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If I Had Two Point Five Million Dollars ...

By Mrs. Julien | Comment Diversions | February 9, 2013 | Comments ()


mad-men-peggy-counting-money.gif

I think about winning the lottery a lot. Seriously, I've done research: In New Jersey, the cash pay out after taxes for MegaMillions is 55% of the advertised jackpot. Powerball is 47% owing to a longer (30 year) amortization period on the annuity payment option and therefore a smaller potential cash up front jackpot. Like I said, I think about it a lot. Some weeks, I spend upwards of $4 on tickets. I don't care about the odds. Somebody wins and it could be me, and I find entertainment value in imagining it. Do you?

Unfathomable amounts of instant wealth aren't the point here. The answer to someone asking "What would you do with $100 million dollars?" is, obviously, "Whatever the fuck I want and I said NO EYE CONTACT", so I'm going to scale it back, to 2.5 million smackers. Let's take the practical considerations, bills, as read -

First, everyone gets a pack of gum. Next, I go to Whole Foods and buy whatever I want. Then I buy something shiny in each of the each the vehicular and gemological categories: Audi and Asscher. I'll be killed in a fiery crash distracted by my glittering ring as my groceries and I careen toward my beach house (also new) in my finely-engineered German road sedan, but I'll die happy. Okay, fine, I'd have given money to an assortment of charities first. Dead, but generous.

So CONGRATULATIONS! You have just won $2.5 million, after taxes. What now?

joker-money-on-fire.jpg

Don't be one of those people who says they "would just keep working and sock it all away". If you have the temerity to spew such nonsense, I will reach through the internet and poke you in the eye with a sharpened stick.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Buck Forty

    I'd buy Pajiba and edit the contributors work so it conformed to my thoughts on whatever they were writing about. In a 'benign dictator' sort of way. Then I'd award myself ALL the 'Eloquence' prizes EVERY week; and then I'd take the remaining $2.45M and...

  • denesteak

    Invest a third, give my mom a bunch, and then quit my job and use the rest to travel. After I'm sick of traveling, I'll take a job I really want instead of one I feel like I should take for my "career's" sake.

    Maybe I'll open a newspaper with my friends in Burma. Will probably lose all that money. And then use the remaining money that I've invested to open a bar somewhere with good bar food and ramen.

    I'll be rich with experience by the time I'm 30, but probably money poor.

  • funtime42

    Invest 2 Mill so I don't have to worry about working. Take the rest and pay someone to finish my house reno (I've been doing it solo), buy my favorite authors in hardback AND ebook, and then, while the reno is being done, hire a canal boat and cruise England. I'd also climb Mt. Fuji. And buy really, really good chocolate.

  • Malin

    2.5 million dollars is about 14 million Norwegian kroner with today's currency rates. That means I'd be able to pay off mine and the husband's student debts, we could buy a much bigger flat, or possibly even a house. I could afford to get my drivers' licence, and I'd be able to give a million kroner to each of my brothers, and to my sister-in-law on my husband's side.

    Some sensible investments, but mostly travel, travel, travel. I'd love to go to Japan, to Canada, on safari in Africa. Egypt. Madagascar. Petra in Jordan. I'd love to go back to China and Mongolia (went a few years ago on the Trans-Siberian, best holiday of my life), Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, Vietnam. Australia and New Zealand. The West Coast of the USA. So many places to visit.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I'll meet you in Vancouver in April. Heaven.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Three Words:
    Boats 'N Hoes

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v...

  • Mrs. Julien

    Alonzo: What would you do if you won the lottery?
    Duane: I’d probably spend most of it on beer and women, and the rest I’d just fritter away.
    Perfectly Normal

    Now THAT'S a Canadian reference.

  • Andy Brent

    After the obligatory paying off of debt & mortgage, I would set aside maybe $50k for travel. I would use the rest to establish a CPSC down in Austin... there are so many under-served perverts and queers in this town, I want to give us all a place to hang out, learn, and throw massive parties :)

  • BabyBearStrikesAgain

    I've also thought about this a lot. First, I'd meet with a financial adviser and figure out how to make the most out of the money and pay off debt, invest, etc. Then I'd travel, then a house that I'd remodel to my exact specifications. Finally, I'd probably go back to school and get my masters/phd in, like, cultural anthropology or something else equally useless but oh so satisfying.

