Lottery Fever

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Last week, it seemed like everyone went lottery crazy. There was buzz on every radio station, TV newscast, and social network. Offices everywhere pooled their money to increase their odds at winning. I went to a gas station at 9:30 pm on Friday night and there was a line out the door of people waiting to buy a ticket. One question seemed to be on everyone's mind: What would you do with $640 million—the biggest jackpot ever?

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It was fun to participate in a day of mass daydreaming. You could almost see it on people's faces as they imagined traveling the world, upgrading to nicer houses and cars, and watching their family members' faces light up with the realization that all their debts would be wiped away. Not to mention how the lucky person would feel when they'd walk into their boss's office and tell him where he could put those pointless TPS reports.

It doesn't sound very "yogic," but it sure does put a smile on your face to think about having everything you ever wanted in life.

Alas, I did not win MegaMillions. It left me a few dollars poorer, actually, but with the realization that many of the things that I'd wish for I can have today if I choose it.

OK, so maybe I can't pay off my mortgage, travel to exotic locales to vacation every day of the week, and pay off debts for all the people I love. In reality, though, aren't those dreams really for less worry, more rest and relaxation, and a desire to help people? If you look at it that way, I can have those things right now if I choose to live more simply, take more time for relaxation, and do more to help the people around me. Even if I can't cut back on my expenses, I can choose to put less emphasis on worrying that I'll lose what I have.

More money might make life easier, but there are tons of things we can do for ourselves every day that will improve the quality of life—maybe just as much. And you'll never have to pay taxes on that.

What would you do if you won the lottery? Would it change the way you live your life?