What would you do with $1.5 billion?


Surely I’m not the only one who has passed a few seconds, minutes, or more contemplating what I’d do if I won the current Powerball drawing ($1.5 billion the last I heard).

Seems like most people say they’ll buy a new house or car, quit their job and travel, invest, donate to favorite charities, share with friends, etc. All the usual stuff. But I mean beyond all the usual grand, altruistic things that everyone talks about. I mean the single most personal, special, self-indulgent thing you can think of. I know you must have some secret little dreams hidden away. We all do.

As it happens today I was getting a haircut and the stylist and I began kicking ideas around. The best idea I came up with offhand was college funds for my grandkids, with some sort of guaranteed income for them thereafter. And then the stylist hit upon my favorite idea to date — a personal chef.

I drool just thinking about it. New and different gourmet cuisine at every meal. The freshest ingredients. Delicious dishes I’ve never seen before. Etc., etc. Of course said chef would need a properly equipped kitchen, which would probably require a newer, bigger house.

But the point is, grocery shopping, storage, and cooking for one is a colossal pain in the ass. You can’t buy in quantity, especially not fresh items, because you just can’t eat it up fast enough. Things don’t store well for long. You throw out tons of food that has expired or spoiled or otherwise become unusable. And eventually you just give up and resort mostly to prepackaged prepared foods, frozen dinners, etc. If you live alone, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you probably can’t begin to imagine. Oh, and it’s worth pointing out that in the suburbs, the routine is driving to the supermarket to stock up maybe once a week. There’s no little market on the corner where you can pick up fresh things every day.

So yes, I want a personal chef. I want someone who will do all the meal planning, all the grocery shopping, all the kitchen management, all the food preparation, all the service of delightful gourmet meals, and of course, all the clean-up.

That’s it. A personal chef. What’s your favorite idea for Powerball winnings?


34 thoughts on “What would you do with $1.5 billion?

  1. What would I do? Anything I wanted to, I suppose. 😉
    Well, I didn’t win but I did get 3 numbers right. I think that’s worth $10 or so. I can’t check the Powerball site as it’s currently down. Probably crashed when everyone went there at the same time just after the numbers were drawn.

      1. lol. Well, I figure that I cannot win if I don’t buy any, so I went and bought some. Someone did win in California. My 3 numbers with the 2 multiplier is a winning of $18. I’ll probably put it right back into the next round of powerball.

  2. Did anybody win? I read that after tax they’d be lucky to have a third of the 1.5 billion, so I suppose everybody who buys a ticket in this draw will be claiming the cost of the ticket as a genuine tax deduction, After all it is their contributions that make it possible for the tax people to rip someone off a great deal of money!

    I don’t think a chef would do much for me now,

    1. No winners announced yet. And yes, I’ve heard tax people saying one third would be about the net take. Still, a nice chunk of change.

      I wouldn’t dismiss a chef just yet. Unless you’re on strict intravenous, a good chef could probably make your limited diet a lot more palatable, even if only a bite at a time. We have a TV show here where the whole point is for the chefs to prepare a single bite for the judges.

  3. I know it’s too late, but if I had my druthers, it would be a personal driver, out in the street, at the ready. I can cook, don’t hate it that much, but I hate driving! So, yes…a driver. Next time, I guess!

    1. Yes, that had occurred to me too. I still drive and have always enjoyed it. But the day may come when I can’t and I fear the prospect of being stuck at home dependent on others even for a trip to the supermarket. A driver at the ready would be wonderful. In fact, I’d probably see a lot more of this beautiful state if I had a driver and didn’t need to worry about getting tired three hundred miles from home.

  4. I think your personal chef idea is excellent, PT, but I would go a little further with it. Eating elegantly alone, I submit, would get old pretty fast and would likely be boring for the chef and staff. People like to work and feel productive and cooking for only one person or even one family would hardly be challenging. How about founding a good restaurant near your (new) house? It would be expensive but not exorbitant and you would of course have first choice of a reservation or a standing reservation.

    Picture something on the order of the Senate dining room. White table cloths, sparkling glassware and a good selection of wines. Service, menu and portions would be similar to cruise-ship dining. Acoustically friendly, comfortable separation of tables, soft background music or maybe even a piano player doing your kind of stuff, other people enjoying the experience with you. And who knows, you might even break even on the cost!

    1. That does sound like the sort of thing I love and miss because as much as enjoy them, I just don’t go to fine restaurants alone. I wouldn’t mind sharing my chef and his/her staff with others that way, but I still relish the idea of that kitchen being in my home and the meals being conveniently served right there. You know, crawl out of bed in the morning, drag yourself downstairs, and there’s ample coffee, linen tablecloth, eggs benedict … waiting for you. You and Mollie would be welcome, of course, or you could visit my very fine restaurant down the street, provided I could get zoning for it. One can’t have too many great restaurants. I just want one that comes to me, not the other way around.

  5. The first thing I would do is move into a secluded, gated community. Then like some of you, I would first hire a personal chef and full-time house keeper along with a personal driver. I would also have a landscape caretaker for the property if needed. That’s pretty much it although I’m sure, given my age and projected longevity I would also tinker with a little philanthropy here in my home town.

    By the way, to no avail unfortunately as it turns out, here is what I posted on Facebook yesterday addressed to my friends and family regarding my lottery winnings….

    To All My Family & Friends:

    As you all know this evening when the PowerBall numbers are chosen someone will win some 1.5 billion dollars. There remains little doubt in my mind at this point, the winner will certainly be me. No one could be more deserving for sure and given that confidence and certainty I thought it appropriate to take a moment and speak briefly about tomorrow and the days to come as it concerns me and my relationship with my family and friends.

