Rich is as rich does

My wife is afraid if I win a billion dollars tonight I will give it all away.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to give it away fast enough.
First of all, we’re probably talking about a moot point. I heard someone say the odds of winning this Power Ball are greater than the odds of a vending machine falling on you and killing you.
Still …
What does a billion or so come out to after taxes? About 540 million?
Okay, so how much, I ask myself, would it take to change my life in a positive, but not insane way? I’m thinking $250,000. A half a million tops. After that, things could get pretty nutty.
But let’s say, if only for the sake of my marriage, I agree that shaving a cool 40 million off the top for me is the more sensible thing to do, if the word sensible indeed can be applied to any of this. That still would give me 500 million to disperse. Oh boy.
I almost wrote “that would sure be fun.” But the truth is that would sure be work. Nerve-wracking and sometimes heart-wrenching work.
And fun too.
Sure my kids and the rest of my relatives would be taken care of. But not to the point where they would run the risk of losing themselves. God forbid my well-intentioned efforts to set them free would wind up doing just the opposite. That’s a real possibility.
But the true joy, I think, would be in the looks on the faces of all the perfect strangers who would get a piece of the pie.
I’d love to walk around with a shopping bag filled with cashiers checks for 10, 25 and 50 grand, and just hand them to everyone I bump into until I either ran out or got held up at gun point. And even then, I’d just say, “Here, take it. You won’t have to rob anyone ever again.”
I guess you can see why my wife is afraid.

Ed Ackerman