At last! After many years of admittedly sporadic consideration, I have come upon a partial solution to a problem that had harried me. The problem pestered me like a small child trailing me about, always asking, “What if…” and me having no good answer for the child. To wit, “What would I do with the money if I ever won a lottery?”

I found this particular problem to be vexing enough that it stopped me from buying lottery tickets altogether, even though I had previously only bought lottery tickets in annual number, fewer than the digits upon my hands. Still, there was always the odd chance that Lady Luck might shine her brilliant light upon me, tap me with her fairy wand, and I would become her star, her chosen one, a winner!

When I was younger, I would have had many answers for my problem. I could have bought a fine house, a cottage perhaps, fun cars, luxury cars, decorated my home with first-rate art work, bought all of the latest and greatest audio/video/computer gadgetry, fine scotch and champagne, always the best in food. There were so many things upon which, or within which, I might have indulged.

But now that I’m 67, I have a home that I wouldn’t be happy to trade for anything. I don’t want the extra responsibility of a cottage or fun cars or luxury cars. I get along fine just renting cottages, and driving my perfectly comfortable and well-functioning 2002 Toyota Camry that no one wants to steal. My home is full of what I consider to be first-rate art. I no longer drink much at all. When I do drink, my limit is mostly reached at one drink, occasionally I might stretch as far as two drinks, so big splurges on alcohol aren’t likely to provide me with any pleasure. I’ve been trying to rid myself of the type of item variously known as bric-a-brac, ipsy-crapsy, knick-knacks, geegaws or tchotchkes, so new purchases in that line would make no sense. New acquisitions would not solve the problem of how to spend my money.

I did think that I could enjoy giving away all my hard-won gains, but even that has headaches and involvements that I probably wouldn’t enjoy, to say nothing of sudden security concerns that I don’t have now. Even attempting to vicariously enjoy my wealth would have its hazards.

Yes, I confess, I have bought lottery tickets on big-pot, lolla-palooza lotteries, then hoped to hell I wouldn’t be the grand prize winner! So far, my wishes have been granted.

But now I have a plan to get me started happily living a life of ease and enjoyment, provided that my winnings are low enough to fly beneath the radar of razor-sharp crooks and cons, but just enough to place me happily hiking along the high road.

If I were to win a million dollars, I’d spend my first warm weather season taking river cruises up and down all of the European rivers that offer such cruises. River cruising is living the life of luxury. I might branch out to include canal systems in my second year, maybe on a charter with a few close friends. In winter, I’d find a fine ski resort near a city (proximity to a city to please those in my party who did not ski) and I’d schuss the slopes and trails to my delight, while friends partook of pleasures in the spa, hot pools, and restaurants at the base or delighted in the diversions of the nearby city. Vancouver, Quebec City, Denver, Montpelier? Who knows?

Now that I have a plan, I can go ahead and buy those five lottery tickets I’ll buy this year, knowing that if I should win the one million dollar prize, I’d have a plan to deal with it in a fun, non-acquisitional manner. Come to papa, Lady Luck! Come to papa!