By David Fong
MIAMI COUNTY — The odds of winning tonight’s rec0rd-setting Powerball jackpot — $1.5 billion and growing at last count — are minuscule, to say the least.
The odds of winning the big prize in tonight’s drawing — estimated at roughly one in 292.2 million — are far worse than the odds of getting hit by lightning (one in a million), getting bitten by a shark (one in 11.5 million) or becoming president of the United States (one in 10 million).
Still, though, the long odds can’t stop people from dreaming about what they would do if they were to win the largest prize in lottery history.
Several local readers weighed in on a Troy Daily News Facebook post asking what they would do if they won tonight’s grand prize.
Reader Mike Vrbanecs made it clear what his first order of business would be.
“Tithe, first and foremost,” he said. “The rest is just material.”
Like Vrabaecs, nearly every ready who responded said they would, in some shape or form, share the wealth with others, particularly family and friends.
“Take vacations, build a retreat center, set-up savings accounts for family and friends, give to charities,” Beth Shrake wrote. “It’s hard to comprehend having that much money, even after the taxes.”
“I would help out some family and friends,” Nicci Dye Bevington said. “(I would help) charities and set up a scholarship program. Build a new house and enjoy life!”
Several readers listed specific charities they would help, should they win the money.
“Pay off bills of course, help family and donate rest to MS Foundation to find a cure,” Amy Ferguson wrote.
“Buy a house, animals, and farmland so my family can be self sufficient, make sure all the kids in my family can attend college for free, donate a lot of money to Shoes4theShoeless, set up scholarship funds for local kids and donate regular to local food banks,” April Dople Wyatt posted.
“Build my dream home in Utah, make sure my nieces and nephew were all set, make sure my brother was set for life, send my parents on an amazing trip or whatever they want and fund Partners in Hope big time,” Aimee Shannon said.
At least two readers stated they would like to donate to charity — but would rather remain anonymous in doing so.
“Remain anonymous, make sure I was financially taken care of for life, help out friends & family with loans, mortgages, health care, buy the 1989 Batmobile, and then donate the rest,” David Denoyer said.
“Charity and I wouldn’t tell a (darn) soul,” Aarin Burke said.
“That is more than I could even fathom! I would do typical things, pay off family homes and debts, establish college accounts for grandkids,” Robin Cornick Ingle wrote. “Anonymously pay hospital bills for others, randomly pay for meals, groceries for others.”
Needless to say, a number of readers would make sure all their lingering bills were paid.
“Debts, house, families houses and debt paid off, colleges paid for, donations to churches, homeless shelters, animal shelters and possibly buying my own land and shelter to run and operate, including workers to help!,” Dawn Fraley Miller said.
”Pay my student loans off and all my medical bills at Boston Childrens,” Angie Noon wrote. “Give my home an upgrade. Have fun with family and friends!!!”
Two readers stated they would indulge in sports fantasies.
”Donate to Troy High for a new football field,” former Trojan football player Chad Walters wrote. “Obviously pay off debts and build a house. Then I’d spend ridiculous amounts of money on traveling the world with my family.”
Dwayne Longstreath, meanwhile, simply wrote: “NASCAR team.”
Some people wouldn’t stick around Miami County long enough to share the wealth.
“Move far away from Troy!” Melissa Rickard posted.
Meanwhile, Regina Harmon simply wrote, “Disappear!”
While most of the people who responded were taken to flights of fancy, however, at least one was going about the potential winnings from a sensible point of view.
“Get a good financial adviser and attorney, in that order,” Sandy Crabtree Brogdon wrote.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong