Recently, the Powerball lottery game was up over $550 Million. If you are asking if I bought a ticket, I will tell you that I bought 10 of them. For a few hours, I thought about what I would do with $550 Million. While I pondered, I saw several stories on the Internet about the lottery curse and thought, “That could never happen to me,” ….or could it?
First, I would do the right thing and tithe ten percent, which is $55 Million, and then I thought about the 2,000 member church I belonged to and wondered what they would do with $55 Million. It is quite possible that my senior pastor would have turned down the money if he thought for a moment that the money would change the dynamics of the church.
Then there would be the taxes. In the Forbes article How Much Tax Would You Owe On A $550 Million Powerball Jackpot – Forbes.htm, they reported that federal taxes in 2012 would probably be 35% or $192.50 Million. So my net would have been $302,500,000. Let’s see, I have five siblings, my husband has three siblings and two parents, and between us we have nineteen nieces and nephews. If you don’t set aside a million for each of them, at least, there will be trouble, or they will be constantly asking anyway. So that is another $29 Million.
But I had to stop there, very troubled. A million dollars in the hands of at least four of those relatives could cause disaster and maybe worse. It’s just too much money. Someone might even die. Then there are my three children. How do I make sure they have character and integrity, and are hard-working, productive human beings, and still throw five million apiece at them?
Now my head begins to hurt. So I look around at examples of people who have a lot of money. I can’t look at past lottery winners because it’s just too bizarre. Should I look at Paris Hilton, or Howard Hughes, or maybe the Kennedys. I see pain in all their lives.
And what would I do with the remaining $258,500,000? After I payoff my bills, which is a drop in the bucket from this money, why do I even want all of this money? So I can go out and buy everything I want? No more having to work or save, or pray…just go out and buy it, whatever it is. Maybe give it all away. That would be a full-time job in and of itself. Figuring out who would use it for good and not for evil.
I realize that it all boils down to my greed and the greed of everyone who I could visit this curse on. It’s enough to destroy some. Now, my stomach is getting queasy and I am earnestly praying that I don’t win. I decide instead to heed the advice that Paul gave to Timothy when he said, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:10,11)
Michele Clark Jenkins, co-founder of Sisters in Faith, is the senior director of the consulting group for Griffin & Strong, PC., Attorneys & Public Policy Consultants. She was co-creator of Real: The Complete New Testament Biblezine, writer/editor of the Children of Color Storybook Bible, and contributed to the Women of Color Devotional Bible and Wisdom and Grace Devotional Bible. She is also the author of She Speaks: Wisdom from the Women of the Bible to the Modern Black Woman, in stores January 15, 2013 (Thomas Nelson).