UNITED STATES—Could you imagine being $1.2 billion dollars richer? That is the possibility if you win the Powerball Jackpot that is climbing to massive numbers. Yes, we have talked about lottery fever for quite some time. It seems every so often either the Powerball or Mega Million lottery are reaching massive numbers. I mean I cannot tell you how often in the past 2 years it seems these mega lotteries are constantly rising and you just have that dream of being the big winner.

Yes, you are more likely to hit the lottery if you play when the jackpot is not at massive numbers. Why? Not as many people are playing so your odds of winning probably rise a bit more, but when you have everyone playing the chance of winning decreases significantly. With that said, I’m spending $2 for a ticket, because just the thought, the hope of winning is something you can only dream about. We all have dreams and when you think about what you can do with such money it startles you.

For starters, do not expect to be walking away with $1.2 billion dollars. You have the lump sum option (which most people if smart would take). Why? Life is unpredictable. You don’t know what could happen and I wouldn’t want the local, state or federal government to walk away with all that money that I won on a chance of luck. Luck is not always great, but when luck strikes you take advantage of it. You likely will walk away with perhaps $500 to $600 million after all taxes.

That is indeed a lot and I mean A LOT of money. What do you do? First thing I’m doing is quitting my job. There is nothing to think about, I’m out and I’m going to focus my energy on doing whatever I want. There are some people who might still work and that’s fine and dandy, but for me it’s over, and I’m certain I’m not the only American thinking that way.

You do need a financial advisor. You need someone to talk to and plan out your finances. Don’t just go out and spend money like crazy because you hear so many horror stories about people who end up broke within a year or sooner after hitting the lottery for massive amounts which is crazy. A lot of the time it is a direct result of many of these people having no guidance. When you’re not use to having that kind of money, you become frivolous how you spend that money and before you know it, you’re in trouble.

So, a massive amount needs to be placed into your savings. Put it away and forget about it. Then you can decide what to do next. Investing would be at the top of my list. Why? You can make money with your money if you properly invest, and real estate would be at the top for me. There is plenty of money to be made in real estate. However, you have to choose whether you’re doing a rental or flat-out buying property, getting it tidy and selling. I am not looking to rent property because as a landlord you have plenty and I mean plenty of issues that can arise and that is just stress I’m NOT looking to deal with.

I would rather purchase the property, tidy things up and sell it for a bigger profit. Owning real estate is a great way to make money. You can rent if you choose, but just be aware of the drawbacks that come with that. You might make money, but at the same time you might be spending a lot of money as well and dealing with renters that can be problematic at times.

Will the luxury items you are going to purchase something big and massive? Some people might, but that is not in my wheelhouse. Keep it simple, get something that you may have been eyeing for quite some time, but I would not be wasteful on jewelry. People fail to realize jewelry is like the one item that depreciates in value significantly the moment you purchase it and take it out the store. The value of jewelry doesn’t go up, the value of real estate goes up. Remember that. The same applies if you’re purchasing an expensive vehicle. Yeah, you have the luxury, you have the name, but guess what, if something goes wrong with that vehicle the cost to fix it is going to be quite pricey as well.

Housing is another lure, and you might want to have the biggest most fabulous house you can think about. However, you have to think about the cost of property taxes, utilities and so much more with those massive homes. You can get something nice, and at the same time still pocket money instead of spending it unnecessarily. Then comes family and you cannot help everyone. People are going to be asking for money and you have every right to just say no. I cannot help you. You are NOT obligated to give because people ask. If you choose, have a cut off. That’s it. Once you get it, don’t come back because I’m not giving you anymore.

For me, I’m taking care of immediate family and that’s it. All the cousins, aunts, uncles and distant family members, sorry it just is not happening. You will be broke doing that and helping all your so-called friends that you haven’t heard from in years who hear about your winnings, and they want to ‘see’ you suddenly. With that said, I absolutely plan on donations. Perhaps one of the biggest things that matters to me is fighting the homeless crisis. So many people have flippant opinions and thoughts about homelessness but fail to realize they are simply one paycheck or one bad situation away from the same thing happening to them. You don’t know when something unexpected can transpire and in the snap of a finger the dominoes start falling.

Your business can be great one week and it can be a bust the next week. Count your blessings and never frown at those who are less fortunate than you. Just because you have money doesn’t mean you can be snobby or dismissive to those who don’t. Being humble, it makes a big difference, and it matters. I want to use my funding to create a facility to house the homeless and help them get back on their feet. The housing crisis in this country is a massive issue and if I can help change that with money that I have come into that is exactly what I’m going to do.

For me winning the lottery is not just about having loads of money, it is about change. Helping those who might not be as fortunate as me and making an actual difference in the world. It also doesn’t hurt that with such funding I could actually fund my own movie or movies which is a dream of mine. I wouldn’t have to rely on the billion-dollar movie studios to fund a movie and have them push for things to be done the way they please and not the way that I want the flick to be produced.

Yeah, this column is a bit long, but it is a direct result of your mind thinking about so many things that can happen if you hit the lottery. That’s the thing though, you have to think, don’t just act without having a plan if you happen to be one of the lucky ones.