No, in fact I’m not. But I’m back! After enjoying my summer, I’m back online to feed you with some interesting (or not) posts! I have a few posts planned but today I’m going to start with something I saw in the news this week.
I really need to play the lottery
As you might have heard, a really lucky American lady won $758,7M on the lottery!! After taxes, she’s going to have around $400M left (American tax is the real winner here)!
Just to give you an idea, she is suddenly going to be richer than for instance Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr or Kim Kardashian… Not bad is it?
Like everyone, I asked myself “what the hell would I do with so much money!?!”. I could give $1M to all my family and friends I would still have too much left!
I started to read online about the lottery, and I found this article here about how much money was spent last year on the lottery. According to the article, $80B was spent in 2016! Here is where the money goes:
About 63% of the money that’s spent on lottery tickets was paid out in prizes. The rest of those funds went to state and local governments.
Most of that money about $16.7 billion went to education, while $2.5 billion went into state general funds, and $1.3 billion was spent on social programs for the homeless, the elderly and drug and alcohol treatment. Another $1.7 billion was spread among other government programs, with the smallest sliver of that pie about $20 million going toward state programs for problem gamblers. […] Another $6 billion is paid out in commissions to retailers who sell lottery tickets, and the last $6 billion or so goes toward administrative costs of running the lottery, including advertising campaigns.
Interesting fact, I didn’t know that the money that wasn’t won goes to the state and the local governments. There should be more communication around this point (even if I think that’s something specific to America, in France I’m pretty sure the money goes to a private company). But when you see the amounts, don’t you think that’s a bit crazy and over the top? And that’s just one country! With everything going on in the world, all the poverty and people in need, all this money could be – should be – shared more efficiently to have a real impact.
Later during the day, I read a tweet from Tim Cook (Apple’s CEO):
Prayers for Texas and all those affected by HurricaneHarvey. Join us in the relief effort by donating apple.co/2xmVm50
That’s great, we really need this kind of solidarity. Imagine if everyone would give only $1, that would be a huge help to rebuild what is currently being destroyed. But at the same time, coming from a guy who earns $10M per year, and is richer than everyone who will ever read this blog… it kind of sounds weird to me.
Sharing make us richer
Plenty of wealthy men are already doing a lot for charities and fighting issues in the world. But when I see the amount of billions they have, I keep thinking this money could be shared more equally in the world. They could help the ones in actual need, the ones who are struggling to eat every day. We tend to forget about it, but there are still billions of humans who needs help all around the world. When we see all the money exchanged every day for business, sports, entertainment etc… a little effort from everyone – which would have no impact on those activities – would make a huge difference for the world.
Just a few numbers to illustrate how the scale leans too much on one side:
- The 10 richest people in the world own together more than $600B!
- Bill Gates, n°1 of the list, earns $100 per second. He could give $10 to every single human being on the planet. If he was a country, he would be the 37th (probably even higher now) richest country in the world.
- Paris football (soccer) team just spent 220M€ to buy a player – a human being! Floyd Mayweather just earned $300M for a 30 minute fight.
The list could carry on and on for a while (I won’t get into the field of wasted money in the world).
Would I be better than them if I had all this money? Honestly I don’t know. It seems like money has this strange power to change people and make them forget where they came from and what it was to actually need (and not just want) something.
It’s obviously easy to say when you are not in the situation. But if tomorrow I had all the money I want, I would do 4 things:
- Share it with my family and real friends. I’m more for buying things for people rather than giving them money. I don’t believe everyone has the ability to deal with lots of money and a lot could easily waste it. I would rather invest it in properties or stocks to generate profit and make sure their future is safe.
- Enjoy it for myself a bit, mainly by traveling around the world.
- Help the ones actually in need. I would travel the world and give to associations I feel are really trying to make a difference, or directly create associations to solve issues.
- The last one is the most important I think. Going everywhere and throwing cash around could help. But it would not solve the real issues, it would only help a few people temporarily. I would like to have a real impact, so I would look for talent and invest in them. The goal is to fight the problem at its root: find a cure to eradicate an illness, build things to create jobs, find solutions to limit crisis during natural disasters, etc… at the end solving those things will help way more people in the future than throwing $$$ here and there.
If you have the ability to change the world rather than just the lives of a few people, I believe you should take a shot and go for it!
Sharing with other people is such an enriching experience. It doesn’t have to be money, or stuff. Just sharing experiences, ideas, or life in general is amazing. Anyone traveling and discovering other cultures will agree!
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