It’s the ultimate daydream that we all share every time we see a sign, or hear a commercial, saying the amount of the next mega-jumbo bucks lottery: “If I won, I’d . . . ”
Who hasn’t said that at least once? Some of us don’t even play the lottery, or admit to playing. Besides hiring a lawyer and maybe an accountant, and even maybe a private security guard to keep those new “long lost family members” off the porch, there are some things every outdoorsman, or outdoors woman, would do upon learning that he or she had matched those six little numbers.
1. Take this job and shove it! First up is pretty obvious — you’re going to quit your job. Ever hear those people who say, “I’d keep working so I’d stay busy.” No, you won’t! You’re Thurston Howell III rich, and there’s bound to be an opened hunting or fishing season somewhere on the planet that needs your attention.
Note: In brainstorming this article idea with a buddy, I asked him if he’d keep working. “Not only would I quit,” he said, “but I’d hire somebody to make the phone call for me.”
2. Pay off every credit card and loan. There’s no sense having bills hanging over your head. I might pay off my student loans in pennies. Be creative. You’re rich now and rich people aren’t crazy, they’re eccentric.
3. Time for a new truck. And the salesman is going to love you because you’re about to help him pay off his student loans, too. Crew cab Chevy, jacked up with just enough flash to show off how cool you are, but not so much as to make people think it’ll never see a dirt road. Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you aren’t still a bit redneck.
4. Buy local hunting land. From the car dealership, you’re going to drive your new truck over to the real estate office, because your hunting property is about to get a lot bigger. Don’t worry though, as this is just the start of the real estate purchases. This is just the local land you’re going to acquire. You should probably check with a contractor to see how soon they can build your walk-in gun safe, too.
5. Buy out-of-state property. Now you’ve got some hard choices to make, and this is going to be a tough one. Which states do you lease hunting land in, and which ones do you buy land and build a log cabin? I know, right? How can you decide? For me, I’m getting cabins in Alaska, Wisconsin and Wyoming, deer leases in Kansas and Iowa, and a lease in Arkansas for ducks. Oh, and maybe Montana, too.
6. Book bucket list adventures. You might as well start booking hunting and fishing trips with guides and outfitters now. It’d be pretty cool to go to your buddy’s house and say, “Pack your stuff, we’re headed to Kansas on a deer hunt.” After all, hunting is more fun when you’re with your friends. Plus, this way they won’t go thinking you’ve turned into a rich snob or something.
7. Time for a shopping spree. Now, don’t worry, you’re going to go to Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops — or both — next. They might as well have several associates follow you around to help you shop and haul the bags out to your shiny new pickup when you’re done. I’d always thought it’d be cool to buy a huge stack of gift cards and then take them over to the greeter to hand out to every kid that walked in the door.
8. Buy boats, ATVs and UTVs. The ATV and boat dealerships are going to love you. In fact, you should probably have some UTVs and a boat at all of your cabins, too. It just makes sense, right? You don’t want to have to trailer machines around with you all the time.
9. Donate to worthy causes. You’re rich now, and rich people are expected to be philanthropic. So, DU, RMEF, NWTF, QDMA, Delta Waterfowl and, of course, the NRA, can all expect a healthy donation. It’s just the right thing to do. The same goes for all your favorite charities. And when they pass the plate on Sunday morning at church, give generously as you remember your many blessings.
10. Don’t forget your spouse. Well, now that you’ve bought all the trucks, guns, UTVs, boats and hunting land you should ever need, and donated some money to causes that really matter, you should probably do something nice for your spouse. You know, now that I think about it . . . you might want to do this sooner rather than later – probably much sooner — like right after you get the winning check!
So, tell us, what would you do if you won the lottery?