January 29, 2007

Would You Rather?

Would you rather…

  • Win 20 Million dollars in the lottery or
  • Land your dream job (something you’re good at, that brings you respect and low stress) for $200K/year
Posted by James at January 29, 2007 11:17 AM
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I'm going to take the lottery. Perhaps this is cheating, but now that I've won the lottery, I can get my Ph.D. in math ed, which I think I'd like, and hopefully continue teaching, which is my dream job.

Posted by: Maggie at January 29, 2007 11:56 AM

Oh, this is a no brainer. I'd take the twenty million dollars and never work again. To keep myself busy I'd take up some obscure and pointless hobby.

Posted by: Mike L. at January 29, 2007 11:56 AM

I was leaning toward dream job but Maggie's right, with 20 million I could afford to figure that out on my own.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at January 29, 2007 12:04 PM

Definitely "b."

Have you not seen "The Jerk"? Wackos will come out of the woodwork looking for "just a little" money.

Perhaps it's the amount. Less may very well be more:


Posted by: Patti M. at January 29, 2007 12:17 PM

Being in non-profit, I'd win the lottery and then do the job I would love for no pay, saving the agency a ton o' money. :)

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at January 29, 2007 12:33 PM

When I came up with the question I thought of the example of so many people who have won the lottery and what happened to their lives.

The lottery is seductive, and I don't think people consider the downsides of winning. But that's part of what makes the question interesting to me.

I think a lot of people say "it won't change me." They just think it's a matter of the way they act, and they figure they control that.

In any case, I think you could reasonably answer either way. It depends on the reasons. :)

Posted by: James at January 29, 2007 12:34 PM

The "downside" part that most people don't think of is the one that Patti mentions. If (a) came without publicity, the answer really could be a no-brainer — take the $20M, which amounts to a (b) salary for 100 years even if you don't consider the gains on investment (and the taxes, so it's more complicated than that, but still better financially than (b)), and then do what you want for "work".

But if, as is usual, (a) comes with publicity, you're trading the $200K per annum with "low stress" for an order of magnitude greater money and many orders of magnitude greater stress.

I still think I'd pick (a), and then go live on Fiji. Despite the recent coup d'etat there, one could probably buy the government and still have a nice, quiet living for the rest of one's years, stress-(and Bush-)free.......

Posted by: Barry Leiba at January 29, 2007 1:37 PM

I'll take the lottery winnings and make my own dream job.

Posted by: Julie at January 29, 2007 2:26 PM

Homework assignment for all those who chose "A": Rent "The Jerk."

Cat juggling is all I have to say. Yes, it's a comedy, but not so far from the truth.

Posted by: Patti M. at January 29, 2007 3:49 PM

I've seen it, and I will take my chances with the cat-jugglers.

Posted by: Julie at January 29, 2007 5:03 PM

I'd take the money and claim it with a blind trust. That way nobody knows it's me that has it. Then I'd hire somebody to tell everyone who came begging to take a flying leap. :)

Posted by: briwei at January 29, 2007 6:13 PM

Sorry - the winnings must be claimed by a person. By claiming the money you agree to the use of your likeness in lottery ads.

I think stuff like this is pretty standard for lotteries.

If you want me to come up with a full list of rules, I will. :)

You can still, of course, hire someone to tell people to take a flying leap.

Posted by: James at January 29, 2007 6:26 PM

OK - it looks like the blind trust option is probably a viable case in many lotteries.

In our fictional lottery, however, the rules are that a person must sign the ticket at the time of purchase. And you must agree to the use of your likeness.

However, you can also choose to have your dollar refunded. :D

Posted by: James at January 29, 2007 7:02 PM

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