If I had a million dollars...

Remember the song by the Barenaked Ladies? I wasn't sure about writing this post, only because it will either jinx me or make for a most interesting story. I hope the latter.

We all question our dreams and those somewhat scary deja vu experiences. When we sense that we have done this before is it a parallel universe or we've been here before? Who knows? I think we all try to connect with movies we've watched or people we've met, anything to make sense of the experience. A few weeks ago I woke up with the most detailed, vivid memories of a dream in which I won the sixty million Lotto Max lottery. Not only did I win it but I was the only winner. I remember people saying over and over, "I can't believe you won sixty million dollars!" I do have a memory gap on how I actually got the money, but not on what I did with it.

The first thing I did was put twenty million away in a certificate that I couldn't touch, just so I wouldn't blow the whole thing. Next I chartered a private jet to get me back to Kelowna where I stayed in the most expensive suite at the Delta Grand Hotel. My first call was to Leanna Morgan who I had met on Facebook. We had talked for several hours about her divorce and her kids and I had told her that if I won a lottery I would hire her as a personal assistant. We met in my suite and I laid out the plan for what she had to do first.

She was to book the hotel's ballroom for the first available Saturday night. She was to try to get either the Foster Martin Band or the Mavericks to play for us if only by offering them an obscene amount of money. Next she was to arrange with the bank to put forty envelopes together, each with ten thousand dollars in cash in them. She was to contact everyone I knew and invite them to the party, telling them only that it was an event for me and nothing else. I figured that those who were good friends would show and those who were pretend friends wouldn't so the money would go to those who deserved it.

The night of the event quite a few people showed up, no doubt just curious as to what this was about. They were all busy munching on the free food and drink and dancing to the band. When the band took their first break I took the mic and thanked everyone for coming. I told them I wanted to talk to each of them, but before that I wanted to give them a little gift from the night. Leanna had recorded their names as they came in, then she wrote their names on the envelopes that contained the ten grand. I told them that I would call out their names to come up to the stage but that the only rule was that they were not allowed to open the envelope until they left that night. I didn't want to spoil the surprises nor did I want to put anyone in danger of being robbed with all that cash around. The first name I called was Cheryl Blum, someone I had actually never met personally but we were friends on Facebook. Again, memory is not clear but I think I gave out all the envelopes.

Other than that event I don't have a clear memory of what else I did. I do vaguely remember giving fifty thousand dollars to the churches in London who fed me back when I was living in my car. A hundred thousand to the Unity Project in London who gave me shelter. I wanted to do something for the older folks who came to the soup kitchen for breakfast in Cotacachi, Ecuador when I volunteered on Fridays. I understood that many of them were homeless, abandoned by their families. I wanted to provide housing and meals.

Although not part of my dream, I do know that I have always planned to give away most of whatever I won. I do struggle with what I would do for family, mostly my kids. They have abandoned me for twenty years and denied me access to my five grandkids, through no fault of theirs, but do they suddenly connect with me just because of the money? My parents are gone, of course, but do I give anything to my sister and brother, neither of whom deserve a dime? I really don't know. I guess I'll figure it out if I actually do win anything.

I'm not a deeply religious person, although I do muse on the mysteries of the universe. I do believe that there is a higher power but I don't like the fact that most of the wars in the world are based on religion, or people's interpretation of religion. Doesn't make sense that a God would allow these terrible things to happen or not punish the people who perpetrate them, like ISIS. I do hope that if someone or something is deciding things for us that they will shine their light on me this Friday and allow me to win if only because I plan to do a lot of good with the money. Here's hoping.

UPDATE - well, so much for deja vu or dreams. Obviously I didn't win the sixty million. I did win two free plays but they didn't amount to anything either. Now I just need to wait for the prize to be sixty million again, I guess and hope the dream comes true a little later. It's amazing to think about how many more things I would do if I won. Mostly more people and more worthy organizations I would give to so maybe sixty million isn't enough? lol

UPDATE - when you are hoping for something like this you look for a sign, right? I went out to our patio for a smoke Friday morning and turned on the radio, just in time to hear an interview with a lady at the lottery corporation talking about the big sixty million dollar jackpot that night. Well, I took that as a sign. I emailed one of the announcers and told him the story and promised them the lifetime membership at Tim Horton's he mentioned if I won. He replied with a request to buy him a nice lunch. For the first time in the twenty-seven years I've been playing the lottery I figured I had to go for it and increase the odds of winning, so I bought ten tickets plus I almost forgot to play the same numbers as I've been playing for all those years. Very princely and unaffordable fifty-five bucks, but what the hell.

Wrong! Not only did I not win but in all those tickets I only had one number at best. I also got a first look at my Quick Pick numbers and they were just horrible! Three numbers in a row. Duh! Last time I do that. As I said earlier though my dream was clearly that I won sixty million. Nothing less so the fact that there were two winners last night at thirty million each doesn't fit the dream. Oh, well. Maybe next time, right?


