If I won powerball…

If I won the 1.4 billion dollar powerball I’d be really sad.  That is why I’m not playing.

“What?” you say.  “You’d be… SAD???”

Yes, that’s right, I’d be sad.  I started thinking about it today, because I can’t get away from the constant reminders that there is a 1.something billion dollar jackpot this week in the lottery.  At first I was intrigued, probably like most people.  Yes, that is a lot of money, and money does buy one thing that I really enjoy… time.  You get the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want and you can live life exactly how you want to.  Well, maybe you can.  People would probably start treating you a tad differently.

If I won, I’d be very anonymous about it so I wouldn’t worry about people hating me for winning.  I also wouldn’t worry about people hating me for not giving them money because I’d promptly give 98% percent of it away to all of my friends and family.  I really do not want that much money.  What the heck would you buy with that money?  Bentleys, Gucci, a yacht?  Big whoop, its just a bunch of junk.  I bought a luxury car a few years ago after years of hard work and it didn’t make me any happier.  Sure, I like my car, and it made me feel good that I reached that goal… for a few months, but that feeling went away because its just a car.  Stuff doesn’t buy happiness.  Winning the lottery and then filling my life full of stuff really wouldn’t buy me happiness.  I think there is an important reason why it wouldn’t.  I didn’t work for it.

I might be out of the ordinary with this, but I really enjoy climbing the mountain of life. Sometimes I like the struggles.  Cause every now and then I get to look down over the cliff and see all the crazy stuff I climbed over.  I really don’t want a helicopter ride to the top.  It’s too boring.

And another thing.  If I won the lottery how would anyone take my art seriously.  I mean, come on, if I was loaded like that no one would care about my art at all.  They’d say “oh yeah, that guy won a billion dollars in the lottery and now he paints for fun.”  That doesn’t really sound like a label I’d want.  I guess I could take a huge canvas and put $100 bills all over it and then paint on top of it.  I’d call it, “wasting money cause I’m loaded and bored as *#&*#*.”  I’d probably sell it for another 10 million dollars and have even more money, yippie!

My art is too important to me to risk it by winning the lottery.  It’s not even worth it to risk it with the odds at 1 and 292 million.  I have a better chance of getting struck by lightning while I’m painting in my studio, but I’m not going to chance the lottery.  So to whoever wins, congratulations.   You just got a free ride to the top of the mountain of life.  You can have anything you want without having to lift a finger.  I hope you welcome the boring with open arms when it shows up a few years down the road.

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Alice In Wonderland Sculpture in Central Park, NYC
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15 thoughts on “If I won powerball…

  1. LOVE your response to the lottery. All true! I feel the same and I applaud you for your values. But……I bought 3 tickets today. My husband and I talked about what it would really mean and we both agreed it would be a NEGATIVE life impact. But still, I guess I would like to think I could do some good in the world with it while at the same time almost hoping I DON’T win…..LOL

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    1. We were talking about this at the supper table tonight and all agreed that it would be such a huge life changer, and not for the better. We are content with our life, what we have, who we are, what we do. Why would we want to add that much stress to our lives!? Nice to hear these thoughts from you, Tim.

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    2. Couldn’
      t have said it better Tim, glad to know there are sane people out there who feel the same. The whole idea of one person having that much money disgusts me.

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  2. I totally agree with you! While I’m learning to be an artist, I teach Writing and I continually remind my students that the struggle is good! lol Not sure they’re buying it yet, but perhaps someday they will. There are fewer satisfactions in life that working hard for something and finally achieving it. I also agree with Cathy; if I did win that much money, there are quite a few things in this world that I would like to fix, but I suspect most of those things are more complicated to fix than just throwing money at them. sigh 😦

