The Value of “If I Won the Lottery” Thinking

How many of us have ever wondered what we would do if we won the lottery? I know I have! This despite not having any interest in playing it.

Actually, in addition to not playing the lottery or even buying tickets, I’m not too big on casinos either.  When younger, I enjoyed going to Vegas every so often, but my last trip there a few years ago ended up being the Vegas Cheapskates trip I wrote about back then.  None of us played much.

So, we have to pay to play sometimes.  Regardless, I’m sure the notion of what to do if you win the lottery has come up at least once.  It’s something that might have come up in conversation at some point, or been something that was the focal point of a daydream.

If you ask yourself that question, what comes to mind.  What would you do if you had a financial windfall all of a sudden?

For me, thoughts come to mind around the idea of financial independence and security.  Also, a future with more time spent with kids, and even WAY down the line grandkids.  More time traveling, and exploring.  Time to spend with friends and family, and time to focus on living a healthy lifestyle.  Every day would be fully enjoyed.

This got me thinking: if this is what I would want life to be like if money was no object, maybe it’s what I can work toward anyway? And, in some instances, maybe I can simply live out this life now as best I can.

If this so-called “ideal” life would be so incredible, maybe we can use this “if I win the lottery” question to get some clarity as to what’s really important to us and what we would really love to do with our lives.  Then, just try to do it – without the lottery of course, and without expecting to win it (because that’s incredibly unlikely to be happening) And, with a sense of financial responsibility while simply viewing this as an exercise in focusing on what’s important.

What it comes down to is that when we think about the role of money in our lives, it certainly helps us. But, it’s not the only thing.  Relationships and health are paramount, and are interrelated to finances as well.  They all feed off each other!

My Questions for You

What do you think about this type of thinking as a way to understand what’s really important to us if money was no object?

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you had a big financial windfall?

I shared what I would do – so I’m naturally curious, what would you do with a windfall?



  1. says

    I have to say, I really like my life the way it is now, and I wouldn’t change much. I might buy a condo in Central America for wintertime use as the winters where we live are relentlessly rainy and gray. And I’d finance regular gatherings of friends and family.

    • Squirrelers says

      That’s cool, the idea of arranging regular gatherings of friends and family. It’s a way to use funds to be inclusive and enhance relationships. The condo idea would sound good to someone around here too, when it’s bitterly cold in the winter!

  2. says

    I like the my life too, but I wouldn’t mind winning Powerball. I’d buy a bigger place. :)
    Other than that, I’m pretty happy. Maybe travel a little more.
    It’s always nice to dream a bit.

  3. says

    We’d probably move to a better neighborhood, and we might travel a bit more, but then mostly continue doing what we are doing. We give quite a bit to the local food bank and to our alma mater, so we might increase our charitable giving to those, but I would hesitate to go out looking for other charities to donate to.

  4. says

    We are always doing this sort of thinking, just for fun, and it definitely shows me what is important. I focus heavily on family and the ability such a windfall would give me to make my family’s lives easier.

    • Squirrelers says

      That’s great…seems like you use this thinking the same way, which is to show what’s really important.

  5. says

    Interesting idea! I guess that most of the people really want a huge cash bucket to spend more time with the family, work less and enjoy life. The funny thing here in Romania is that ALL of the jackpot winners at the lottery (prizes of around $6-7 million) have ended up worse than they were before winning – broke, in trouble with the government and so on. So winning a large chunk of money means nothing if you don’t know what to do with them.

    • Squirrelers says

      Great point, it’s critical to know what to do with it. I wish I had the opportunity to show that, but that would entail me playing the lottery which I really don’t do :)

  6. says

    This reminds me of the scene in Office Space where the one guy talks about the exercise they did in school where the guidance counselor asks what they would do if they had a million dollars, and the answer led to the career choice that they should pursue, only for the other character to point out that if this were reality, the world would have no janitors because nobody would be a janitor if they had a million dollars.

    No real relevance, just that it’s a great movie :)

  7. says

    I came here via MFIJ, and now I’m thinking that there’s something going round… I just posted an article on almost this exact same thing – it’s about people who are dependent upon a financial windfall like winning the lottery in order to start living the life they want.

    I played the lotto once, and I didn’t win so I gave up :) But if someone did give me a bucket load of money, I’d spend my time writing, reading and hanging out with friends and family. So, just an eternal weekend, really.

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