  • "I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man,"

  • L.O.V.E.

    I approve this message.

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v...

  • Mrs. Julien

    What portion of the budget would this use up exactly?

  • kirbyjay

    I'd buy a bar on an island, An island bar, not a tourist bar.....well...they have the money and I wouldn't have to put up with the asshole regulars.....but I love regulars....just not assholes......so I guess it would be an authentic hybrid tourist island bar.....there, that's settled.

    I would give it an Irish name like Dunphy's or Doyle's because I am of Irish descent, but that brings about a new set of problems....the Irish skin....the Irish freckled skin....the damn freakin burning scabbing Irish skin. That would mean I would have to stay indoors all of the time and put up with drunken tourists and asshole regulars taunting me about my scabby red skin while they are brown as berries and drunk as farts.

    I would play Bob Marley on the jukebox while I am in my prison of a bar....but I don't like just one kind of music. I love Marley but he died young and his catalog would be thin and I get itchy listening to the same thing over and over and somehow Broken Bells or Metallica wouldn't play well in my authentic tourist island bar and nothing gets asshole regulars or drunken tourists more aggressive than one's music selection. If I heard "play some Kanye", I would have to get aggressive myself and start bouncing the drunken tourists and asshole regulars out the door and that would not be good for business.

    I know I won 55% of $2.5 million but I bought this damn prison of a sinkhole bar and nobody has responded to the For Sale sign since I put it up 6 months ago....

    and there is still the matter of the mortgage and bills I skipped out on when I bought this dump. so I really can't go back to Massachusetts, and Mr. KirbyJay just loves sitting in the corner tying flies and jamming to Bob Marley, and the Kirbyjay offspring are coming for their vacation.......

    Perhaps I should give this more thought.

  • kirbyjay

    Maybe a dog rescue farm......
    What?
    Mr Kirbyjay says I hate barking dogs and cleaning dog poop..
    This is harder than I thought

  • Soda

    I've talked about this with my best friend, and we're in agreement: we'd pay eachother's debts. Then I'd make sure my parents have a comfortable retirement, where they wouldn't have to give up things they love to do because they can't afford it anymore. I'd like to make sure there's some money for my nephew and niece as well - both are talented pianists, and should they ever get the chance to attend something expensive, I'd like to be able to support them, at least partly.

    I'd quit my job. Not that I don't like my job or my colleagues, but it's not a big deal. I'd travel some, study anything that struck me as interesting, and work pro bono for a non-profit of some kind.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Mr. J and I have an agreement that if we won a huge amount, we would each have 20% to give away to our friends and family, plus setting up the charitable foundation our friend (who currently works for an NGO) could run for us. A lot. I think about it a lot.

  • Zirza

    I'd buy a car and a house, go on vacation to, oh, say, Australia, quit my job and use the remainder to support myself to go back to school and study Chinese.

    BECAUSE I CAN, BITCHES.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    So many people on this list are 'paying off loans' or 'taking care of debt'. It really shows you how little 2.5 million is worth. With the death of defined benefits pension programs at most places of work, you'll need 2.5 million in the bank if you plan to retire at say... 60.

    There's an entire generation of people out there who see parents or grand parents living out retirement on a combination of a work pension and Social Security. But that world is gone. Now, it's your 401k and some Social that you probably won't get until 70.

    If you make it to 60, your life expectancy is in the 80's (men and women slightly different). So on basic math, 2.5 million will last you 25 years if you spend ONLY 100k a year. Mind you 100k is not that much - it's a two school teachers with masters degrees, or two McDonalds Manager's salaries.

    2.5 million buys you a nice upper middle-class retirement income. A few nice trips, a modestly upscale car, a bigger backyard for the grandkids, and that's about it.

    2.5 million is what you'd better be aiming to have in your 401k if you don't want to work for a salary until 72.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    In 90% of U.S. markets, $2.5 mil buys you far better than an upper middle-class home - it buys you a mansion (even if it is a McMansion). And most couples do not need to spend $100K a year, esp. not if a mortgage is already paid off. (there could be some with huge medical expenses, but even so).

