Why I don’t need 640 million dollars

I woke up the other morning to a Facebook feed that was slightly different to normal.  Sure it had the usual mix of weird baby photos and updates about house renovations that seem to dominate lately, but it also had a whole bunch of things like this:


and this:


and this:


As usual when travelling I had pretty much no idea what was going on outside my immediate world, so I turned to Google to figure it out.  The US news sites and forums were full of breathless articles about people queuing out into the street to buy tickets for a huge lottery draw in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ignoring the fact that the chances of winning were apparently somewhere around 175 million to one, the over-riding theme of those articles was WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH $640 MILLION DOLLARS?

Suggestions included such useful tips as  “give your baby’s nursery a $1 million makeover and fill it with platinum jewellery”, “buy an albino panther” and “invest in genetically engineering animals so that they look like Pokemon”.

Alrighty then.

It did get me thinking, though, about how my life would change if I won a ridiculous amount of cash like that.  I thought about it for quite a while, and came up with a comprehensive list of things that I would do differently if I had half a billion dollars sitting in the bank.

  • I would spend less time working online and more time experiencing the places I go to
  • I would fly business class so that I can arrive at my destination rested for a change
  • I’d choose accommodation with a hot shower more frequently.  Maybe even air-conditioning.
  • I wouldn’t worry about the price of breakfast so much
  • I would sail and dive more regularly
  • I’d replace my shoes

And seriously, that was it.  Obviously I’d do all the usual things – help my friends and family get out of debt, donate to charity and all the rest.  I’d give the vast bulk of the money away, in fact, because I simply don’t need it. I know a lot of people say that, but I genuinely believe it.  Why?

Because I am already living exactly the life I want to live.

I know that for less than $50k a year I can keep doing this forever.  Even if I live to 100, that is only three million bucks.  By my reckoning that leaves approximately $637,000,000 that I have no need for.  Even after putting money aside as insurance against emergencies, there’s a hell of a lot left over.

Not worrying about money would be nice, but that’s it.  Nice.

It’s not a necessity.

I don’t need to win the lottery to have the life of my dreams.

I already have it.  Every single day.

Golden beach

This morning I woke up and walked along a deserted golden beach before breakfast.  I kicked my feet through the sand and splashed around in the waves.  The sun was already climbing in the sky, drying the salt on my skin as I sat and enjoyed the view.  Birds sang in the forest behind me.

I did the same yesterday.  I’ll do the same tomorrow.

I don’t need to be a multi-millionaire to have a life like this.

On days like today, I already feel like one.


[Lottery ticket image via Robert S. Donovan]

23 Responses to “Why I don’t need 640 million dollars

  • I think $640m is ridiculous. There is so much that could be done with that money throughout the world. But since it is the US lottery, it would make more sense to me for the US to divide the money up between it’s citizens. The US has a population of over 313 million people at the moment. If you gave an equal share to every person, they would get over $2million each. Problems solved.
    Of course you could go further still and use that money to solve other problems.
    Instead, it’s divided between only 3 people.

    • ? I’m not sure where I was going with that. I was supposed to be talking about unemployed and homeless people. Never mind! lol

      Great post by the way. I absolutely agree with you.

    • Svetlana
      6 years ago

      hey, not 2 mln to each person… only 2 USD )))

      good article. The main point of it to live your dream life you don’t have to wait for some mirracle turning point in your life. And that makes me think about how can I start do that with my life.

      Thank you, Dave. Greetings from Ukraine!

  • Good on you. The amount of greed in much of the western world is absolutely disgusting. People truly believe that they need money to be happy… and yet when they get the money, they’re no happier than when they didn’t have as much. If people would give their few dollars that they spent towards lotteries to charities and causes there would be a lot less people who not only go to bed hungry but die of not having basic necessities of life. Its disgusting and dispicable that countries can continue to run lottery programs promoting greed and overindulgence while there are so many people in the world who could actually use it for basic human needs rather than on $10million mansions, $300,000 cars and buying an abundance of shit they dont need.

    I also find it funny that the USA has lotteries like this, yet they are trillions of dollars in debt.

