If you were like millions of others recently, your eyes probably darted to the television set sometime in the later evening hours while the Mega Millions jackpot was being drawn. After all, there were only around 650 million dollars up for grabs to the lucky winner(s), and most likely, visions of what you could do with all that free cash flew through your mind at super-light speed as the balls on the screen began to drop into their final resting places. Winning the lottery is one of our ultimate fantasies, a sudden life changer (for better or worse), and offers a unique blend of hope and desire. It spurs our imaginations, creates air castles-in-the-sky, and slaps us silly with daydreams of a better tomorrow which many desperately need today. It’s no wonder that pictures of huge lines wrapped around convenience stores flooded the networks showing people stepping up to chalk lines forking over a few bucks for their chance at Camelot.
So, if you’d won, and I hope one of the lucky ones is reading this, what would be your plans? Would you immediately run screaming into the nearest lottery commission to claim your prize? Or after the initial excitement wore off, would you sit and think for a while, be smart and seek out some solid legal and tax advice, gather your trusted posy together, then step forward and begin your new life? Would you begin considering others, or let red Ferraris, fancy vacations, and big houses dominate your mind? And what about all those sudden friends and distant relatives who miraculously begin crawling from the woodwork? You know they’d be coming fast and furious if they knew it was you holding the golden egg.
I’ve attached a short article below which caught my attention about some firefighters who, as a group, drew five out of six numbers and decided to donate a good percentage of their winnings to a fellow co-worker who desperately needs a life-saving operation. Their wonderful gifts are truly heartfelt and pure, and I wanted to give them some credit here so you could see that sharing blessings with others is a great way to spread unexpected (or expected) wealth. Many of us could definitely learn from their wonderful example, and it’s a perfect testament of how gifts like these can really be validated when others are given a slice of the unanticipated pie.
Watching the recent images of the largest lottery in history brought to light my own thoughts of how I’d handle the money if lady luck had paid me a visit. I’ve touched on this before in a prior article, even focusing on this very subject in my upcoming second novel which centers around a poor farmer in a tiny town who suddenly strikes it rich (Hint: its title is, “The Luck inside Me,” which I’ll hopefully be finishing in the next few months), but here’s the thing, I think I’d get more satisfaction out of helping others with the money than I would spending it on myself. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d be browsing a few catalogs right about now if things had gone my way, but giving others gifts, true gifts to those in really desperate need would be like winning an entirely separate lottery to me personally. It’d make it as though creating a real difference with the money would cause it to taste that much sweeter, be of a higher amount, and give it greater significance than saying, “Give me three of everything.” Right now, there’s lots of need out there, and 650 million dollars would go a long way in changing lots of lives. After all, how many cars and houses would truly make you happy once bought?
Giving to others is a sexy thing to do. It’s a wonderful act making your mark on this earth, leaving you feeling worthy of God’s best upon your life. I hope the recent winners feel the same way.
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