An open letter to whoever wins the BILLION dollar lottery!
As I lie in bed last night I found myself not being able to sleep and in my mind I couldn’t help but play that game, you’ve probably all played at some point or another, where I thought “what would I do with all that money if I won the lottery?”
I found myself getting all giddy, thinking about the things I could do, but I wasn’t thinking about yachts and private jets, island homes or fast cars. First I started thinking about all the ways I could help my family out, pay all their bills and have some fun spoiling them, I could see the smiles on their faces when I told them I was paying their houses off, but then my mind shifted and I started thinking about all the good a person could do with such a large sum of money. I mean according to Forbes there are less than 2,000 billionaires in this world. Winning this lottery would put you amongst a small group of people and put you in a big situation to do some serious good, all with some money left over for a nice piece of land, with a nice house, a few cars, family vacations, travel and college educations for your kids and grandkids. I’m sure everyone has causes that our close to their hearts and there are so many great causes out there but let’s just put this into perspective.
We all know water is essential to life, yet so many people in other countries are dying daily from the lack of water and it’s a serious problem, more so than many of us can imagine. Watch here! In American many of us flush more water down the toilet in one flush then a family in Kenya has access to in one day. Organizations like The Water Project can have wells built in countries where access to water or access to clean water is very scarce. You can have a well built for as little as 10,000 dollars and it serves around 500 people who are living without. With just 5 million of your large fortune you could have 500 wells built in Sub-Saharan Africa, potentially affecting 250,000 lives, all without leaving your couch. Learn more about this serious world problem, which many of us take for granted and this amazing organization here.
This is just one tiny example of some good you can do, imagine the possibilities.
Some other things you could do with the money: how about sponsor a child or 50! Studies have shown that in adulthood; formerly sponsored children were far more likely to complete secondary school and had a much higher chance of having a white-collar job. They married and had children later in life, were more likely to be church and community leaders, were less likely to live in a home with a dirt floor and more likely to live in a home with electricity. How’s that for some change?
In his 2013 book Happy Money, Professor Michael Norton of the Harvard Business school states that money can buy you happiness — if, at least in part, you are spending that money not for yourself but for others. So whatever you do, future billionaire, please realize true happiness will only come from helping others. Keep in mind that 44% of lottery winners blow through their money in 5 years, so before you go out and buy yourself a small island and a sports team that will ultimately never produce long term happiness, I beg you please to use this money to do some good in the world, this sad, sick, needy world. You and you alone have the power to BE THE CHANGE! Material things will never keep your heart warm for long, but I promise you helping others and making big change in our world will leave a warm feeling in your heart that will last.
With love, Stacia