    Now I have enjoyed, for the most part, my past relationships with the majority of you. There, of course, have been times when some of you have truly tested my patience, tolerance and goodwill. However, what’s done is done and it will all be water under the bridge come tomorrow morning. It will be time to level the playing field as they say. And needless to say, you all will obviously be the playing field and I, well I will be the one doing the leveling.

    Tomorrow morning when I wake I will be a part of the 1% that seems to get all the crap and rhetoric from you middle class losers and whiners. Aww, poor little babies have to work for a living… boo-hoo! Suck it up peons!

    Oh sure, I will be inundated with cards, emails and phone calls from friends and family telling me how happy they are for me and how deserving I am for such a blessing. But we all know what they are really after but that’ll be when they come face to face with some of life’s little realities
    Some of you who have been ignoring me for all these months, some of you for years, well we’re about to see how that’s going to work out for you. And that’s quite sad given my age because I won’t actually be around all that long to enjoy my fortune. But I will be around long enough to decide who will share in it along with me even after I am gone. Just a head’s up…. most of you will need to hang on to that day job!

    And as far as Facebook goes, well the majority of you will probably in the end be “unfriended” based on what I know about you and our past relationships. The three or four that are left as Facebook friends will have to get used to my new class of friends. That’s just the way it is up here with the 1%. Look at it this way, if you are chosen to remain one of my friends it will in reality be just like winning a lottery. Wow, some of you are about to be very lucky!

    Oh, and just one more thing to my friends and family, remember that up here in the top 1% it is definitely all about me and little to nothing to do with you. Just some food for thought for those few chosen ones who want to remain in my circle of friends.

    1. Well, can’t say you didn’t warn them!

      Yes, one of my first thoughts was moving. There’s a beautiful age-restricted community for active, independent seniors just north of here that sits high on some open prairie hilltops and has an unfettered view of the mountains to the west. I’ve wanted to live there since I first moved here, but it remains out of reach. I could go through each day with the most beautiful views in the state and all the neighbors would be more or less my age (vs my current situation where most of the neighbors leave for work every day). The community has all types of housing to accommodate every preference — I think I’d opt for one of the patio homes. And of course I’d have a full staff to tend the yard and house. That would be essential with any new home.

      As for friends and family — my immediate plan would be to tell absolutely no one I’d won (except the appropriate financial advisor). Even now I can glance out my front window, imagine hoards of reporters out there, and be horrified at the prospect. That aspect of winning would be nightmarish.

  6. My husband checked into whether Canadians are allowed to win, and since they are, he bought a ticket (we are in AZ right now.) He did some quick math about how much tax we would have to pay, and how much we would get back when we converted $US into $C… the exchange rate would finally work in our favour…

    My husband observed that if he won this lottery, he could buy our entire community if he wanted – every house, and probably all the amenities too. Not that he wants to…

    So I thought – we could build an entire community! I’m thinking of one for dementia patients. Hogewey (near Amsterdam) is one good example of dementia patient housing that doesn’t feel institutional.

    1. I had no idea Canadians were eligible to win. I’m so small-town and provincial. Takes a concerted effort to think beyond US borders.

      A special community for dementia patients would be wonderful. Any such community that doesn’t feel institutional would be a real boon for everyone, residents and visitors alike.

  7. I have heard about the community for dementia patients, and I think it’s a great concept. My dad has dementia, and my mom worries when she takes him to public places about whether or not he’ll say or do something inappropriate. It’s very stressful.

    1. I understand dementia is one of the most difficult of all situations for both patients and families to deal with and I’m sorry to hear it has touched your family. If such communities would be helpful then we certainly need to develop more of them.

      1. I have been sucked into the grad school vortex of doom and finally have a minute to catch up with blogs. Thank you for your comment. I would love for my dad to live in such a place, but in the meantime, my family is learning to communicate with him more effectively. He still has his sense of humor.

  8. A chef. Now there’s a very practical luxurious thought. And that community sounds lovely. Would secure view of the mountains somewhere – and maybe a ocean view, too. I’d keep pretty quiet about winning, but would fund research at 2 children’s hospitals anonymously.

    1. I’d have a long list of organizations to fund after I got some of the “basics” out of the way. And definitely anonymously. That’s the truly altruistic way to do it. Not trying to get my name on a wing or anything.

  9. After all the usuals of paying off debts, selecting the charities, buying a brand new car, arranging to buy a great new house, and booking travel plans, I’d consider the following: Getting a full-size set-ready TARDIS to put in my basement; Going backstage at an Adele concert; Making my own music video with Misty Copeland dancing in it to my own choreography. Can we say “go ridiculously big or go home”? 🙂

          1. It’s the spaceship from Doctor Who. It’s designed to look like a police public call box from the 1960s in Great Britain. The abbreviation stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.

  10. Weather associated homes. A Lear to connect them with an in-house pilot. Crossed trained to handle the chopper I’d need in urban locales. Naturally the chef and live in attendants (servants, maids, mechanics, etc.) to handle the day to day maintenance of it all. So what if that’s 500 million… I’ve still got another thousand of them to blow on trivia. If only it really was 1.5 billion. Unfortunately after taxes it’s going to be about a third of that. Kidding aside, I think starting a technical college for kids who need a craft or trade would be satisfying. Too many now days wind up with advanced degrees for which there is no (or very little) need.

    1. After all the wonderful self-indulgences and pipe dreams, education would be a wonderful place to start. We’re in a world of hurt if we don’t adequately educate and train the next generation to deal with the real world, whatever it might become.

... and that's my two cents