By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Among the thousands and thousands of persons putting in a few dollars in hopes of becoming the world’s newest millionaire, there I was at 8 p.m. Wednesday, choosing my ‘lucky’ numbers.
With a torturous sinus infection overshadowing my every thought and action over the past week, I couldn’t stay awake that night to listen to the numbers. I was certain that my early rising husband would hear the first announcement and, should we be among the winners, would readily wake me up with the news.
Thursday morning, when I awoke on my own, I knew it was another day of the same-ole same-ole and that I was the same broke, working-poor person that I was the night before. Except now I was minus $10 for the lottery tickets I’d bought.
With jackpots topping the quarter billion — imagine it, BILLION — dollar range, my husband and I did briefly entertain the idea of what we would do with that kind of money.
Both of us agreed that paying off all our bills and setting aside a portion for the kids and grandkids would be the first steps. Cars, college funds, homes and the material goods that money brings to life is always a plus for people who have had to work for what little they do (and don’t) have.
Palmer launched off on his description of his own dream — a 300-acre farm with all the most modern equipment available, a huge barn, a nice house, and about 300 head of cattle for breeding. I threw in an extra home on the property for hired help to live in, but then had to stop Palmer’s dream by reminding him that he had already ‘spent’ his half of the money!
My plans for spending my share include some monetary gifts to friends and family and, while I have no objections to living on a huge farm with a huge barn, I would make sure I had a huge house with modern technological features that would in no way resemble the typical farm house my husband would imagine. A deck large enough for outdoor parties and an in-ground pool would be standard equipment in my dream home!
Two specific business ventures would top my list for investments, should I ever reach the multi-millionaire stage.
The first would be to purchase property within the close confines of the city for a child care and preschool center for parents who work in town. The facility would offer state of the art technology and would be a child’s playground of learning, socialization and development.
A second business option — and another long-time dream of mine — would be the establishment of a non-profit organization that assists working parents, especially single parents. I will never forget the hardships of paying bills alone and often having to weigh the cost of medicine for a sick child against having enough money for food the next week.
Families with working parents are excluded from the charitable lists, although they may be just a few dollars over the level to receive food stamps or other services. My sincere hope is that some type of program to assist the parents who try but still struggle will eventually be established either in the private sector or by some magical stroke of reality in our government to rewards those folks who try, rather than constantly give to those who don’t.
So when Palmer calmly said Thursday morning, “We’re not millionaires,” I wasn’t disappointed or shocked. Having battled fatigue, pain and the misery of sneezing, coughing, headaches, backaches and all the other body ailments associated with a cold and sinus infection, I knew that even those millions of dollars still can’t cure a cold.
Besides, with the way my luck runs, were I ever to win millions of dollars, I would be so excited and/or shocked, I’d probably have a heart attack and die before I could even collect it!