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If you’re reading this column, that means I did not win the lotto jackpot and still have to work

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

The Mega Millions lotto jackpot was up to $350 million. I asked the store clerk for two tickets, hoping to hit it big and retire.

“If I win, I’ll give you some,” I told the clerk. Then I realized that the store also would get a nice chunk of change for selling the winning ticket.

I would give him some, though, since I said it. I don’t know how much. It depends on how much of the winnings I would be keeping.

The radio news announced that taxes would take about $100 million out of the jackpot, but the winner would keep $250 million. That’s a quarter billion dollars. To most of us, that much money is unimaginable.

But $100 million is a lot of money to be paying in taxes. It’s about a third of the total winnings. The government is making out like a bandit, but those are the rules. Taxes first, and then I can have the remainder.

But, hey, $250 million is still money, right?

Saturday rolled around, and the friend happened to mention that nobody won the jackpot. Of course, I responded, because the drawing is on Saturday night. Nope. It was held on Friday. The other lotto drawing is held on Saturdays.

I really don’t pay attention to it, but every now and then I buy a ticket when the jackpot gets really high, and think about what I would do with all that money - like most of you do.

“That will push the jackpot to around $500 million,” the friend said.

Taxes would take out about $150 million, leaving the winner with $350 million. Even 10 percent of that would be a lot of money to most of us – everyone I know, at least.

So, we spend a few dollars for a chance to win a huge amount. Low- risk fun. The worst that can happen is that I lose the money (which is very likely).

But there is a very slim chance that I could hit the jackpot, or maybe a smaller amount. The chance is not zero, but it’s very close to it.

“Somebody will win it,” the friend said. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Truer words were never spoken.

There was a very happy man on the TV news the other day. He was picking up, I want to say $25 million in lotto winnings and smiling from ear to ear.

I would be, too.

He was buying some scratch-offs and had a couple of dollars left, so he bought a lotto ticket, which turned out to be the jackpot winner. Some jackpots are bigger than others. But, hey, $25 million is still money, right? Even 10 percent of it is more money than most of us will ever see – everyone I know, at least. You can say that again.

I’ll buy two more tickets, I told the friend, and see if I can hit that new and improved jackpot. The odds are that I won’t, but who knows? Somebody will, eventually.

If I hit the jackpot, though, you won’t be reading this column. It will stay inside my computer as I instantly retire. So, if there is no paper out there for you to pick up one week, that means that I am rich beyond imagination.

I love publishing The Bulletin, but you understand. There aren’t a lot of things that would make me give up the publishing business. But winning a lot of money is one of them.

However, you are reading this column, which means that I just wasted a few dollars, again. But that’s O.K. It was a lot of fun to dream about what I would do with all that money.

What would I do with all that money? What would you do?