On March 30 of this year 3 people became something I nearly daydream about every day of my life to some extent, winners of the lottery. But not just any lottery, it happened to be the largest lottery jackpot ever! Did I play a ticket, nope. But do I still feel the pain of not winning, yup. And do I feel happy for the people who’ve won something I think about everyday, of course I do.
I was a weird kid growing up and never thought twice about it. Sure I enjoyed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and pizza like many of my peers, but I also had a peculiar interest in game shows. Well to me it was a normal thing as my sister will tell you a different opinion on that. I knew she would appreciate my love for game shows since I would watch those instead of reeking havoc on her. It would be one thing if I only watched game shows that came on Nickelodeon or other kid-inspired ones (Guts, Double-Dare, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and other classics kids today won’t be privileged to enjoy) . Nope I expanded my viewer ship to classic shows like The Price Is Right, Scrabble, Press Your Luck, $100,000 Pyramid, and more. And if you asked me why I was watching them, I’d simply replied “Because I like them, it’s fun.” I think the reason why my sister found it so strange is that I was watching with great interest without distraction, unless the battle between my G.I. Joe’s and the Power Rangers action figures couldn’t be resolved at the moment. I often felt like a contestant of the game shows finding myself shouting out answers that may no sense while feeling the thrill of victory and agony of defeat before I even knew the phrase existed. I can’t tell you how many times I blurted out ridiculous amounts as people on The Price Is Right would continue to pick $1 as if it was the most ingenious response ever on that show (here’s another video that showed my frustration with people knowing how to play a game on that video but she still won…!) I was emotionally invested in the outcomes of these shows whether that was a good or bad thing is yet to be determined even 20 years afterwards.
May of 2005 I graduated from high school and was set to start a scholarship program over the summer at Purdue University. It felt great knowing I was finally a student at the college I’ve wanted to go to the most despite the financial burden it potentially presented. And presented itself it did. Fast forward to May of 2011 after transferring to 2 other universities (Illinois State, Chicago State), dealing with issues of credit hours be transferable, and several loans later I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Marketing that seemed to be eluding me for six years. During college it was very easy to feel the feeling of productivity drain away from your pores allowing one’s mind to wonder. Mines did that and then some. One subject of such wondering was how I would react if I won the lottery. I remember my freshman year of Purdue the Indiana MegaBall was at a huge jackpot where students on campus were discussing buying tickets in groups and splitting the profits. But it made sense because the vast majority of us were broke-college students looking for a quick fix to our economic woes. While I never played that lottery or any other one, I continued to think of my master plan of what to do with the lottery winnings.
Accounting was a bane of my collegiate existence, specifically managerial accounting. The irony of accounting is that it’s not so much complicated but so meticulous that 1 mistakes has the trickle-down effect of a single rain drop evolving into a hurricane. So every time I play accountant in my mind about where every single $1 of my lottery winnings would go I can’t help but chuckle at myself. I think like this:
Okay if I win $10mil let me see, 10% would go to Jesus for my tithes. Okay that leaves $9mil left huh. I’ll pay off debts(mines and immediate family) and Sallie Mae. I’ll round that out to about $500,00. So now I have $8.5mil left. Cool so I need a house, car, suits, tiger…okay no tiger I can’t afford its diet….lizard will do…
Yup it goes something like that but the crazy thing is I enjoy doing that. I mean of course anybody would love fantasizing about how to spend a fortune, but I get a special kick out of it at times. Because depending on how much I get, I tend to get more elaborate with my financial planning. If I win over $500mil, you better believe I’m contacting free credit report.com to review mines before I pull in my bid to buy any of Chicago’s professional sports teams!
One phrase that people still overuse to my liking is “Dream Big”. But I wholeheartedly agree with its point. You have to think big in order to achieve big. So if people make fun of my daydreaming of winning $500mil, I shall make a point that aspiring to win that instead of $500 on those scratch-and-wins is a better dream. But that said, dreams won’t come true without actions. More importantly if I don’t have faith in what I want to do in my life, dreams are worthless.
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.