As basically anyone with eyes, ears and a facebook page is likely aware, the Powerball lottery is currently topping out at 1.5 billion dollars. I usually avoid these sorts of shenanigans - what are the chances, really?! - but gosh, that’s a lot and it’s kind of fun to get swept up in the madness, so I stopped at the newsstand in my office building on the way out of work and handed over $10 in exchange for five chances to win. Five out of how many, total? I’m not even going to venture to guess.
There are now about two hours to go until the lottery is drawn and Brian and I are trying to decide what we’ll do with our winnings.
First things first: pay off my student loans.
Ok, no. The VERY first thing we'll do is take out a whole bunch of cash, all in hundreds and throw it all over the bed and have sex on top of it.
And thenI'll pay off my student loans. I am not beginning my ritzy new life with that albatross around my neck. I’d pay off my siblings’ loans too (even my brother’s law school!) and my mom’s mortgage. And then probably buy her a beach home and a new car and anything else she could ever want, so she can retire and just live a life of leisure. Honestly if anyone’s making out like a bandit from these winnings, it’s The Schmoops. She’ll be living like royalty without all the taxes and winner’s guilt and such.
So, then! A house of our own, here in New York. The West Village and Brooklyn Heights are utter dreams, but we like to be close to the park so we can run. Maybe we’ll relocate to Manhattan, get one of those penthouses overlooking Central Park. But Manhattan’s like, over, right? So we’ll stay right here in Park Slope, just lightly upgrade to something bigger, brighter, maybe with a deck?
“And a washer/dryer of our very own!!!” I yelped with glee, before realizing I could hire a whole army of laundry minions to take pick up my soiled garments off the floor and hand wash them, piece by piece by piece before steaming and hanging perfectly in my closet.
MYcloset! MY OWN WALK IN closet that I don’t have to share with my husband! I’ll be like one of those House Hunters wives, sweeping through massive closets and simpering “this will do for my shoes, at least...where will you store your things, honey?”
Oh, I’ll be insufferable.
But it’ll be fine because he will have a closet of his own where he can line up row after row after row of perfectly pressed Uniqlo button downs.
Or maybe even JCrew button downs! And not even JCrew Factory but real true JCrew, right out of the catalog. And me, I’ll start buying full price designer jeans that are actually long enough for my legs, instead of $19 pairs that stop mid-calf. I certainly won’t stop shopping at Old Navy, though, I could never leave them behind.
Maybe I’ll BUY Old Navy! I’ll become the new CEO of Old Navy, that’s what I’ll do. We couldn’t decide if we’d keep working or not - we both think we’d go mad just sitting around, doing nothing. Brian thinks he’ll start his own non profit education organization, helping low income kids get a leg up. If he really wants, he could still teach a math class or two. I figured I’d go like, mega Ann Patchett, buy up a string of indie bookstores all across America, while also running some kind of literacy non-profit. I think I could juggle all of that while still running Old Navy, yeah?
I mean, I’ll have plenty of staff. A personal assistant making my doctor’s appointments and things. The laundry minions. A cook! We won’t stop cooking all together, but think a part-time chef would be helpful. Think of the time I’d save on my meal prep. All the hours I waste messing up the kitchen trying to make weekday lunches, I could now pour into my various careers and charity endeavors. Oh and we'll be so healthy too. Maybe we’ll go vegan! Imagine all the green juices one could drink if one didn’t then have to clean up the goddamn juicer afterwards.
Obviously unspoken no duh expenditure: a personal trainer. Gwyneth will weep at the sight of my triceps. I’ll get my hair colored by a real professional stylist. Maybe get those eyelash extensions, too?
Also and I wish this was a joke but dead serious the first thing that came into my head when I was pondering absurd expenditures was laser hair removal, especially on the bikini zone. I’ll finally be rich enough to afford regular waxes but won’t even need ‘em because I’ll be so rich, I zapped it all off.
(Yes it’s a sad state of affairs for the modern woman that the first and best use I can dream up for my billions is pube management.)
