What to do with your lotto win

I should clarify that this post does not apply to tonight’s Australian lotto, which I am going to win. But for next week’s lotto and those played elsewhere there is quite a lot of advice on what to do with your winnings. If like me you intent to strike it big, you should check out what my fellow millionaires had to say. Here are some of the main points:

  • Manage your risk: your main goal should be to protect your capital, and figure out safe ways of living off the interest.
  • Diversify your holdings: don’t stick all your eggs in one basket, choose lots of safe baskets instead. And then buy the basket making factory
  • Tax Evasion: find as many legal ways as you can to ‘shelter’ from or otherwise avoid paying tax. This applies to your payout, and to any money you will make from now on. It seems to work a treat for Google, Amazon and Starbucks, check here for more

And here are two far more important points that I picked up somewhere else:

  • If you’re not happy now, being rich is not going to change that
  • People are going to start to expect much cooler christmas presents

What does this have to do with innovation?

Plenty. Let’s start with a look at a popular attribute based creative thinking technique called SCAMPER (see Michael Michalko‘s book Thinkertoys):

  1. Take an existing situation (my life), pick a key attribute (my bank balance), and Modify that attribute (add a hundred million dollars into it)
  2. Explore the new scenario. Play with it. See what changes, and what doesn’t
  3. Make links between the two situations and think of ways to move from one to the other

 

So here was my (rather mundane) list of things I’d do with the money:

  • pay off the mortgage, spruce up my house, replant the front garden, buy some new coat hangers from Ikea (the fancy wooden ones), go on holiday and fly first class, buy a couple of houses for friends (had second thoughts on this), invest enough to generate say $1m interest a year for life, join a gym
  • get involved with a small selection of charities who actually do stuff, e.g. Head Space, the people who make water purifiers, bare foot college, micro finance initiatives, and the people putting an end to slavery, go to the gym I just joined whenever I felt like it
  • lord it up at work (why quit when you can become the new undercover boss) forming spin off companies, partnering with cool startups, and helping drive a high energy innovation hub in my city

What I noticed was that I had actually listened to the bit about finding happiness in the life you already have. I like where I live.I like my friends. I’d rather keep it but just make it better. Those hangers really are pretty nice. The next part I noticed was how few of the things I wanted to do actually required any kind of lottery win. The most exciting parts for me were around the transformation of my career into some kind of startup central. Maybe my best option is to become in innovation catalyst, and simply misappropriate the resources I already have to hand to drive something slight outside of the box. What will you do with you winnings?

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