    I am not projecting for what inflation will be in the 40 years before I hit your age markers though.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    You are mixing two things here - if you use the money to buy a house, then you need other money for living. If you use it for living, and your house isn't paid off, then you have to use it for mortgage.

    As to "needing" to spend 100k a year, of course not. but 100k a year is roughly the combined salaries of two modestly paid college graduates.

    Lets' set up a non-coastal living - I'm picking Tulsa, OK because I know someone there, and it's a pretty inexpensive place to live.

    Right now, average salaries in Tulsa are 63k for Mech. engineer, 51k for HR manager 39k for office manager, staff accountant is 43k and Sr. Accountant is 55k. So two people at 50k a year isn't out of line.

    If you spend 600k on the house (Trulia says 531k is average listing price), then you have about 10k a year in property taxes alone.

    So having 2.5 million in the bank will give you a nice upper middle class lifestyle. I'm not saying that you will starve, I am just noting that you will not be living "high on the hog".

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Actually, I read your initial bit wrong, thinking you were saying it bought 2.5 bought you an upper middle class home.

    but yes, you're talking about a retirement that is comfortably free from want - not lavish. (though one could argue lavish in comparison to the rest of the world)

  • Bodhi

    I live in Tulsa & 600k would buy you one hell of a house on a bunch of land. Or a builder's grade McMansion in a trendy neighborhood. (I'd prefer the former)

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    yep, 600k would do you ok in OK. But you wouldn't be Beverly Hillbillies rich. Just decently upper middle class.

    and I guess my ultimate point is that given how real pensions have been squeezed out of the world, we're all going to need cash + Social Security that gives us more than a million in income for our retirement. 2.5 if you want to live a "comfortably free from want" life.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I take it you are trying to help. To what end is all this crepe hanging?

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    Huh, I guess I don't see it as crepe hanging (great use of a term I haven't heard used in ages!)

    I guess i view it as a nudge in the direction of "consume less / save more today so you can be unshackled longer".

    More "wake up" and less "we're doomed".

  • marya

    You are so humorlessly grim, and so, so right. I like you.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I would be delighted to have an upper middle class lifestyle in retirement. I'd be delighted to have one now which I realise is what this money would buy. Plus, once we pay off the two mortgages, and student loans, if I do keep working (ugh!) I could max out my 401k every year and work towards the magical sum you mention above.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    I hope you get there! I know that meeting with a financial guy scared the spit out of me - I now realize I have to save a pretty large amount of cash in a relatively short period of time.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Make no mistake: We are doomed.

  • omer333

    House, debts paid off, money in set aside for my daughters to go to go to college or just have a good start in life (something I never got), one or two cars and motorcycles, a vacation out of the country, and that's it.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Here in NYC, 2.5 mil *would* get me a nice apartment, but would not really cover annoying thing like "maintenance fees." So, boo, and forget that. I'd continue to rent in Astoria, but in a nicer building, get a parking space and a car, and buy somewhere nice upstate for just a couple hundred thou. My grandparents had 30 acres up in Callicoon - it's on the market again, and I'd be tempted to buy it back, but any sizeable mostly-wild property would do. Then I'd dot it with small cabins - perfect for visits from my large collection of siblings with kids, and for use by my artsy friends as retreats for writing, filming and workshopping plays.

    There would probably also be a big family trip to Italy or France (I'd love all 24 of us to have a couple of weeks in a villa) and maybe ensuring that my mom gets to Galapagos and Machu Picchu. And maybe even Antarctica, so she can cross all 7 continents off.

  • frank247

    A monkey.

    You know I've always wanted a monkey.

  • mograph

    How about a green dress?

  • Tinkerville

    But not a real green dress-- that's cruel.

  • Mrs. Julien

    And you might spill exotic ketchups on it.

  • Mrs. Julien

    He can live in the tree fort in your yard.

  • Mitchell Hundred

    They have pre-wrapped sausages, but they don't have pre-wrapped bacon...

  • poopnado

    Charities. A lot of charities. I like helping people, but I'd also feel super weird having that much money. I'd probably get it down to half a million, then help friends pay off debt. Buy a decent house and a little summer home somewhere nice. I'd eat a lot of sushi. And I'd travel.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I'd feel super weird having 25 million, I'd feel juuuuust right having 2.5 million.

