Imagine a person going to a gas station to fill up their car with fuel. They walk into the gas station to pay for the gas and once they reach the counter they notice the lottery tickets. Now, buying lottery tickets is not something that this person typically does, but just for fun they decide to spend around two dollars to see if they have any luck. When the Powerball is announced, they check their ticket and realize that they have just won $100 million. 

Interviews

Five people were asked to put themselves in the shoes of this person, what would be the first purchase of a person who just won the lottery? 

For Lana Pratt, if she won the lottery her first obligation would be to help her family find “true happiness.” 

Pratt is a mother to three sons and a grandmother to six, and she personally links happiness to being “stress free.” Pratt said she would “pay for education through graduation” for all of her grandchildren and help all of her family “pay off any debts that they may have.”

“You may not be able to buy happiness, but with the stress of debt gone, hopefully people would be happier,” Pratt said. 

Debt was also brought up in the answer of a twenty-year old college student, Trevor Satern.

“I would pay off all of my family and close-friend’s college debt,” Satern said. 

Satern is aware of the “financial burden” that college debt “seems to put” on many people. 

“It would be nice to get that out of the way for some people. It’s a huge financial debt, and families are years beyond college paying that off, if that debt is relieved that will allow them to invest in other big financial commitments,” Satern said. 

For some people, they would use the money to help out different businesses or organizations that they care about. 

Sonya Boeschen, a middle-aged mother of three, would use the money to “give back” by helping “pay off two important organizations” that have had a significant impact on both her and her family’s life. 

“I would pay off our church debt and help Twin Lakes Bible Camp pay off any debt that they have. Both organizations play a significant part of our lives, so I would love to put my money there,” Boeschen said. 

Eloise Shumacher, an engaged woman who is in her young twenties and is just starting out her career, would approach the situation of winning the lottery using reasonable thinking. Shumacer would plan to “invest” the money won by “buy[ing] out a business.” Shumacer’s strategy in buying a business would be to ensure that she won’t have to “worry about the money running out.” 

As a middle-aged father of four children, Dan Lehner also thought about the most reasonable place to put his money if he were to win the lottery. Lehner would “purchase both life and health insurance.”

“Due to how important they are to have in life and how expensive both of them can be, that would be my first purchase,” Lehner said. 

Kyler Ahrendt proved that one can be thinking about their financial future at any age. At thirteen years old, Ahrendt would want to do a “variety of things” with $100 million. 

“I would want to donate to charity, give some to my family and friends, start a business, and deposit the rest of the money for any other need that may arise,” Ahrendt said. 

What would you do?

Winning the lottery seems to be a dream come true for a lot of people, but it may be such a distant reality that some may not have even thought about what they would spend the money on. What would be your first purchase?

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