Monday, January 11, 2016

How to make the world better without winning the lottery

So ... Powerball is up to $1.3 billion and just like every time the amount to be won gets into the hundreds of millions, there have been all kinds of articles asking people what would they do if they won the lottery.

Inevitably, people say things like;

First, I would give half to charity.


I'd give 25% to the church.


After I paid off all of my bills, I'd give 10% to the church.

I was curious about this, so I asked a priest whether the church really received millions of dollars from lottery winners. He just laughed and said, "No."

I actually bought a lottery ticket for the first time in my life tonight. I didn't even know how or where you get them. Apparently, you can get them pretty much anywhere except church.

Truly, my life wouldn't change drastically if I had a billion dollars. I don't want a bigger house, a flashier car, a private jet. Most of the places I want to visit, I've already been.

I realized that if people were really serious about giving to charity, they'd do it now and not wait until they had an extra billion dollars. So, I had just put some money in the bank. It wasn't a major amount - miscellaneous reimbursement checks. I decide to take one-third of that and donate it. I happened to randomly see this article on a Catholic charity in Chicago whose boiler had broken and they were working in the cold.  I absolutely loathe being cold and I think the things they are doing like after school tutoring and feeding the hungry are exactly what I want to support, so I donated it to them.

So, here is my idea .... everyone who claims they would give to charity if they won the lottery - which is probably all 50 million or so of you - should donate something to charity today. It doesn't have to be a lot. Maybe you can only afford $5 or $10. Let's say the average person could afford $20.

$20 x 50,000,000 = $1 BILLION DONATED TO CHARITY

Even if you don't win the lottery, with that much money going to good causes, we'd all be winners.

What I'd Do With a Billion Dollars

The main way more money would change my life is that I could spend a greater  proportion of my time working on making our educational games better and demonstrating our games for parents and teachers, rather than continually writing to granting agencies and investors asking for funding and writing reports on what we're doing with the funding.

If you want to help out, check out our games. You may have no money left to buy one since you just donated your extra cash to charity (you sweetheart, you) but you can still help out by telling your friends who are parents or teachers, sharing our Facebook page or downloading a free demo and trying the games out.

You don't have to stop sharing because Christmas is over.


Sylver said...

Quite a few winners have donated most or even everything (search Google for "lottery winners donate"), and I would assume many more have given lesser amounts.

That said, I think people saying they would give to charity if they won are essentially saying "I would do it as long as it doesn't inconvenience me in any way" or "I am too broke to make a difference, but if I could, I would", and for the later, your idea of making a small donation is pretty good.

Anonymous said...

I don't think those peoples comments are so much about actually donating, but more a realization that all that money may not make them happy.

Ventus said...

Thats not a bad idea but the problem is getting that many people to give a few bucks.
When i take over, every few months or so when there is some pressing need i will just go on television and hack the whole internet and say: "Hello folks, today you all give 20 bucks to charity! Great job everyone!" And then i would just take 20 bucks from everyone through taxes and banks. (including the banks)
Then i would sit surrounded by few brigades of marines or any other special forces in high alert status and just wait for someone to make a peep of complaint.

I just took a look at how many people actually work in US and some quick search says about 122 million people have full time jobs. Thats 2 billion and 440 million dollars from 20 bucks a pop, just from US.
That can be a lot of cures for cancer, for HiV, for stem cell technologies... and for 440 million we could have a space telescope built specifically to find all dangerous Asteroids including the "small" ones which can still take out whole cities full of people. For example.

It could be done every few months easily which nobody would even notice as any kind of difference to their personal financial situation.

- Just a thought.

I do give to charity from time to time but since my finances are not constant it is sporadic and i can give just some small amounts. But the thing is, there is always that sense of thinking you dont know where that money is going exactly if you just give it to some bigger organization. Knowing some part of it will be swindled one way or another.
I prefer if i can give directly to someone not only to know where my money went but to see i am actually helping and making a difference. I would like even better if i could create a project or do something that would change some whole situation that is causing a lot of misfortune for many.

You know, the old proverb about giving hungry a few fish versus teaching them how to fish.

Still... good of you to remind me. Ive been slacking and i should do better.
Atleast some clothes will go to Red Cross tomorrow and then, atleast some of that will reach those who need it.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't give a dime to charity or any religious organization. Can't trust them.

If someone wins the lottery and truly want to help others through philanthropic endeavors then they should start their own charity. At least then they know the money is going towards the cause and not towards the charity's board of directors vacation homes.

IceLotto review said...

The story of Terry Fox, a runner from Canada to run across the country with the artificial leg from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean in attempt to raise funds for the cancer fighting initiatives, is one of the excellent examples. Although he didn't finish the run (Terry Fox died of cancer disease actuation) his idea caught the public interest, succeeded and made the world better.