I didn’t win the last Lotto Max jackpot…again. I play more or less every week…and more often than not I win something…$20…$40…or at least a free play. Like so many who play the lottery…I’m pretty darn sure I’m going to win some day. That is, of course, how they sell tickets.
I believe in visualization…focusing on a mental image to achieve a goal or objective. It’s something I’ve done in my career and throughout my life…and it has worked for the most part. Perhaps it’s the power of positive thinking. When I played baseball…and stepped into the batter’s box…I always thought hit rather than strike out.
So, here’s what I’m going to do with the money when I win. Oh, did I say I’m certain it will be the $60 million top prize? C’mon visualization!
First of all…I’m not claiming the prize when I win it. That’s right, my wife is Canadian and just as she would pay Canadian taxes on her winnings in the United States…so I would pay taxes in the United States on my winnings in Canada.
Hey, in Canada, what you see is what you get…win a $60 Million Lotto Max…take home $60 Million. No taxes…what a country! If an American wins $60 Million in the U.S., he or she doesn’t take home $60 Million. You get 62.5 percent of the $60 Million if you take it in one lump sum…then you pay Federal Income Tax…25 percent. So you end up getting about $28,125,000. But if you reside in one of 42 of the 50 states that has a state income tax…you’ll give up another $3 Million to $6 Million.
So, here’s my Lotto Max dream. Bonnie claims the $60 million…and we head for the lawyer’s office, dragging an accountant and tax/estate planning lawyer. There’s a reason wealthy people retain lots of lawyers…they usually save you more money than they cost.
Some experts advise people to take their time making decisions about that much money. I’m not going to be a deer in the headlights over winning. Besides, time is money and delaying decisions costs you. In 2016, someone won $50 Million..and waited almost a year to claim it.
They lost somewhere between $2 Million and $6 Million by not claiming the money sooner and investing.
Believe me, when we win…we’ll claim it and park a huge hunk of that money where it can start earning interest…immediately. Some in a good performing mutual fund…some in real estate…and a smaller amount where we have easy access to it. Our merry band of lawyers, accountants and financial/estate planning professionals will do what needs to be done after we tell them how we want to live…and what we want to do.
We’re long enough in the tooth - please don’t tell my wife I said that - that we can determine pretty quickly what we need to live until, well, until we don’t live. We have neither an entourage, posse or any other collective noun of hangers on nor do we really want to impress anyone…so we can define our needs with ease.
We live a pretty blessed life already…a home here…a home in Florida. We have horses, dogs and cats. We entertain, travel, eat and drink well. We have family…kids, grandkids, brothers and sisters. We have friends and are active in both communities. In a matter of speaking…we’ve won the lottery.
We’ll share our winnings with family…that’s my brother and sister, Bonnie’s two sisters, Bonnie’s two adult children and our four grandkids. We’ll form a foundation to support causes we already support…we’re both members of Kalamalka Rotary…and we help women and children in need locally.
Oh, sure, we’ll spend some money on ourselves…a trip here and there…a renovated kitchen…a Grand Prix dressage horse for Bonnie. But for the most part, we’ll embrace every day as we always have.
Fair warning to distant no-account relatives, acquaintances and people we never liked or strangers who simply show up at the gate of either horse farm looking for money…you won’t get any. Likewise, if you write, email, call, sky write or send smoke signals…we won’t answer.
Maybe the best thing about winning would be that it really wouldn’t change us. You see, Bonnie and I know what’s really important to us at this point in our lives…each other, family, friends and community. Like I said, maybe we’ve already won Canada’s biggest lottery.
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