  • There's a huge old cattle saleyard right in the middle of my city that's been mouldering unused for more than a decade. Drives me nuts every time I drive past, especially as we're in the middle of a housing crisis. I'd buy it and put up cheap apartments. Trouble is, it went for about $5 million. Maybe I could use the $2.5 million as a downpayment.

  • ery

    For 2.5 mil I go part time (although, sadly on a temporary time frame) and address my medical needs. The insurance at my job is awesome by contemporary standards, so I would get the one surgery absolutely necessitated by my health needs and the other one I desperately want (for all my big breasted women who feel me, reduction surgery)
    I'd then purchase a reasonably priced home with a spacious back yard and devote my free time to becoming a pet hoarder.

  • David Sorenson

    Put a chunk of it in the bank. A big chunk. Let it sit there while I go to culinary school. When I'm done, open up a brew pub. I don't want anything big. I just want a nice relatively quiet place with a decent group of regulars where people can be comfortable. Simple comfort food and good beer. I'd even hire my crew from my current job and pay them what they deserve

    Once I've lost about two million dollars on that plan, I'll shut it down and find a nice restaurant to work at until retirement.

  • Tinkerville

    I'd buy back the house I grew up in, which was foreclosed on last year when my parents had to declare bankruptcy. Then I'd pay off my student loans, give my sisters their dream weddings (they're both engaged), and use the rest to travel and hit up all the best bungee jumping spots on the planet. Victoria Falls, I'm looking at you.

  • Travel. Travel, travel, travel. There are so many places I want to see and so few vacation days to use. If I had the means, I'd quit my job and take off with my hubby.

  • John W

    I've always wanted to try poutine and caviar. Not necessarily together but could be.

  • marya

    $2.5 mil worth of poutine and caviar? What proportion of poutine to caviar sounds right to you? Are we talking 1:1? Remember, your price per pound of caviar is going to be a lot higher, so if you need there to be equal quantity of both, adjust your budget accordingly.

  • Poutine is great. French fries covered in cheese and gravy, there is nothing in the world wrong with that. I'm always surprised it's Canadian. It seems like a very American thing to do.

  • John W

    My curiosity was peaked when Archer referenced it on his show...."Shut your poutine hole..." now I gotta have some.

  • Move to L.A. Produce, direct and star in a stage production of MacBeth, with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Lady MacBeth.

  • emmelemm

    Pay off the remaining mortgages on my mother's and father's houses, and then, well, shit, I don't really know.

    I generally like to imagine I've won something in the 10-25 million range or above, and start parceling out which charities I'd donate to, with tiers (these get $500K, these get $100K, etc.) and then rejoice that I'd still have enough left over to live modestly to the end of my days. $2.5 million just doesn't really quite get me there, although it would certainly be great.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I feel the same way. The average pay out for MegaMillions is $44 million net. You could have all the fun and do a lot of good with that amount of money.

  • BWeaves

    Hubby buys 1 ticket a week and only if it rolls over, because he feels only one ticket will win, and if the Lotto hasn't rolled over yet, then it probably will next week, and he won't waste money on the first loser.

    Hubby and I would quit our jobs and probably buy a different house. Ours is paid off, but it's not our dream house. Our dream house isn't big. It's just not the house we're currently living in. And we'd probably buy new cars, as ours are 10 years old. Since I'm a saver, I'm already halfway to $2.5 mil on my own, without winning the lottery. I'm hoping that by retirement, I might have that much, though.

  • misslucyjane

    Pay off my debts, of course, and give a nice chunk to my mom as thanks for all her help while I get my writing career off the ground.

    And then I'd get to work on my bucket list. I'd take a decade or two to visit all the world's great museums, and see all those works I saw in textbooks and slideshows but have only rarely seen in person. I'll find some top ten roller coaster list to work from and ride every one. I'll see all those places that don't fit on either list, like Uluru and the Aztec ruins. Maybe I'll even volunteer for a stint in Antarctica--I've always liked penguins.

    As a home base between these journeys I'll buy a little house with a lot of built-in bookcases and a room with a view, and write my novels.

