Picture this: what would you do with a billion dollars?

·2 min read

Jul. 30—One of the most common fantasies in the world is to be rich. Less common is any kind of agreement about what being rich would mean, and what we might do with our riches.

I thought of this today as I bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket. The current jackpot stands at $1.1 billion. By the time you read this, someone or several someones might be a lot wealthier than the night before, or it's possible that no one won it and the jackpot amount went up again.

I know everyone has different ideas about what they might do if they were suddenly millionaires.

Maybe some imagine retirement. Others might want to buy a sports team. Still others might move to a different country.

When I was younger, I thought it might be cool to buy and run a ski mountain. I snow skied a lot in my 20s, and loved it. In my 30s, I was flying a lot, though I never owned my own airplane, so I thought a lot about that.

Then along came Abby, who I married in 2004. Abby's ideas about life were always full of generosity, and every time we talked about what we might do if we won the lottery, the first thing she always said was that all the kids and grandkids could go to college or trade school for free.

The Abby Barron Memorial Charitable Trust has a nice ring to it.

An interesting aside about buying lottery tickets when the jackpot is as huge as it is as I write this: beyond a certain amount, money becomes an abstraction, and probably wouldn't have any real outcome on the winner.

If I won $15 million or $650 dollars, both would result in smart, secret investment that would provide for my needs for the rest of my life.

I know, I know: Richard, when your get your billion, what cameras are you going to buy?

It's a fair question for a photographer, and the answer is I might really like to get into Fujifilm's medium format digital cameras.