Open Thread: If You Won The $656 Mega-Millions, Would You Return to Work?

Two of the anonymous winners from Maryland are reportedly returning to their normal day jobs in order to keep their jackpots a secret. (Seems to us that as soon as the 100″ flat screens arrive, the neighbors might get a tad suspicious, but…)

If you were in their soon-to-be-very-comfy-shoes, would you go back to your job?


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  1. Jamie Reidy says:

    What am I gonna quit, writing about myself? Never.

  2. cap'njon says:

    yes, in a heart beat. would i stop working? no. but damn sure not as much.
    $=choice. we all want choice. now i don’t know how many people were involved in the winnings but lets just say i all of the sudden was 100m for the better. i’m 52 even if, thats a huge if i make to 75, thats OVER 4.3m a year. i just can’t see even being able to do that, even after the initial frenzy! which would be a really big boat. i certainly can be a fool but being foolish is a different thing, choices. we all get to make our own and a pile of moolah certainly would open a few more.

  3. I don’t think I’d quit my current job because I do like what I do, and I get satisfaction from being paid for the quality of service I provide.

    But I can see how if I was in a job I really didn’t like or wasn’t rewarding, I’d probably quit and live off the lottery “earnings” for a little while … but I can’t really stand to be idle for too long, and at 24, I still (hopefully) have a lot of time left ahead of me and I don’t want to spend that time sleeping on a beach just because I can afford to.

    Some amount of charitable giving and advanced education would probably be in my plans (like Heather above, I love college and would love to have the financial and schedule flexibility to spend much much more time in school), as well as paying down debts for myself and for family and friends, and taking some time off to travel the world. And not a dime of it would go to any politicians, lobbies, or PACs, lest I become the very thing I hate.

  4. Copyleft says:

    Of course I’d quit my job… some time later, for seemingly unrelated reasons. The key is not to let anybody find out that you have money, because your life will go straight down the tubes.

    Spend a little (not in a flashy way) and invest the bulk of your winnings. Quietly pay off your car, your mortgage, etc., and just live a somewhat more relaxed lifestyle, with nobody the wiser. Invent a work-from-home or part-time position if necessary to keep the illusion of employment, and above all DON’T splurge.

    “Openly declare your good fortune and you’ll soon be surprised at how many friends you have… and how little money you have left.”

  5. Joanna Schroeder says:

    I would buy my dad a new car… He has a long commute to a very hard job, or better yet, find a way for him to retire!… Pay off my house, research charities and set up a donation schedule, meet with a financial advisor, and then start plans to expand my teeny house!

    And finish my damn novel!

  6. Anthony Zarat says:

    Yeah, right …

    Every response outlines vague and limited plans. My “disbelief-o-meter” is pegged, and I smell a fish …

    I think most people have a very immediate use for a multi-million dollar bolus. A financial windfall is a tool to turn a long-mulled-over idea/dream into a world-changing (or challenging) reality. The big difference between people like Gates/Jobs and your everday Joe is not the quality of the idea, it is the effectiveness of the sales pitch.

    I think virtually everyone has a promising game-chainging idea or project … but most people are embarrased to admit it. Why?

    Someone spill the beans already! Let’s have some fun …

    What we need here is the spirit of “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours” 🙂

  7. GirlGlad4TheGMP says:

    I think I’d take a few weeks off, process what happened, decide how this is going to play out in my life (what kind of charity would i preform, how involved would I be) and maybe who I would tell, maybe spend a little moolah going to see my faraway relatives, buy out all of the mortgages for my family, pay off the Master’s degree loans for my friends, and set up university funds for my neices and nephews…then I’d just go back to work. I have many years left to work, and I like what I do…besides, I don’t want to be singled out by money. Average Jo(Ann?) is the way for me!

    Oh, and I’d upgrade my floors to dust free materials…no more cheap carpeting for me 🙂

  8. Well chances are I’d buy my parents a house, and my sister and her husband a house. I’d do a bunch of travelling, because I love it. Then I’d go to uni. Seriously, if money was no object, I’d just spend my entire life at university. (No, not because I don’t want to get a job). I just love it.

    So yeah I guess I sort of would go back to ‘work,’ seeing as that’s what I do now…study. lol.

  9. John Schtoll says:

    I would quit

  10. Yes.

    I think a big part of the reason why lottery winners end up broke after a few years is because they go off the deep end with big spending and forgetting where they came from so to speak. The money goes to their heads. And I guess I can see why.

    Winning a big jackpot like that usually means getting a sum of money that is larger than the combined total of all of the wages that person would earn across all the jobs in their entire life. They come to think that since they have so much money all of their problems are solved. This is bad thinking because they forget that even though they made a big score they have to continue living and that that money does not last forever.

    Sure if I won a big jackpot like that the first things I’d do is clear my student loan debt, buy a new car, set my dad up so that he can literally just sit on the porch and wait for his retirement checks to come in the mail, go back to school, and MAYBE build a house (but it was be a simple 2 story brick house but I have no idea where I’d build it so that would be a long term plan). The rest goes away in the largest interest bearing account I can find (seriously screw going to some wealth management firm where they will basically gamble with my money to make themselves richer) and then I go right back to work at the Help Desk Operator that I’ve been for the last few years.

    Having a lot of money doesn’t free you of the responsibility to be smart with your money.

    • I would form a foundation first thing. Focus on humanism, egalitarianism and civil rights issues. Issues around gender. Then I’d form my own business doing the work I wanted to do. Purchasing property would be a big thing so that I could live decently in the cities I enjoy. Travel with my children.

      Doubtful I’d buy a lot of toys, but who knows.

      I’d still work, but I’d put that money to excellent use doing much of what I’m already doing now, just x 1000.

    • had a pretty interesting article that referred to how our brains process large numbers and how we understand money. I can’t find it anymore but to sum up, People who go from rags to riches (or even middle-class to riches) often end up wasting those riches away because (a) our brains actually have a hard time understanding very very large numbers and nailing down what they mean in concrete terms and (b), especially if they are poor, they are used to living paycheck to paycheck, getting money and then having to spend it more or less immediately on food and bills, so when a large sum of money comes in, they still feel like they have to spend it *right away.* Think about it, a lot of the times when you get these “what would you do if you won the lottery” questions, the answers reflect a sense of immediacy – “The first thing I would do…” “I’d pay off all my loans in one fell swoop…” “I’d go out and get X Wishlist Item(s)…” Rarely do people talk about any long-term plans for their money, and almost always you get examples of things people would do right away just because that large bank balance means they CAN.

  11. Anthony Zarat says:

    $656 million would allow me to work much harder than I do now.

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