  • PDamian

    I'd set up a trust for my mother, whom I love dearly. She was a hard worker, and she did her best to raise me well -- always supportive and loving. But she never could manage money properly, and now that she's retired and on a fixed income, I send her "loans" from time to time to help out (they're not loans, as I expect no repayment and she knows she'll never repay, but calling the occasional cash gift a loan is a sop to her conscience and makes it easier for her to take money from me, so I'm fine with it). I'd pay her bills, then call Vanguard and set up a trust fund that would pay her a nice amount on a quarterly basis for the rest of her life. At her death, the fund would revert to me, and I'd live off it.

  • Mrs. Julien

    By the way, I made millionaire's shortbread today to be thematically appropriate.

  • winged chorus

    what on earth is millionaire's shortbread?

  • Mrs. Julien

    It's a Twix bar from scratch.

  • Nic Cage

    I googled it and it's just Caramel Slice

    I would get revenge on people who don't really deserve it

  • Gabs

    Buy myself a nice house near the coast in Oregon or Washington, buy my mom a house wherever she wants, and work at an amusement park for the rest of my life. (Granted, the amusement park thing is already part of my life plan, but it certainly doesn't pay enough to afford nice coastal homes.) Also, I'm buying a Corvette. And it is going to be purple.

  • Pepper Fish

    Pretty simple. Pay off my student loans.

  • Samantha

    Pay my bills and travel with my kid. And give my mother enough so that she could retire and care for my father who has MS. I would travel a lot. And buy a lot of books.

    The first night though, I would probably go on a shopping spree for all those stupid things that you want but can't get because you're too poor.

  • googergieger

    Go to a Buddihist monastery.

    AND MAKE IT RAIN!

  • CMooreVerdad

    Set up college funds for my niece and nephew, buy my dad a new car, buy an apartment in Barcelona and go to grad school without taking on any debt!

  • Kris

    I'd still go to law school as planned, but I wouldn't worry about doing contract law, real estate, any of that boring stuff. I'd focus on constitutional law, criminal law, civil rights, etc. and spend the rest of my life being a legal pain in the ass to people who richly deserve it (and believe me, Florida has rich pickings in that department) just because I could. Hey, everyone needs a hobby, right?

  • Cree83

    I have six figures of student loans to pay, so there's that. Then I would buy property with whatever's left. No big mansions or anything - a nice house as a primary residence, a small apartment in NYC or Paris or some other city I love, a little cottage somewhere by a lake...

  • Allijo

    I would pay Benedict Cumberbatch to read me bedtime stories. . Naturally.

  • emmelemm

    See, now that's awesome.

  • Bandit

    Buy a Mark II VW Golf
    Build a race track
    Drive
    Live happily ever after

  • Mitchell Hundred

    I only have about $100-200 in debt at any one time (credit card), so I'd put aside enough to let me finish grad school debt-free. Then I would either do everything in this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... or something like this: (http://thinkprogress.org/econo....

  • e jerry powell

    Clear some credit card debt, take my nieces to every non-corporate amusement park I can find, put money down on nursing homes for when my father and I go into Alzheimer's dementia. And eat at upscale sushi joints three nights out of every seven.

  • LwoodPDowd

    Aside from the usual pay bills and get my folks taken care of, I picture two silly money drops. Three big trips scheduled well in advance so as many people as possible can attend. For friends with kids, a week long Disney trip where I pay for everyone's (spouse, kids and one optional babysitter or other extra per family) flight, room, tickets meals (no alcohol). For friends without kids, Vegas. Once again, flight, rooms (all booked into one hotel), tickets to lots of shows and the best club passes, cab/limos for transportation (still no alcohol). Those two trips will be for friends in the facebook definition, people I have know briefly, or knew well a long time ago but haven't seen in years, plus good friends. For my close friends, another trip, I had been thinking two weeks on multiple islands in Hawaii, but after a trip to England and Scotland last year, I'm thinking that would be the better destination. Once again, all expenses but alcohol.