If I had a million dollars

Those of us who play the lottery often muse on what we would do with all that money. It depends on how much we are talking about, of course. If it's only a couple mil then that is barely enough to live out your life on, let alone afford any real luxuries like cars, yachts, or homes we wouldn't be able to afford. If it's an insane amount like the recent fifty million, well then the imagination runs wild. We could change the world, right?

I am one of those unfortunate people who got hooked by the commercials one of the lotteries ran featuring a guy reading the paper, and seeing his number had won but he didn't have a ticket. My numbers, 4 11 19 27 36 and 39, were based on my age and family ages at the time, so, now that I am 62, you can figure out how long I've played the same damn number. I've won a couple of $10 payouts, which is frustrating because then I think the chances of those numbers coming up again is remote. I never know whether to keep buying tickets or not.

Just to dream for a while, if I did win big, these are some of the things I would do -

Numero Uno would be to pay back the people who have helped me in my life, some more than others. Top of my list is two people who believed in me and through circumstances beyond my control, I could not pay back as planned. I lost everything and was forced to leave the country just to stay alive and I hurt them very badly when I left. I have felt terrible every single day since and I hope to be able to pay them back as soon as I can. Living on assistance obviously is not the way to ever get ahead with anything, but I hope to change that. They get a hundred grand. Next would come my true friend, Bianca, who believed in me when I was in Panama and invested in my business, which died when I was forced to return to Canada. She lent me two thousand dollars on blind faith, so she gets fifty grand. Next comes my best bud, Wade, who stepped in to help me with the disaster of a house that cost me everything. He said he got his money back, but he never told me the whole truth. He also gets a hundred grand, hopefully to help with his hunting lodge dream. I would also invest in anything he wants to do because I trust him with my life.

Next comes family, and that's a tough one. My son and daughter both abandoned me after I moved west, so, on the one hand, I feel they don't deserve anything. I wouldn't want them to get back in touch with me just because I now had money. On the other hand, they are still my flesh and blood, so I would want to help them however I could. I don't think I would outright gift them, but I would help them if they asked. My ex got ninety-five percent of everything we owned when we split, so she's off the list. My brother and sister have done enough to me for a lifetime, so they don't get a dime. My Mum and Dad are gone, so it's too late to help them. I've lost touch with whatever other family I have anywhere, but I'll bet they would find me if they thought there was something in it for them. I would help my cousin, Joan, in any way she needed for letting me stay with her when I came back to Canada.

Next would come friends and that's also a tough one. How do you give something to one without offending another? You can't place a monetary value on friendship, so I wouldn't try. I think I would throw a big bash and invite them all and maybe give them something like ten grand each to blow on something they don't need. If it was something like the fifty million I won, then the bash would be on a tropical paradise somewhere.

Silly things? My one compelling wish if I won the lottery is to go to the Corral and tell the manager that I'm paying for drinks for the women for the next hour. I wouldn't want them announcing anything; just tell them as they order that it's free. At the end of the hour they would just announce a thank you to me for buying the drinks in my favorite bar. If you wonder why only the women, well, I don't dance with guys and they get drunk and stupid enough on their own without my help.

I would also invite Teri Hatcher and her daughter to visit the Okanagan, just so I get to meet my fantasy girl. Maybe I could swing a fantasy sleepover with Teri, Marcia MacMillan, Diane Ladd, Sally Fields, Cheryl Hickey, Sara Richardson, Sandi Rinaldo and Hayley Bennett? Now, that would be an interesting group.

I would want a decent house on the beach in West Kelowna, preferably be able to design and build my own as I've always loved architecture. It would not be any elaborate palace, but would have some nice touches. My only luxury would be an indoor/outdoor pool for parties, a game room and home theater. I can't imagine any fancy expensive cars in the driveway; probably just a Honda Civic, which I've always wanted. I might want some kind of off-road wheels, plus, of course, a dirt-bike, a couple of sea-dos, a ski boat and a snowmobile - my "toys".

Business wise I would invest and work on many of the concepts I have had most of my life. My dream project was to develop a manufactured home park like no other and this would be a priority for sure. I would love to win enough to be able to help people start small businesses. Investments, not gifts.

Charity wise I would want to develop the assisted living facilities that I designed, to provide people in need with decent housing and help to get their lives back on track. It would be s step up from the shelters and give people back their dignity. I've been there and it's not pretty. The government wastes so much money on funding substandard living and I want to help to change that.

There would be some pet projects, like one life to save, a website where people can tell me their stories and we would help them to get back on track with whatever they need. It would operate similar to Extreme Makeover, with companies donating goods and services to people to help to change their lives for the better. Hopefully I could convince Ellen DeGeneres to work with me. It would be my make a difference while I'm here project.

As we learned with Steve Jobs, money can't buy health, but I would hope that I could get maybe a personal trainer and a decent doctor to help with my diabetes and all the challenges I've had over the past few months. I want to lose the weight I've gained and get back to being active like I used to be before all this.

And, finally, I hope to convince Cheryl to have dinner with me. It would be a very private affair, maybe on a rooftop somewhere, with lots of candles, flowers, wine and music to warm her heart and convince her that I now have enough money to make her happy and she will get over our age difference. lol