super Bowl every year. And every K-State game. College Football Championship tickets. Oh! And the World Series! There! There’s my answer – front row seats to every major sporting event. That’s how I would spoil myself. That’s a good answer, right? We would have fun!

Scott: You do know the Royals won’t play in every World Series.

Me: Yes, I know that, Scott. But I would still wear my Royals gear.

Scott: And my wife grew a penis.

Me: Take a selfie with a lion?

Scott: Oh, she’s back.

 

Your turn! How would you spoil yourself if you won billions of dollars? Be selfish. What are your hobbies? Would you still invest money if you didn’t have to worry about money anymore? If you had to fish with one of us – would you pick marlin fishing with me or bass fishing with Scott? 

lion

Hypothetical question.

What would you do with $540 million?

That is what the Mega Milions jackpot is up to. Oh, that’s a fun question – what would you do if you won $540 million?

Let’s talk real money, here. Uncle Sam will take half of that. So we’re looking at $270 million. Cool.

$270 million is a crazy amount of money.

I think most people are in agreement –  you would hire a financial professional. You would pay off all debt. Sell your house. Donate to charities. Go on a ridiculous shopping spree.

Scott and I would set up Emma and Kate’s college fund to be paid in full – at K-State.

Kansas City would be our “home base.”

We would buy a house in the Florida Keys. We have friends there and Scott knows the area well. A little Jimmy Buffet on the iPod with a pina colada in hand while wearing a bikini in December? YES. We would fly our Kansas friends to come play with us.

We agreed to set up each set of parents with enough money to retire and live with no financial stress. Easy, done.

But then our views start to differ:

Siblings. What would we give them? These are the people that probably know us best. We would not be who we are if it weren’t for our siblings. Every childhood memory is shared with them. Every important event in our lives is shared as well.

This is where Scott’s view of family equality really shines.

Scott has one brother. I have two sisters and a brother.

Scott’s view: his family should get half and my family should get half. So his brother would get half and my three siblings would get the other half, divided by 3. You read that right. Let’s say we decided $10 million to go to siblings. $5 million would go to his brother. My siblings would each get a little over $1.5 million each. STOP – Back up the money train.

This is so not fair on so many levels.

My view: everyone (or married couple) gets $5 million. Each. (hypothetical number, of course. But all the same number.)

How is Scott’s view fair? They are people! Not his and hers towels! Just because I have two extra siblings than he does, does not mean his brother wins his own mini-lotto. I love his brother like my own brother but come on. My siblings should get the same amount. If you think about it, the chances of someone else in our family winning the lotto is greater because my family is larger. I’m sure he would take lotto money from one of my siblings, if they were to offer it. Pook, you married me – but you also married into two sisters and an extra brother. Plus their spouses.

This is just a hypothetical argument. To my siblings – I swear he loves you too. Scott is just not thinking very clearly. He has learned by now that I am always right. Worst case, I would totally slip you an extra $3.5 million cash under the table at Christmas.

Whatever. I can’t tell if he’s serious or just trying to get me all riled up. I’ll very likely never find that out. Or more like 1 in 176,000,000 chance of finding out.