  • bleujayone

    I'd be the Tooth Fairy. No, I don't mean a pixie in a ballgown or a fictional mass murderer. I mean I would tell no one of my good fortune and simply help those in need in secret I felt deserved it. Surprisingly, if you're smart with it even $2.5 million can go a long way. Someone needs a new car? Poof! A new, economical car, fully paid for will be found in their driveway. Someone is sick and can't afford treatment? Poof! The sting of the bills are taken care of so they can work on getting well and won't lose sleep trying to keep their home. Someone needs help getting through school? Poof! Tuition and books are paid off. Someone's roof is leaking? Poof! A contractor will arrive with permits in hand and crew in tow to fix the house. Nobody knows who took care of these thing and why. But sure enough if someone has a problem I feel can and should be fixed, the Tooth Fairy will come. In the meanwhile, I am still looked at as the same guy I always have been. I don't need accolades or other recognition. I would be satisfied being able to help those that truly needed it and wonder how much good some people with far more vast fortunes could do if they cared to.

  • Scully

    Pay off all my debt, pack my shit up and move to Provence where I'd live in a tiny, old country home that I would take years restoring. I'd probably hire a personal language teacher too, as I speak exactly zero French. Yeah, I'd have to find a job eventually. But I imagine I could grow lavender or grapes or find some other unrealistic profession, as long as it doesn't involve a cubicle.

    I *might* consider hosting Pajibans on holiday.

  • pajiba

    Pay my writers better.

  • Aw. For that, I'm totally clicking on some ads today.

  • Ponytail

    I'd buy the cinema in town, which has gone down in price from £1.2 million to £750,000 over the two years that I've been following the estate agent's website. As it hasn't been used as a cinema since "Starship Troopers" came out (literally - that was the last film it showed), I'd use the rest to refurbish it, and to keep me going in my usual lifestyle for two years. If I couldn't make it work financially after that, I'd go back to being a librarian, which I love anyway, so no hardship. But our town needs a decent cinema.

  • aroorda

    My practical plan would be: Take a million buy Google stock with it. Then I'd pay off my, my siblings, my parents, my girlfriend's, her sister's, and her parents debts. Give them all an extra 20 grand and let them know that's all they'll ever get. By my math I still have 750,000. I'd take that and buy a house in an up and coming city, probably Grand Rapids, MI since my gf has family there and they're going to become THE Michigan city at this point. Get it in a neighborhood near downtown in a neighborhood that's gentrifying. I still have 250,000 left so I put 200,000 in a high yield 10 year cd for when I'll be ready to have kids, and take the last 50 and go back to school for my masters.
    My impractical plan would be pay off all my debt and buy a 2.35 million dollar sailboat and go live in the Florida Keys.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Please tell me you'd become a "salvage consultant" and take half of whatever you recover for people under your impractical plan.

  • aroorda

    The only thing I'd be salvaging in my impractical plan is Rum.

  • kushiro -

    Half goes into investments. The other half is for traveling, in the way
    I've always wanted to. That doesn't mean first class and four-star
    hotels, though. I'd still stay in hostels, because of the people you
    meet, but I'd be free to spend a night or three in an expensive place here and there.

    Mainly, I'd just be free to splash out and do whatever I wanted to
    without worrying about funds. If I want to fly to the Cook Islands, I
    fly to the Cook Islands. If I want to hire a sailboat and a small crew,
    then it's a-sailing we will go. Get my PADI and dive every reef in the
    world? Done.

    Stay where I want, see what I want, eat what I want, go where I
    want, when I want to. I could go for years on that kind of money. With
    plenty of company if I wanted it, I imagine.

  • Now see, that's the exact reason I don't stay in hostels...because of the people you meet.

  • kushiro -

    You've been staying at the wrong ones then. Unless that's a dig at me, in which case, nicely played.

  • No, it's not a dig at you. When i was 18-20, sleeping in a room with four other strangers, two of whom are having sex and one of which is snoring, was an adventure. Now, in my mid-thirties, it'd be an annoyance. I'd rather pay the extra money for a decent room in a decent hotel.

  • kushiro -

    I traveled throughout Australia and New Zealand in my mid-thirties. I made sure to pick non-party places with small (max 4) dorms, a little bit out-of-the-way, but still accessible to city center, entertainment district, restaurants, etc. Most times I'd have the room to myself, or with one other person. You also get people who are a lot more considerate if you avoid the big places. I always look for places run by people who travel themselves, because they build the kind of places they want to stay in. A lot of times it's like staying at a friend's house.

    Single rooms in hostels are almost always cheaper than a decent room in a decent hotel. I don't like hotels because, for the single traveler, they can be pretty depressing and impersonal.

