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Speer: Dreams Powerball could have filled

November 30, 2012
Bill Speer - Editor/Publisher , The Alpena News

I'm bummed.

I woke up Thursday morning with the sobering realization I didn't win the $579.9 million Powerball drawing Wednesday night. Out the window went my all my financial planning for my retirement.

Gone were the dreams of sipping chocolate at the Swiss chalet, the yacht moored in Bermuda and the 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping, nine ladies dancing and eight maids a milking. Sorry, I guess my dreaming contained a bit of holiday flavor there.

For a week now those visions of sugar plums racing through my head were replaced by what would I do with all that money?

Heck, I wasn't even worried about Republican legislators going to bat for me at the fiscal cliff - with my new found financial status I would just purchase golden parachutes for my family and me.

Admit it, you were doing it too this week, weren't you?

As the Powerball lottery numbers kept climbing each day, so did your dreams of how to spend the money.

There was nothing wrong with those escape fantasies, and, I would argue, they probably were quite healthy for all of us. For several days we were able to escape the pressures of the world around us and just dream. After what we've been through the past several months, I think all of us needed a place to retreat (unless of course you're Lady Gaga, in which case you wouldn't realize the difference between reality and fantasy.)

Think about it - $579.9 million would go a long, long way. Even if there were multiple winners (as was the case) and I had to share the amount, it still would be more than sufficient.

Can you imagine how awesome it would be to turn to the school systems across the region and offer them each a one-time stipend to be used for educational enhancement! Continuing on that theme, how about establishing through the Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan a major new fund that could provide scholarship opportunities for every graduating senior from a particular school district?

Naturally there would be personal needs to tend to, debts to be paid and a mortgage erased. Retirement would occur right away (no more columns, sorry) and some frivolous purchases would be fun to consider - does that new Corvette actually come in purple?

Area churches and nonprofits would receive a healthy percentage of my new found winnings. It would be nice to boost each of those agencies up after years of them rubbing pennies together to try and make nickels.

In my fantasy world one of the more intriguing aspects of my dreams was my leap into entrepreneurship. With money really not being the overriding concern any longer, I found myself venturing into all kinds of new projects involving abandoned or underused properties. I figure there exists an eager and ready workforce just waiting for an opportunity.

Like Santa, I have my own list regarding economic expansion. New software developers, check. New aviation research and development start-ups, check. New marine construction company, check. Buffalo Wild Wings and Tim Hortons, check and check. Target, Meijer and Kohl's - check, check and check.

But alas, all this dreaming was for naught. The sun came up Thursday, but it wasn't shining necessarily just on me. The beam was brighter, apparently, to lucky winners in Arizona and Missouri.

Oh well, the dreams were nice while they lasted.

Now what were those winning numbers again?



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