What to do when you win $450 million? jackpot? | Column | The Press and Standard

by | January 27, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: January 24, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Let’s recap: On Jan. 5, 20-year-old Florida resident Shane Missler claimed the $450 million Mega Millions jackpot. He will reportedly take a lump sum payout of $281.2 million. Missler, who bought the winning ticket with money won on a scratch-off, issued a press release saying 1) He’s blessed and 2) He’s assembled a team of financial advisers. In what may be the greatest understatement of 2018, Missler said, “I look forward to the future.”

Dear Shane,
Wazzup, cuz! Just kidding. We’re not related. Unless you want to be, and then we totally are.
So, congrats on your new Daddy Warbucks status. Florida may capsize into the ocean soon, as thousands of people stampede there to become your new BFF. Also, you’re going to discover relatives you never knew you had. Trust me, people will falsify birth certificates and bloodwork to get a piece of your pie.
All that sounds so cynical, doesn’t it?
What I mean to say is, way to multiply that scratch-off ticket, dude! Me, I always get the cash back, like $3 is going to make me or break me. Truthfully, I don’t even know how to play the lottery. I’ve tried to understand the quick-pick, random numbers, PowerUp, mega multiplier, etc. I just don’t get it, so I don’t play. But you get it. Boy, did you get it.
Anyway, I just came here to offer a little free advice (although donations are accepted).
Have fun. Do good. Be careful.
We’ve all heard about lottery winners who wind up broke and in the gutter, but I think you know the value of a dollar. You saved up and paid cash for your first car! Now you can buy the car(s) of your choice. I hear Lexus SUVs are pretty nice. Then again, why bother with a car? Just Uber everywhere. I’d Uber to the mailbox and back.
Speaking of choice, Shane, you’re going to have a lot of choices now. With $281 million, very few doors will be closed to you.
You can play paintball every day for the rest of your life if you want. You can buy ranches in Montana and penthouses in New York. For the right amount, Bono will sing at your birthday party and Pamela Anderson will pop out of the cake.
Your financial team’s probably telling you to invest in real estate. Sounds reasonable. Dolly Parton is on record as saying she owns several shopping centers, and if it’s good enough for Dolly… I can’t really offer any investment advice, except that Home Depot seems to stay busy, and Krispy Kreme is probably a sure thing. Maybe buy a couple of stores and keep the “Hot Now” sign lit 24/7.
Splurge a little! Buy houses for your family, or a Greek island — but that’s the thing, you see: There doesn’t have to be an “or” any more, just “and.” Buy the cashmere sweater and the Italian loafers. The diamonds and the emeralds. Just remember the old saying, “Better longing than loathing.” You don’t have to own everything that catches your eye.
Maybe you could build a couple of hospitals. Fund some spay/neuter clinics. Endow some scholarships, send some kids to camp, or donate to Helping Hands, a nonprofit that trains monkeys to assist people with spinal cord injuries. A quadriplegic friend has a Helping Hands monkey, and it changed her life.
Heck, take a page from Rodney Dangerfield’s book and go back to college.
Good luck! You’re living the dream.
P.S. Get a prenup.

(Julie R. Smith, who once won a caramel cake, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.)

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