Saturday, November 17, 2007

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - Lori Borrill

Since the premise of the Harlequin Blaze "Million Dollar Secrets" continuity is five coworkers winning a mega state lottery, I thought I'd bring up the topic of lotteries and see how people really feel about winning it big.

Yes, you heard that right. How people really feel.

Though I've been throwing $2 into my office lottery every week for almost a decade now, I actually do wonder whether or not I'd be happy with millions and millions in the bank. Studies show that aside from the brief high people experience around the time they win, ultimately they return to whatever state of happiness they'd been before they won. Meaning, if someone was miserable broke, they're miserable rich. If they were moderately happy broke, they're only moderately happy rich.

Then you have the horror stories about people who end up bankrupt within a year or two, all those millions squandered away by bad business deals and the friends and family who suck them dry--or worse, people whose lives are ruined by their sudden fame.

I think if you really press people to think about it, most would say they don't care to win a ton of money. They're modest in their desires, just wanting enough to pay off a mortgage or maybe fund their kids college. Believe it or not, I'm seriously a little afraid of what life would be like if I won millions and millions of dollars. I don't know that I want the responsibility, and I don't care to know who comes out of the woodwork looking for a cut or hearing their justification for why they feel they deserve it. And then the big thing: What would I do?

I asked my husband that one time. What would we do? He responded much like you're probably thinking right now. "What do you mean, what would we do? Anything we want! We'd build a house, we'd travel, we' another house, then maybe travel some more."

I have to admit, much of what motivates me to get out of bed in the morning is because I have to. I love/hate having to work for a living, but I learned during an extra-lengthy maternity leave (I was 2 weeks late) that if I don't have to go anywhere, I don't go anywhere. If I don't have to get dressed or take a shower, I don't get dressed or take a shower. (Yes, I'm a slug and a sloth, I admit it!) By my third week of leave, I was sitting on the couch watching "Eight Is Enough" reruns. By the time the baby was born, I was neurotic. (And did you know that newborns can't hold a conversation? What's up with that?)

By the time my leave was over, I ran back to the office, thrilled to be back with people like me who simply don't do the be-at-home thing well because I don't have the inner gumption to get the hell off my ass. Give me thirty million dollars? How many seasons was "Eight Is Enough" on the air?

And I have to ask myself if I'd still write novels. That's a tough one for me. Yes, I'm one of those people who would write anyway because I love the craft. But in many ways, writing professionally is exactly how that sounds--it's a job. It's one thing to write for joy, living in my own mind and cracking myself up over my own funny prose, it's another to wrestle with a story line or push myself through my third round of revisions when I'd rather rip the thing to shreds and never look at it again.

If I won the lottery, I could buy a kick-ass shredder.

And I wonder if I'd ever finish a project ever again. Part of the pleasure I get from writing is the fantasy. Someday I could write a best seller, get a $100,000 advance on my next ST and write for a living instead of juggling the craft with my day job. And really, no matter what you do, I think part of living is striving for some sort of dream and having to work to get it. So what if you could have all the things you love and not have to work to get any of them? Would you still love it?

Would you still go in the garden and tend to weeds if you could afford to have someone do it for you? Maybe at first. But then over time you might hire a guy to do one thing, then the next day you're a little tired so you ask him to plant those pansies--just this once--and before you know it, you're sitting on the patio watching someone else garden for you.

I can't really say for sure that I'd stop writing, or gardening, or any of the other things I love if I won millions, but I do have to say I fear it. I don't fear it badly enough to stop throwing in my $2.00. I mean, come on! I'm not crazy!

But what about you? Do you dream of winning it big? Ever think it might make your life worse instead of better? And what would you do if you had all the money in the world to spend? And if you say "travel", you're required to say what you'd do once you're traveled out and have seen it all.

Answer those questions and you're automatically entered in my contest. The prize is an autographed copy of "Underneath It All"!


Jane said...

I dream of winning it big everytime I see someone win and they're handed that big check. I don't think I would be one of those people whose life becomes a mess after winning the lottery. I don't forsee unknown relatives coming out of the woodwork looking for their share. I would spend the money on a house and of give some to charity. Maybe quit working for a while and learn to fly and travel. Don't know what happens after that, except live a happy life.

Stacy S said...

I watched a show this summer about the curse of lottery winners. A lot of them end up broke after winning millions of dollars. If I won, I would keep enough to pay bills, put some in the bank & give our family money. Travel some & then just probably do like we do now only not work!

Jill said...

I am also very lazy when I don't have something to get me out of bed in the morning. I have a love hate relationship with having time off. I'm glad I'm not the only one!
However, I would love enough to pay off our debt (husband just finished law school), buy a house, for me to go back to school for something fun instead of something practical, and start saving for our own (unborn) kids' college. It would add up to a lot of money, but I still think it would be millions upon millions. As you can see, I've thought a lot about this. However, I never pay the lottery in real life b/c I am a poor sport about losing, even if it is just two dollars :-)

Nathalie said...