Anyway, I’ll need to be all sleek and silky smooth for all the bikinis I’ll be rocking on various beaches. We considered buying a beach property somewhere, but we don’t want to feel tied down, so instead we’ll just vacation whenever we please, wherever we please. New cities every year. Every month! We’ll take our friends on extravagant getaways with us, rent out whole villas. Buy the best wines, the richest cheeses, the ripest fruits.
Oh and I’m never even looking at a coach seat on an airplane again. First class or bust, baby! With extra champagne.
We will NOT buy our own plane, because private jets seem to crash at an alarmingly higher rate than commercial and I did not win all this money just to meet some tragic John Denver fate.
RIP John Denver.
Maybe we’ll buy Denver! The city, I mean. Can someone own a city? Do we want to own a city? Brian briefly tossed around the idea of going full Bloomberg. You know, investing a lot, reviving a city and then running for Mayor of New York, but then we remembered that being the Mayor of New York carries a lot of, you know, responsibility, and we’re just not down for that.
I suppose in exchange for Mayorship, I might finally let Brian get a dog, now that we can afford someone to walk it while we’re at work or over in Tuscany, overseeing our vineyard.
Oh right, I forgot to mention: we’re buying a vineyard! Wine for life! What should we call it? Hott Wine sounds like garbage juice. BriLiz Vitners? Billion Dolla Grapes?
I kind of like that last one.
We will, of course, set up all sorts of scholarships and funds and donate to lots of charitable organizations and the like. And we’re considering becoming a two man Shark Tank Team, investing in lots of weird startups and inventions.
And we’re going to need to watch Shark Tank, you know for research, so we’re going FULL cable, bitches. HBO, Showtime, Starz, fuzzy local channels that only play Korean Christian music videos, we’re getting ‘em all.
Our kids will go to the finest schools in the city but somehow we’ll manage to keep them grounded and save them from turning into little Chuck Bass monsters. How? Who knows. We have plenty of time (and money!) to figure that out.
(Also, based on how quickly and dramatically our conversation veered from fun what-if daydreams into dramatic hand-wringing over the price of raising children - how much do diapers cost?? Where will our kids go to daycare? HOW WILL WE AFFORD ALL THESE SOCCER CLEATS!!! - it looks like we may need to actually win this lottery before procreating.)
We’ll have a country home too, somewhere nearby where we can escape the hustle and bustle of the city. We’ll get a car, I suppose, though I’m such a shit driver, I imagine we’d have to hire a chauffeur. A chauffeured car seems like the ultimate douche move but it’s either that or live with the constant risk of me running into a stone wall or guard rail or the Empire State Building or something so...full douche it is!
We’ll live like kings, but nice kings, whose subjects adore them. There will be no Marie Antoinette beheadings in our lottery life. We’ll keep it real, like JLo, not get fooled by the rocks that we’ve got. We used to have a little, now we have a lot, but no matter where we go, we’ll know where we came from.
(A perfectly fine upper-middle class yuppie life, TBH.)
And that’s what we’ll do, when we win! All we have left to decide is which brownstone we’ll buy and, of course, which AM TV program to visit first. I’m deciding between GMA (top ratings!) and CBS This Morning (luh that Gayle King) and Brian says, and I quote “I want no media attention” to which I replied, and again I quote “bitch, please.” You will see me - spray tanned and perfectly coiffed - all up on the cover of People Magazine, my friends.
Will I keep blogging, you ask, after I (erm, we) win my (OUR!!) billions? A fair question, but only time will tell. I mean, I barely blog now, as a regular old poor, and I can’t guarantee how much time running Old Navy will require (literally what does a CEO do?? Executively Officiate? What does that even mean?!) but I’ll do my best to continue to bless the internet with my wit and charm, even after I’m richer than god.
And by god I obviously mean Beyonce.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I must dash off to Christie’s Auction House. Those Picassos are not going to bid on themselves!
xoxo Liz Hott