I won the lottery! Holy $$$$

Yup, I won the lottery! $785 million dollars. That is a whole lot of avocado toast and Starbucks espressos. Yeah! Pinch me because I must be dreaming. I am a PF blogger. I would not recommend buying a lottery ticket. But I did! So screw all the people who said it was a waste of $2. I am rich!

Seriously, what is up with everyone moaning about lottery spending? $2 is not too bad. Now if you are dropping $100 or $200 while having credit card debt, then we should have a talk.

So here I am, the big time winner…what to do now? Well that is what this post is about. What I will do with my riches….waa haa haa.

(In reality I did not win the lottery…. I am still slaving away at a day job…ah but a person can dream, can’t they).


Step 1: Pinch myself

Seriously…. did I buy a lottery ticket despite the naysayers? Yup….mDid I really match all those numbers. Yup? Woah…. jump up and down and holler! Time to party!!!!

Okay now that that is done…. make sure to.


Step 2: Sign the back of the ticket and put it somewhere super safe

I do not want to loose this gravy train. That would be tragic. Money I had not earned vanishing and leaving me just as poor today as I was yesterday. Ah the devastation.


Step 3: Consider talking to a lawyer to set up a revocable living trust that will accept the prize money.

I want to keep anonymity in my big win. I don’t want to become a celebrity and target of scammers as is oh too common. So how can I keep my anonymity? Well a trust may help and if set up right, I can still have full control of the cash. Sure I have already set up a Trust, but now that I am super loaded I want to just get a little lawyer backup.


Step 4: Claim prize in an anonymous fashion into the trust


Step 5: Quit my job

I am not a saint. Happily I will quit my current life in clinical practice if I won the big bucks. I figure if I took a year off and really missed it then I could go and work for a not for profit caring for uninsured or underinsured patients.

I would not leave my job the next day. As a department of 6 cardiologist my sudden departure would greatly impact my colleagues (more call and clinic!). So I would give my notice and let my boss know I would stick around until a new person was hired and started. That way, my departure would be less painful for my colleagues.


Step 6: Figure out my tax burden

Face it, I am taking the lump sum. The $780 million becomes $480 million. Not too shabby. Now the taxman cometh. Out of the $480 million the federal government takes out 25% and states have there own percentage. Luckily California does not tax lottery winnings, which is pretty crazy if you ask me. So the government gets $120 million of my cash, leaving me with $360 million.


Step 7: Set up a Donor Advised Fund

If I had $360 million in cash I can promise you a large chunk of it, likely half, would be going to donations. So I would take $180 million and place it into a donor advised fund. If interested Physician on Fire goes over how to do this.

The beauty of the Donor Advised Fund is I can take a tax write off this year and reduce my income tax. All of a sudden I don’t owe the federal government $120 million anymore. Now I owe them somewhere in the nature of $75 million dollars in taxes.

Plus, I have a large pot of money that I can donate over the course of my life. It will sit in an aggressive stocks only fund and hopefully grow. I can use all of that money and it’s growth, tax free to donate to causes we find important. I will never have to worry about wanting to donate.

Now I have to figure out who to donate too…Bill and Melinda Gates, you looking for a partner?


Step 8: I have $225 million left after taxes and donation plans. Now what?

Okay so now comes the hard part. What to do with all of the left over cash?

I would probably start by paying off my home and my parents and in-laws homes. Then I would pay off my school debt.

So I still have $224 million left. I would take a few million and hold it as cash amongst various banks. I don’t mind loosing the interest to make sure the money is secure.

With the other $200 plus million I would probably put it in a 50/50 portfolio bonds/stocks and let it ride. There is no way I am going to spend $200 million. I would go on a sweet trip around the world with my family in a chartered plane. After my trip I would probably spend my time between California and Tennessee, enjoying time with both my wife and my families.

When we come back, I can figure out what else to do with all that cash.

Okay, so not too exciting, but what would you do?

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I am a Dad and Doctor trying to find financial freedom by owning my dollars and debts. Helping dads with their finances so they can focus on the family.

18 thoughts on “I won the lottery! Holy $$$$

  • December 19, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Ditto what Jim said. But with only $225 million after taxes and donations, what team could you buy? Are there any WNBA teams for sale?

    • December 19, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Let’s go in together and buy the Carolina Panthers…I could move to North Carolina, it is quite lovely and property costs are way lower than California!

      • December 19, 2017 at 8:41 am

        Panthers! I would hope that as a past New Orleanian you would immediately trade that egotistical bag os $h!T Scam Newton.

        • December 19, 2017 at 8:44 am

          We can decide on the trades later…first we have to buy the multi-billion dollar team!

  • December 17, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Cool exercise. I wouldn’t stop working right away either and would open up my own radiation cancer center in an underserved domestic area and fund several low cost low maintenance Radiation facilites mainly in Africa. Did you know some counties have a single linear accelerator? Southern Florida has a few on every corner.

    But, you didn’t really comment on if you thought you’d be happier in the long run 😊Most PF bloggers anecdotally know about the studies showing lottery winners return to baseline happiness.

    Or what about D Kahnemans study showing the very wealthy may be less happy. (Science 312: 1908-1910) ?

    Sure you could FIRE, but you’re maybe thinking about doing that (maybe) anyway and probably could if you wanted to soon enough without he lottery.

    I agree with your other comments that you could have some real “change the world money”. You could fund a program to find a cheaper and more accessible way to screen for and repair congenital heart defects in the poorest parts of the world. I don’t know what goes through the mind of a cardiologist, just speculating.

    Merry christmas 🎄

    • December 17, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Honestly I am not sure….I am not stressing too much about cash these days, but I would likely change the model of my job. As you mention, I would probably leave day to day clinical work and focus more on large scale projects that could impact underserved populations. It would require my medical expertise but not on a day-to-day seeing patients kind of way.

  • December 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I heard this joke once “How do you ruin a person’s life? Tell their friends/family that he won the lottery”. If you read these stories about “what happens 20 years after person XYZ won the lottery”, none of the end results are pretty. I guess getting that kind of luck really has a lot of bad and unintended side effects.

    • December 16, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      I think the key is to keep it as well hidden as you can…also setting it up in trusts, etc. protects you somewhat because you don’t have full access.

  • December 16, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I would take the annuity and be contacting Goldman Sachs. The yearly payout is about 30M. From that I would annuitize my extended family and make them financially secure, and hire security which would mean moving to a secure patrolled gated community. I would let Goldman invest half of the remainder leaving half for living expense and charity. Once I had maybe 100M in assets under management I would consider setting up a real charity.

    My interest is to build low cost housing in areas where families live on garbage dumps. Once you have a stable address you have a future, and you have a place from which your extended family can operate. An address is critical to getting out of poverty. I’m also into drilling wells and providing pumps to villages which have no ready close by potable water. If you have clean water, your kids at least stand a chance of surviving dysentery. You can’t live or have growth without water. Also I’m into sustainable herds. That means providing breeding pairs of goats which can be grown into herds. The deal is if you get a pair you have to pass a pair on from your herd etc. Herds provide protein, and protein is necessary for health and prosperity. I’ve done these already in my charitable giving through Food for the Poor. (shameless plug)

    Finally I’m interested in commerce. There is coming into being satellite technology which will bring internet data to everywhere. Before medicine back in the 70’s I was a communications engineer among other things. I created an antenna and satellite communications system which used a broom stick and stiff wire and a simple tripod which was good enough access ham radio satellites as they passed overhead. You can use this same concept connected to cell technology to access the web from the jungle. If you have web access and block chain you have the ingredients of world wide peer to peer commerce without need of banks and governments so I would explore how to make that actually happen. Yea capitalism!

    • December 16, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Man my friend, this is well thought out. We went to a farm today with my son and learned that goats are the second oldest domesticated animals after dogs. Means that people for thousands of years appreciated the value of them for life.

      As for a commune…I hope I an never so rich that I need that kind of protection. Though yesterday in the news I heard a Canadian billionaire couple died in their home from suspicious causes, so it is probably a good idea.

  • December 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    After losing everything in the fire, I was really hoping you meant it as I started thru that first paragraph. Ah well, costs nothing to dream, right? (Actually, that’s not true, you had to buy that lottery ticket!).

    No idea what I’d do with that much money. Probably end up living a slightly more materialistic lifestyle, and ultimately giving most of the winnings to charity over time. Sure would be a great problem to have!

    • December 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks Frtiz…I actually wrote this pre-fire and the financial implications of loosing everything while well insured can be similar. I am more than a few steps closer to financial Independence and can make some very deliberate life decisions.

  • December 16, 2017 at 7:57 am

    What about all the sports cars, mansions and other fancy things?? 😉

    I’m with you on most of this. I wouldn’t do anything crazy either. This would never happen to me, though. Can’t win if you don’t play!

    • December 16, 2017 at 8:20 am

      I don’t actually play often, but probably more than the financial bloggers out there…fancy things for me would be fancy restaraunts.

  • December 16, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Nice clickbait title! I could learn a thing or two from you!
    I have tried to set up my life so that I wouldn’t change much even if I won $10M.
    I can honestly say I wouldn’t change much. I have created a workplace that I like and work that I love so I don’t think I would quit my job either.
    Actually, since I’m already FI I guess I have proven I wouldn’t change much or quit my job, right?
    At any rate, you have a great plan and I hope you do achieve great wealth one day.

    • December 16, 2017 at 8:19 am

      I suppose it was click bate but hopefully a interesting read of what I would do. Considering you have hit FI and still are living the way you are then I think you are correct, things would not change that much for you.

      Thanks for the well wishes. Or is it wealth wishes. Either way I am getting there slowly but surely.


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