I would love to win and buy myself a house, and have the rest of the money tucked in safely in the bank :)

Estella said...

I spend $4 a week on the lottery.
If I ever won it big I would make sure my children and step- children were taken care of and trust funds for my grandchildren.
I would pay off our mortgage, and any other bills we had.
As far as travel goes, I have never wanted to travel and cannot see me changing my mind at this stage of my life.
Gardening is my way of relaxing---don't think I would hire a gardener.
If I won I would be able to buy more books to read!!

Shari C said...

Yes, I dream of winning it big. I am not one who would go crazy spending the money, but I would set up funds for education for my children, help friends that need it, donate to my church and some favorite charities, and for myself I would love to take a trip to Australia as that has always been a dream of mine.

Lori Borrill said...

I'm enjoying hearing what everyone would do if they won it big. Estella, I completely forgot about an unlimited supply of books! Oh, man, I would need a million dollar home just to hold them all! I already go crazy at Borders on my modest little salary. LOL!

deseng said...

I wouldn't mind winning the lottery. If I just won $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000 that would make me happy also! It doesn't matter really because my husband and I already feel like we are rich. I just work part-time and he is unemployed but we have so much love for one another, our house is paid off, we have food, two vehicles, and a nice yard to putt around in. We are very happy and manage to get by on the money we have. It wouldn't hurt to have a little more money, but, hey, we are happy! That is what counts!

blackroze37 said...

wonderful book!!!!!! i truly enjoyed it!
im now digging to find any vher books i missed!

blackroze37 said...

a cousin in fla, won the lottery
5 million, she said it just made their life more miserable after about a year, she had to go back to work to have health insurance for all her kids and herself

Sue A. said...

I do think about what I'd do if I won. And I don't believe I'd be in group of winner who end up losing it all, because I'm way too pratical to do that. I don't buy lottery tickets, but I do play a couple of free lotto games on the net so I haven't lost total hope in the possibility of it happening. After all to get that dream house I need to be in the game to win.

Laura J. said...

I have thought about winning. I've thought about what process I would take so that I don't end up just "blowing" it. I do have some crazy things that I would buy right away. First, I'd get a Harley, customized of course. I also want a hot rod.

For the less crazy ideas: I don't think we would move (ugh--just did that 2 years ago and don't want to do it again), I like my house. But I would have someone come in a re-do a few things that I would want to change and then hire a landscaper to do up the outside. I would make sure my parents and in-laws got something nice. I would set up trusts for my kids for college and beyond. There are also a couple of local charities that I would give too.

Lois said...

Oh geez, we sure wish we could win that lottery, because absoultely, life would be easier. . . but I really figure that those huge prizes we always hear about on the news, they probably are trouble waiting to happen, and I always figure it's better if you have a few winning tickets instead of just one. But a lot boils down to the type of people who wins it, their personalities and all. . . it isn't the money that's bad but what people do and act.

That said, sure wish we'd win sometime! :)


ilona said...

I have often given thought to how I would use a big win.
First I would put some way for a rainy day, then give a share to each of the five children.
After that I would like to arrange a trip to the USA for myself and my disabled husband - he would go to the best bead/jewellery store and stock up on anything his little artistic heart fancied and I would buy all the books on my wishlist plus any others that sounded even remotely interesting.
Naturally anything left would pay for the custom duties to get all those beads and books into the UK :D
I'm off to check my latest lotto tickets to see if I won :D

Lori Borrill said...

It definitely isn't hard to conjure up ideas for spending money, huh?

Deseng, your post was so touching. You definitely have something worth more than money, for sure.

Blackroze, thanks! I'm very glad you enjoyed the book!

Laura J., we're moving right now and I have to agree. More than once, my Dh made the proclamation that this was IT! He's never moving again. It's horribly stressful and I'm looking forward to being through with it. Though winning millions might cause me to consider it just one more time *gg*.

And who said college for the kids? Ugh! That's an expense I keep forgetting about as we forecast our financial future!

But anyway, I appreciate everyone chiming in with their thoughts. It's always fun to spend time at Totes & Blogs, and as promised, I've got a copy of "Underneath It All" to give away.

The winner is LOIS!! Lois, please send your snail mail address to and I'll get your book in the mail!

Caitlin Hoy said...

I do dream of winning it big but I don't think it would make my life worse. I do know if I ever won I would probably buy all the books I want and basically just lay around reading them. I don't think the money would end up destroying the life I have because one I am really lazy, two I am crazy about books, and three I would share it with my immediate family(if their nice). I do know I would really be happy having the resources to buy books and to not worry about bills or debt.I would try and buy a country home and go on my lifelong dream of visiting Ireland, Scotland, England, and mainly the rest of Europe. I also would fund animal shelters and medical research. Now I am just going to sit back and dream of winning the lottery for real.

RachaelfromNJ said...

Shoot I missed the contest. I dream of winning it big all the time. We can only hope to hit the lottery.