What Would You Do With A Million Dollars?

If something unforeseen happened and you suddenly received an unexpected million dollars, what would you do with it?

Several states are offering money, through a random drawing, for people who have received the COVID vaccine. Ohio, for example, has already given away a prize of a million dollars.

Now, a million dollars is not the amount of money it used to be. Still, for the majority of Americans, a million dollars would be a life-changing amount of money. Plus, the fact that it is not a ridiculous amount of money might make it more challenging to think of various possibilities.


Related: Listen to the Intellectual Roundtable podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the question, ‘How much is enough?’ The discussion comes after a bonus question, ‘How much of our thoughts are our own?’


What would you do with that kind of money?

Perhaps you would spend it. One way is to pay off your mortgage, or even buy another house. You could eliminate any student debt. You might go on a lavish vacation. Or buy a fancy car.

You might decide to save the money (or at least some of it). You could invest in the stock market, start a business, or go back to school.

Alternately, you might donate some or all of it. You could help struggling friends or family members. There are any number of worthy causes that could be assisted.

Do you think you would leave your job? You could switch to another, more fulfilling job if you had some financial cushion. You might even take an early retirement, depending how close you are to retirement age.

Ultimately, knowing what you would do with a sudden windfall may just influence how to spend the money that you do have.  What would you do with a million dollars?

Related questions: What is the purpose of money? Time or money? How do you plan for the future?

2 thoughts on “What Would You Do With A Million Dollars?”

  1. For the sake of imagination, I’m going to assume the million dollars is post-tax. Here is what I would do:

    • $250,000 gets put into retirement savings right off the bat.
    • $200,000 will be devoted to supporting the causes Rebecca and I believe in — jointly and separately.
    • At least $400,000 gets set aside to purchasing the house and land next door whenever it becomes available. The house is not in good shape; we would tear it down. The yard would provide Rebecca and me plenty of additional space to grow much more food and flowers from heirloom and open-pollinated seeds. Included in this is assembling more raised beds, as an extensive root system from the black walnut tree makes growing things in soil nearby nearly impossible.
    • $100,000 would be set aside for Rebecca and me to take a number of the trips we want while we still can — this includes annual trips we take together (e.g. Portugal, Greece) as well as the annual trips we take separately (e.g., for me, Iceland, Peru).
    • The remaining $50,000 would get spent on a variety of smaller ticket items — although still substantial: a great camera along with individualized instruction on photography, eventual purchase of an incredible new home computer, and my next laptop purchase, etc.; half for Rebecca to spend.)

  2. This is fun to contemplate.
    I think I would retain half for myself. I would like to have a fence erected across the street to hide the commercial property and then make some improvements to my condo. That would be around maybe $25,000; the rest of that amount invested for the future.

    Then with the other half, I would use half of that to divide among family members. The final quarter I would use for charitable causes, perhaps a scholarship fund for community colleges, and contributions to a fund to neighborhood home-improvement projects

    Of course, if it actually happened, I might decide differently!!

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