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What's the first thing you'd do if you won the lottery?

First thing after I picked myself up off the floor?

I would be grateful…

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but is this a lottery like a million dollars or one of the hundreds of millions of dollars?

There’s a difference: one changes your lifestyle, the other changes your life.

Don’t get me wrong – a million dollars is a lot of money, but it’s a lifestyle changer, not a life changer. I would gather the family together to see how we want to spend what was left after giving the IRS a huge chunk, paying off student loans and putting money aside for the grandgirls’ future. Would we let it go over time, like taking family vacations whenever we could? Or would we splurge on something like a vacation home somewhere? What cause would we support?

Should this be a super Powerball kind of lottery, that would be a life changer!

First thing I’d do? Quit my day job. A Gallup poll says that 67% of Americans polled say they would keep their jobs if they won the lottery. Not me. I love what I do – the interaction with my clients, the details, the logistics - but I don’t love being tied to a desk at least eight hours every day just in case the phone rings or I receive an email. Since I deal with business travelers, everything is reactive. My actions, my workload, revolve around the clients’ needs and sense of urgency. It’s like working the drive through window at a fast-food restaurant, waiting patiently (or impatiently) for the next customer but rather than “do you want fries with that?” it’s “will you need a rental car on this trip?”

I would have to find excuses other than no time for not writing.

I am most creative near the water. When I was in college taking editorial writing, I’d write my pieces in the bathroom, sitting in a bathtub full of water with my manual typewriter on the closed lid of the commode. While it did work, that’s not what I have in mind. A waterfront retreat would be high on the list of priorities.

I would travel. I am a homebody by nature, but a change of scenery now and again is a good thing. A friend asked me to think about jobs I’d like to have and I keep going back to having a travel column or travel blog. When I mentioned it to my BFF wondering if it was something I could do now, wondering if I could do it based on research alone, she pooh-poohed the idea saying I would need to experience the destination.

Put travel on the list.

I would be a philanthropist. There are so many who need help, especially women and children and veterans’ programs. Most are looking for a hand up, not a handout. Lottery winnings could make a difference. I would fund medical research.

After all, to those whom much is given much is expected.

but first?

I would be grateful.

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