When I heard that 84-year-old Gloria C. Mackenzie became the winningest USA Powerball player in history with her $590 million single ticket win in May, it got me to thinking. What would I do if I won the lottery? What is the very first thing I would purchase, a big house, a fancy car, expensive jewelry or fancy clothes? I would certainly give a substantial amount to my family and friends, but how much, a million dollars each? And would I accept a single lump sum payment like Gloria for a smaller but still significant amount of money (probably a smart move at her age), or would I take annual payments for 30 years, which eventually pays a lot more cash? Are my chances for winning the lottery great? Well, no greater than anyone else’s, but it doesn’t hurt to have a game plan, just in case.

Since I do a lot of research online, I decided to see what other people just like myself said they would do if they won the lottery. The first thing I did was check out Gloria’s personal story, and was amazed to find that the single ticket she purchased was a quick pick, and the person standing in front of her in line at the Publix shopping center let her go in front of him! You can imagine how that guy is feeling, as that quick pick ticket would have been his. I’m sure Gloria will take care of that person if he comes forward, just as I would take care of my mother, father and brothers and sisters before I did anything else.

But after that, I was stymied. What would I do if the odds of winning the lottery suddenly smiled on me? So I went to Google and typed in “what to do if you win the lottery” and found that many Americans would do basically the same things with their windfall. Wishful lottery hopefuls stated a desire to start their own business, spend the rest of their life traveling the globe, buy their parents a home and even get a divorce! I think after I set up some kind of trust or guaranteed account for all the members of my family, I would spend $50,000 to $100,000 on a party that my friends would never forget. But the very first single purchase I would make for myself would be first-class round-trip airfare and lodging for myself and any of my friends who would like to go to Las Vegas to celebrate my new millionaire status.

If you are a lottery player, maybe you too are wondering what to buy when you win the lottery. A recent poll by the European Lottery Guild showed that 47% of lottery players would help out their friends and family before they did anything else. A rather kind and giving first choice, the second and third most popular decisions were going on a luxury vacation and buying a huge mansion. Those top three choices are definitely on my short list of things to do when I win the lottery, and I know that I would definitely enlist the aid of an attorney and CPA experienced in handling just this type of scenario. There are situations, depending on where you live and the tax structure there, in which the annuity option is actually the less beneficial payout process overall – so I would definitely need some expert advice.

Gloria received a one-time payment of $370 million, enough to give all 13,000 residents in her tiny town of Zephyrhills, Florida $28,461.54 apiece! While I probably wouldn’t reward everyone in Jacksonville Beach, Florida where I live with a windfall, I would like to give substantial amounts of money to total strangers in need. Certainly I would invest a great deal of my fortune in stocks and real estate, and it would be nice to pull $10,000 out of the bank every week and let the principal grow. Aside from that, I would still be a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy, but those would be the most expensive jeans and T-shirts you’ve ever seen.