    To be perfectly honest, I would never want to win that much money- and if I did the vast majority would be donated to people who actually need it.

  • Good thing KIWIS can’t play our over-the-top US lottery! Muahaha.

  • I agree with you Dave, you don’t need that much to live comfortably. Many millions of folks are living on a lot less, and some are the happiest (and most humble) people I’ve met.

    …saying that, I wouldn’t turn down a $640 million cheque.

    I could still travel, but I could upgrade a few things, and of course I’d love to help charities along the way.

  • Dave, this is a lovely post. Being in the same boat as you, living a life of full-time travel and online income, here’s what I would do with an obscene jackpot like that:

    –I would give money to my parents so they can retire, and fly my family and friends out to see me often.
    –I would also fly business class.
    –I would visit destinations that have eluded me so far due to their high cost, like Australia and Japan.
    –Most importantly, I would have enough money in my account to qualify for a UK entrepreneur visa so I can cross the border at ease, instead of having a near-heart attack each time at immigration! :-/

    Little changes. Not huge ones.

    • I reckon it’s one of the best feelings imaginable when all the hard work starts to pay off and you start to be able to live exactly the life you wanted. Sure, as you say there are little changes you’d make if you suddenly ended up with half a billion dollars, but the fundamentals wouldn’t change. That’s the sign you’ve got it right already…

  • Love this post! And it’s so true — NOBODY needs that much money. In fact, you hear so many stories of lotto winners blowing through all their money and becoming some of the most unhappy people on earth that it makes me very sad.

    I’m with you — I don’t need a lot of money to be happy. As long as I can pay my bills and have enough left over to travel, I’m content.

    Though, I probably wouldn’t say no to a TAD bit more in my bank account. 😉

    • “As long as I can pay my bills and have enough left over to travel, I’m content.”

      That says it all right there. Perfect! 🙂

  • Very sweet post. Didn’t actually think much of what I’d do with such an obscene amount of money, so maybe that means I wouldn’t do much differently.

    • … which means life must be pretty damn awesome as it stands right now hey? 😉

  • Great perspective on life. We knew of one person who won millions and it absolutely ruined their life.


    larissa and michael

  • Great post, Dave! I’ve often said that if I became rich, I wouldn’t want a bigger house, fancy car, nicer clothes or whatever. All I’d want is a little security cushion the bank, to do the work I WANT to do and not have to work for money, and to be able to travel to some of the destinations I can’t currently afford to get to (Africa, Palau and Australia chief among them). But other than that, not much would change.

    • I’m totally with you on this, Bret – the freedom to only do the work I want to, and to visit places that are too expensive right now, would be far and away the biggest benefits of a sudden windfall. As for the material stuff? Meh, couldn’t care less.

  • Absolutely right. Thank you for bucking the trend and proving that life is about more then money. I just came back from Ecuador and no amount of money would have made it more magical then it already was. Life is what you make of it. Bravo.

  • Kristin
    6 years ago

    Great post Dave! I agree for the most part, but as Bret said, the security cushion…and the ability to make dreams come true for family and friends. But at the end of the day, even after taxes, I couldn’t possibly spend $400 million in this lifetime.

    • Yep, a cushion is a good thing – but that’s all it needs to be, an insurance policy against disaster rather than a total lifestyle change, I reckon.

  • Amelia McCullough
    5 years ago

    Please give me just one million I will spend, saving and give well to those around me.

  • John Kimble
    5 years ago

    Could I just have 500,000 that wud pay every thing I owe and start a family I work in a saw mill and I can’t even make ends meet if u could help I would be more than grateful

  • Well bud I’d take 250,000 if you was just giving it away. But I’m not a begger and don’t even know why I’m actually doing this..

  • Frederick Streit
    2 years ago

    Aristotle Onassis had his yacht barstools covered with whale penis skin. The oil barons and many, many others are STRICKEN with this greed. Not only the western world, although the west has more than its share. Consider this whether you believe in God or not……..Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. KJV. Beware! You have nothing to lose by believing in God!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *