The BIG ONE: California’s State Lotto Record

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$540 million and some change… not a bad way to shorten your lifespan. I think all the crazy stuff I would consume would take a few years off πŸ˜‰

What WOULD I do with the money?

I’m standing in line at a gas station buying one of these life-changing dollar items, and an older gentleman behind me in a condescending voice said, “What are YOU going to do with all that money, son?” For being in my mid-30’s, I do look young, but didn’t feel like getting into a debate inside a cramped gas station. But I realized, that a young person today has a tougher choice than a young person 40 years ago. The Internet gives us more choices, more things to dream about, and bigger things to want to conquer. I don’t really think its much money if you’re going to do something meaningful with it.

The $350M lump sump pays for 15,000 students to go to Cal State for 4 years, about 3.5% of the student body across all campuses. Ironically, the plan for CalState is to turn away 3% next year to save money.

I would also be interested in funding the arts, having grown up in the music field. It is sad to hear that my own kids will no longer be offered a music program in grade school due to budget cuts. Therefore, I’d not only want to build an after school center for music education, but also build a new curriculum from scratch. The problem with the music program is that it hasn’t evolved with the time. Its almost like if we made all radio stations play classical music only because of the notion that its the foundation by which all other music was created. I think itΒ  could change some of the perception of its importance in that budget line item… in 30 years or so. Of course, its a long way from a defensible state, such that of say… America’s pastime – We won’t be at hearings for a music program budget cut proposal and hear anyone standup to say, “But its MUSIC!!”

I would fund all noteworthy projects at, a crowdfunding site where they’ve been able to achieve 44% funding status from over 26,600 projects kicked off over the past two years. That leaves me 13,000 entrepreneurs to help in one swoop – plus imagine all the random swag I’ll get in return πŸ˜‰ Plus, over half of the funded projects are in the art, music, and film category.

I would probably give money to everyone I know. I wouldn’t want that glaring negative energy friends and family would send in my direction.

13,000 Web-savvy artsies… or 15,000 more college grads… or maybe teach a few kids a thing or two about music. Is it saving the world? Nope. So what WOULD define saving the world – dropping $350MM on drop-shipping computers and teachers into Africa? At the end of that exercise, Facebook would probably get another 3 million users registered from Africa – which we will call a win because, hey, at least they NOW know how to do it, right?

The domestic criticism is that there are plenty of people to help in our own backyards, so maybe getting 15,000 bums off the street would help my commute downtown.

I would definitely pay for new seats on BART. I don’t like the fact that the 0.1% of bacteria that alcohol doesn’t kill, lives on my train.

Or is it more about saving lives – How many people are on their deathbeds, that COULD live if they had a sizable amount of money? I suppose I’d throw some money that was as well.

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