Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In It to Win It

It's the biggest buzz all over the country: a $1.5 billion payout! And what if there's no winner this time? What would you do if you won?

While I don't generally drop anything into the lottery pool, even I have gotten a ticket (actually, several through an office pool -- more on that in a moment) and spent some idle moments fantasizing about what I'd do if I received some multi-million-dollar cut of the big prize. Who wouldn't?

But such dreams come with downsides. For one thing, I would expect that any large prize would cause problems within the little pool of colleagues -- I think it's about two or three dozen co-workers -- if for no other reason than the fact that many of us live in different states. As a New Jersey resident, do I have a responsibility to pay taxes to New York, where the winning ticket would have been purchased? I'm pretty sure I do, though I don't have any clue what that amount would be. And what would happen to the organization where I work if dozens of people decided they didn't need to work there any longer? Yes, I worry too much.

Needless to say, I haven't ditched my day job and don't expect to anytime soon, but if I were to get a piece of the office pool largess, I know what I wouldn't do: I wouldn't stop writing. If anything, I'd probably write more and might even be asked to write more. It would certainly help my publishing company, though I'd have a lot more expensive bills for folks like lawyers and accountants and probably financial planners.

As writers, we have the potential to win big with every book we complete. Your lottery win might be gaining a top agent or getting a publishing deal. It might be sales numbers that you couldn't imagine a few months ago or newly found celebrity. Personally, I'd be happy with financial security for my family. Again, who wouldn't?

So while I'll be happy if any of my writing and reading friends (or myself) are among the big winners of the billion-dollar lottery, I'm staying focused on creating my own lottery tickets with the books, stories, and articles I write. Good luck, winners!


JeffO said...

Nice attitude, Matt!

It is fun to dream about cashing in big, isn't it? But wise to keep the day job.

Good luck, I'm waiting for Saturday when it's a $2B payout!

Matt Sinclair said...

Thanks, Jeff. And even $40 million wouldn't be bad, but I doubt I'll be dropping another couple bucks into that pool when I could spend it on a cup of coffee instead. More immediate benefit.