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  3. stop. You’d need to do more with that money then just to give it all away to friends; you could help other businesses succeed; you could invest in other larger things that would keep your money rolling for you; you could put that money into other aspects of technology that we need now, both scientists and jobs to get larger things rolling for the future.
    You are already known as a painter. We know that you can do it and that you love it. Now instead of saying, yeah your good and you are getting paid for it, you’d have that time to put your mind to work with out the idea of money and would be able to achieve far above what you think, because you would allow your mind to stop thinking of funding and be able to have that time to make HUGE painting mistakes that make no sense, to step out of what you think you may need to do, rule-wise, into a state of mind that you have not begun to touch yet.
    You are good; one of the reasons I like your work is because it carries a different flavor then other artists who have to paint for the funding. Einstein once said about scientists that for a nation to really flourish they need to look at scientists differently; they a scientist, he said, needed to be given time and funds to be able to think about ‘things’ with out any kind of specific goal in mind in order to bring forth really amazing things that this world has not considered. And then guess what he did? He put artists right up there with the way he felt about scientists, as the people who designed and explored new realms and territories. The artist; that is YOU.
    You could give your money away to people who need it, yes, but that would equate to providing people with food and shelter with out the thought of teaching them to fish. You would have the time and amazing freedom to think about what it would take to provide water across the world when we are in droughts; to catch those floods and to re-direct them to other places where it is needed. To provide educational funds for new thoughts and a larger world view that we Are moving into and allow the students to help create the technology for those means of doing those things. Students, 12, 17, 15 years old, even six year olds with the interest would begin to get an education that is far more than just learning to get by, but education that is goal oriented as well as freedom and individual oriented; an education where all of the children are working on projects in all of the schools that would design the new worlds that right now are saved only for the wealthy, who worked hard to get there, I am not dissing Anybody here, but you would be able to help provide the funding for these things in ways right now you may not have considered because you do have what you need to paint and to fight for an existence.
    Thins would change, but you could be the impetus for a change that your new art view would provide with that freedom of mind.

    What ever you do, Tim Gagnon, i am behind you and will keep following you and your work.

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    1. Well it was mostly hypothetical. Not really a serious post, but obviously you could do a lot with the money. The point was that it would take me away from my career as an artist which I don’t want to do. I’m happy contributing what I can as a normal person.

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  4. I’m with you Tim…not just happy with life but what a waste of $$$. Thousands of people play who would be better off keeping that $ Bill (or more) in their pocket.

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    1. Yeah, a lot of people say “think about all the things you could do with that money to help others.”. I say “think about all the money spent on lottery tickets each week and all it could do for people.”

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  5. I love how you said that you take the art and your passion more serious than everything else. Though, it is always visible how you put your heart in this work. I am so pleased to witness watching great steps of a great artist on the planet. Thanks for sharing your gifts!

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  6. I not only admire your work, I admire the man who creates it. I’m a firm believer of “the love of money being the root of all evil.” I have never spent $1 of hard to come by money on a gamble. Part of the success of an artist is the struggle. I admire you for speaking your true feelings about this subject.

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    1. Thanks Pam, you’re very kind! I know a lot of people have good intentions with the thought that you could do a lot of good with that money. I just think the amount of money is crazy. Even if my sole intention was to do good with the money I’d be giving up my art career. 1.4 Billion dollars would require hiring people to help you manage it, ensure that is actually going to charity, to ensure the money is being put to work, etc.. It would become a full time job, requiring me to give up the journey as an artist. Each time you give a certain amount of money you’d have to make sure that taxes were being paid on it. Everyone would be coming out of the woodwork for money. You’d give and give and give, until the money is gone. That would change a lot of people’s lives in a positive manner. But then the overwhelming feeling of “there are more people to help and I have no more money” would really bother me. The fact that 1.4 billion couldn’t put a dent in the world’s suffering isn’t an obstacle I’d mentally be able to handle. It’d just show me how bad things could be, even though I’d be doing a lot of good. I don’t have the capability to deal with that. So that is a job for another person who wants to win that money, manage that money, invest that money to make it grow to ensure that you can continue to help as many people as possible. Again, I’d have to give up my career as an artist. I enjoy being able to contribute, donate, help people whatever way I can as normal earning human. I feel very fulfilled doing it this way. If we all just gave our lottery money to charity each week, we’d all be giving that 1.4 billion pretty quickly.

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  7. Hmmm I agree with you on a lot of those points….money and “things” do not buy happiness. On the flipside though…I’d feel pretty happy about giving a lot of it away and seeing how that would enrich many lives (and animals as I would surely donate to organizations protecting our animal friends). Yes I would keep some for myself – I would like the feeling of financial security it brings me as I’m always left to wonder if my current job is going to last. But I would give most of it away. At least that’s what I think I would do from where I sit at this moment. Here in Canada, it’s not so easy to buy a ticket for this Powerball lottery – not impossible – just difficult. There is a bakery in the west end of the city that is giving away tix if you buy something in their store. It’s out of my way so unless I find myself at that end of town for an unrelated reason, I will likely not bother going. To whom ever wins…congrats and I hope you pay your good fortune forward.

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  8. My sentiment exactly. Things do not make happiness. Money only buys bigger payments and stress, not to say unwanted new “friends”. It’s certainly okay to dream about all the things you would do with that much money. It shows your true character and I define character as who you are when no one is watching. So, yes to anonymity. It should’t matter if you’re a billionaire you are who you are.

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