    Some of my longest-lasting friendships are with people I met in hostels and guest-houses. I have what amounts to a second family in Australia, all because we were sat together at breakfast in a guesthouse in Nepal.

    And, like I said, with a million-plus bucks at my disposal, I can stay in a fancy place or chalet anytime I want, if I want to pamper myself or get tired of backpackers.

  • Brooke

    My dad has cancer, so I'd make sure his medical bills were covered so my mom doesn't have to worry so much. I'd set it up so my nieces and nephews had college funds. I like my neighborhood, so I'd just renovate my current house to my liking. I'd pay off bills. My life really wouldn't change that much, it would just contain fewer worries.

  • aroorda

    Who the fuck down votes caring for an ill parent

  • Mrs. Julien

    The same twerp who downvotes Dustin saying he'd pay his staff more.

  • I would invest half of it in mutual funds and then take the other half over to my friend Sadulach who works in Securities.

  • David Sorenson

    I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.

  • blacksred

    Pay off my moms car. Pay her living expenses for 1 year, BUy hubs and self new car, pay down considerably our house, pay off our student loans. Rent out our house buy our dream house. Bank the rest

  • BobbFrapples

    I love this game; I only buy lottery tickets so I can sit an daydream about it.

    First, all debt (student loans!) would be taken care of. Next, I'd take one hell of a vacation to New Zealand and Japan, first class all the way. After that, I'd invest so I'd never have to worry about retirement again. This money would be the key to peaceful sleep when managment starts making noise about staff cuts.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I almost started my list with "sleep at night".

  • periwinkled

    I'd pay off my parents' debts and set aside enough to cover the rest of my brother's grad school. Then, I'd like to open a bookstore, something small, in a seaside town. New and used, with a lending library set-up for paperbacks. Buy an old house nearby, cover the walls with art, and travel as much as possible.

  • Robert

    I'd start a new theater community theater and arts school in NJ. That would fund it for a long time. Find a nice large building for rent and convert it to studio/rehearsal space. Then figure out the best rates and theater locations for different styles of productions. Start up some contests to produce/workshop original shows--especially shows by young people and students--and collaborate with local schools to help their programs and draw more auditioners to mine.

  • Quatermain

    I'd pay off my student loans and then I'd open a bar. Not a 'club' because I hate clubs. They play shitty techno(redundant) and they charge too much for watered alcohol. No, I'm talking a nice, old-fashioned neighborhood watering hole. There'd be a good jukebox with decent music on it, some TV's you can watch football or NASCAR on, I'd show UFC and wrestling PPV's and on Fridays and Saturdays I'd have live music or karaoke.

    We'd do food, but just bar food, you know? Burgers and fries, hot wings, nachos, that sort of stuff. I wouldn't bother with a dress code, but there would be a definite behavior code. It'd pretty much boil down to "Hold your liquor. Act like an adult. Don't be a jerk." You can't handle that, you probably shouldn't be drinking in the first place.

    I'd also have a sign right when you came in that said 'Cash Only.' I'd also have that same sign right above the bar. Every time someone tried to pay with a credit card, I'd charge them a 25% literacy tax.

  • I have a few very close friends, we've been each others extended family for 15 years. We have all gone to grad school and carry around an ungodly amount of debt from doing so. Our mutual pledge is to play debt fairy and pay off each others student loans, parents/own mortgages, etc. I know that I would hold up my end of the bargain even if they didn't because it feels fun to me.

    However, its all getting paid off anonymously from a trust I'm forming with the lawyer I'm hiring.

    Then the fun starts. Every place I want to travel, every delicious meal, fantastic pot of tea, clothes which are made to fit me, glorious cute shoes, a nice car. Perpetual student.

    2.5 million isn't enough to keep it going forever so I'd keep working and space it out over time, but it would certainly improve my quality of life.

  • idiosynchronic

    Lock it up in a steel-reinforced concrete trust fund. Seriously. Banking it all and continuing to work is a fucking joke unless you have the balls to lock it away so far out of reach that you have no idea where the fucking key is.

    Then I'd go back to school full-time, and enjoy every wonderful minute.

  • e jerry powell

    And I would take every course I found interesting, in my degree plan or not, and Governor Goodhair can suck my balls if he doesn't like it. I'll give him fifty centas a lick and pay full tuition while he's at it.

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