Imagine this: what would you do with a billion dollars? | Columns

One of the most common fantasies in the world is to be rich. Less common is any kind of agreement about what it would mean to be rich and what we could do with our wealth.

I thought of that today while buying a Mega Millions lottery ticket. The current jackpot stands at $1.1 billion. By the time you read this, someone or more people could be much richer than the night before, or it’s possible that no one has won it and the jackpot amount has increased even further.

I know everyone has different ideas of what they could do if they suddenly became millionaires.

Maybe some are imagining retirement. Others may want to buy a sports team. Still others might move to another country.

When I was younger, I thought it would be cool to buy and operate a ski mountain. I skied a lot in my twenties and loved it. In my thirties, I was flying a lot, although I never owned my own plane, so I thought about it a lot.

Then came Abby, whom I married in 2004. Abby’s ideas about life were always full of generosity, and whenever we talked about what we could do if we won the lottery, the first thing we she always said was that all the kids and grandkids could go to college or trade school for free.

The Abby Barron Memorial Charitable Trust sounds good.

An interesting aside on buying lottery tickets when the jackpot is as huge as it is as I write this: Beyond a certain amount, money becomes an abstraction, and doesn’t would probably have no real outcome on the winner.

If I made $15 million or $650, both would translate into a smart, secret investment that would support me for the rest of my life.

I know, I know: Richard, when you have your billion, what cameras are you going to buy?

That’s a good question for a photographer, and the answer is that I’d really like to get into Fujifilm’s medium format digital cameras.

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