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What Would You Do?: I Won One Million Dollars!!!

I Just Won One Million Dollars!!!

Two words. I WISH! But it is fun to dream so let’s continue with this theoretical situation… We have to make assumptions so everyone is on the same page when they share what they will do!

  • You just won One Million United States Dollars so convert to your own currency if necessary to find out its buying power.
  • The taxes have already been paid so you can spend every penny of it if you wish.
  • You are in the financial situation you are currently in, not in my financial position.

So What Would You Do with One Million Dollars?

While I can’t say what you’ll do (that is for you to determine in the comments below) I can tell you what I would do  so here it goes.

Starting Amount: $1,000,000

I’d Put Aside Enough to Pay Off My Girlfriend’s Student Loans

I’d do this so that when we get married we could pay them off. Amount Spent $64,000 Remaining Amount $936,000

Finish Remodeling Our Townhouse the Way We’d Like It.

This involves remodeling our kitchen ($15,000), a full bathroom ($2,500), a half bathroom ($600), replacing the carpet upstairs ($1,500), replacing the tile downstairs ($3,000), replacing the windows (no clue but I’m going to guesstimate $2,500 for three windows), replacing a sliding glass door (also a guesstimate, $1,500) and painting the outside of the townhouse (guessing again, $600). Amount spent on remodeling $27,200. Remaining Amount $908,800.

I Would Buy Our Next House!

Wait a second, I thought you were remodeling your current house. We currently live in a two bedroom one and a half bath townhouse which will be the perfect size for us for the next 10 years. Problem is once we have a kid or two our townhouse will be feeling a bit tight. Kids are a ways off but we still are planning ahead for our next place.

We’d like to be more in town rather than at the beach and there are some great deals right now. We’d likely buy an affordable 4 bedroom 3 bath house for around $150,000. I’d still take out a mortgage so we’d pay 20% down plus closing costs.

We plan on renting it out until we decide we need the extra room. At that point we will rent out the townhouse so that we can return to it many years later after the kids move out. Amount spent $40,000 (just to be safe, any extra above closing costs would be put toward down payment). Remaining Amount $868,800.

I’d Take $68,000 for Our Fun Money.

We could use this on whatever we want to prevent us from making some huge purchase that we really shouldn’t do. Chances are we would go take a few vacations to places we’ve wanted to go and buy some gifts for our close family but we wouldn’t do anything extravagant that would raise our current standard of living.

We don’t want any lifestyle inflation sneaking in so this amount definitely would not be spent all at once. I imagine it would last us a couple years but we would definitely want to enjoy it. Amount Spent $68,000. Remaining Amount $800,800.

I Would Invest the Rest!

However, first we would go talk to a fee only financial planner and make sure we have all of our bases covered. I’d like to think this wouldn’t cost more than $800 as we would go into it very organized so they didn’t have to do a ton of digging to get the answers they would need. Amount spent $800. Remaining Amount $800,000, all invested!

So there you have it! That is what I’d do if I won a million dollars. If you were paying attention there were a few things I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t quit my job, I wouldn’t pay my mortgage off and I wouldn’t buy a new car.

I don’t have any recommendations for what you should do if you do end up with one million dollars and you shouldn’t take my ideas as a recommendation or advice for what you should do.

So, what would you do if you won one million dollars? I’m interested to hear both what you would and what you wouldn’t do with the money!

Robert Hu

Tuesday 20th of February 2018

A million dollars? I used to dream of that amount when I was young. Now, I dream big to the total of BILLIONS. Who says money can't buy happiness hasn't met me. However, if I did for some unknown reason have a million dollars. I would pay off my student loan and my debts. I would invest about 50% of the rest. I couldn't quit my job because in Hawaii a decent home costs around $600K-$800K. I could barely buy a home with a million so I would be forced to work until retirement age and hopefully just spend the dividends I make off of the investment or savings. I would definitely pay to remodel my parents home and if I did fix up the one I'm living in, then I would be broke. Do you know where I can get a million?

Lance Cothern

Thursday 22nd of February 2018

"Getting" a million will only happen to a lucky few. However, you can invest for your future and become a millionaire with a few hundred dollars a month and a few decades of time on your side.


Friday 24th of April 2015

Buy a house (350,000), buy a car (25,000) go on a big trip (7,000), pay my debts (50,000),help family and set the kids reaps up ($15,000) and invest the rest, pulling a specific amount out each year for living expenses (including a basic vacation yearly). Yes I intend to make this last until I'm gone. My only working income will be from a hobby that makes me money, and when the kids are grown and gone I will sell my amazing house and downgrade to a smaller one. I'm single now, and want to make sure I never need a second income to make ends meet.

Lance Cothern

Friday 24th of April 2015

Sounds like a well thought out plan. Just keep in mind, after all of your spending you will only have $553,000 left which isn't a lot to live on for the rest of your life unless you're well into retirement already. Good luck!


Sunday 5th of April 2015

I'd divide it into 5 categories: ~Firstly, buy the book "Tax Evasion for Dummies" ;) ~Then investing some of the money into my new start-up business Hollow Leg Store, which means a lot to me and I hope develops into something that can make a meaningful contribution to the world. ~Thirdly, giving to other causes and companies that I respect the morals of and want to support. ~Fourthly, I would travel. Exploring new spaces and cultures always keeps my perspective fresh. ~And lastly, I would put the rest away-- you never know when you might need it, and I tend to squirrel away savings for the unexpected. (and the occasional rainy day) ;)

Lance Cothern

Monday 6th of April 2015

Sounds like you have a plan! Best of luck to you. I would avoid tax evasion though and just call it paying the correct amount of taxes. There are wonders you can do without breaking the law, which evasion is.


Monday 9th of March 2015

I would give 10% to a good cause (like Church, homeless etc.) I would buy a house for around $200,000 cash. Then I would invest $600,000 to open up a business. I would spend 100k on a nice car and maybe other things for my house.

Lance Cothern

Wednesday 11th of March 2015

Nice! Sounds like you have a plan if you ever win $1,000,000 which is half of the battle. Let me know if you ever find a way to win the money though :) Many of us would like to know!


Wednesday 8th of October 2014

First off, I have to convert to $AU, which is about $1.14 million. I'd pay off my loan ($26,000) and my credit card ($6,000). I'd also buy a small house as I've always rented - maybe spend up to $250,000. I already own my car outright, and it's perfect for me (small, great fuel consumption and easy to park!) so I wouldn't change it unless it became necessary. This leaves me with $858,000. That's a lot of money. I agree with the idea of setting aside some "fun money" to use for holidays etc, so I'd take $58K for that. Not sure what I'd do with the remaining $800,000. Maybe buy an investment property (depending on the market - at the moment the rental market in my town isn't so great). I'm not a big fan of the stock market (mainly because I don't understand it) so I wouldn't invest in stocks. I'd probably stick it in an interest bearing account for 6-12 months while I figured out the best thing to do.

Lance Cothern

Wednesday 8th of October 2014

It sounds like you have this well thought out! I really like the idea of putting it in an interest bearing account while you figure things out. This is definitely a great idea so you don't make a mistake you'll later regret, like investing in a bad company. Take some time to figure it out, no rush!