Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday Talk Time with Lori Borrill

This Thursday we've invited the lovely Lori Borrill who asks the question on everyone's mind...

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Since the premise for the Million Dollar Secrets continuity is five coworkers winning a mega state lottery, I thought I'd bring up the topic of lotteries and see how people really feel about winning it big.

Yes, you heard that right. How people really feel.

Though I've been throwing $2 in my office lottery every week for almost a decade now, I actually do wonder whether or not I'd be happy with millions and millions in the bank. Studies show that aside from the brief high people experience around the time they win, ultimately they return to whatever state of happiness they'd been before they won. Meaning, if someone was miserable broke, they're miserable rich. If they were moderately happy broke, they're only moderately happy rich.

Then you have the horror stories about people who end up broke within a year or two, all those millions squandered away by bad business deals and the friends and family who suck them dry, or worse, people whose lives are ruined by their sudden fame.

I think if you really press people to think about it, most would say they don't care to win a ton of money. They're modest in their desires, just wanting enough to pay off a mortgage or maybe fund their kids college. Believe it or not, I'm seriously a little afraid of what life would be like if I won millions and millions of dollars. I don't know that I want the responsibility, and I don't care to know who comes out of the woodwork looking for a cut or hearing their justification for why they feel they deserve it. And then the big thing: What would I do?

I asked my husband that one time. What would we do? He responded much like you're probably thinking right now. "What do you mean, what would we do? Anything we want! We'd build a house, we'd travel, we' another house, then maybe travel some more."

I have to admit, much of what motivates me to get out of bed in the morning is because I have to. I love/hate having to work for a living, but I learned during an extra-lengthy maternity leave (I was 2 weeks late) that if I don't have to go anywhere, I don't go anywhere. If I don't have to get dressed or take a shower, I don't get dressed or take a shower. (Yes, I'm a slug and a sloth, I admit it!) By my third week of leave, I was sitting on the couch watching "Eight Is Enough" reruns. By the time the baby was born, I was neurotic. And did you know that newborns can't hold a conversation? What's up with that?

By the time my leave was over, I ran back to the office, thrilled to be back with people like me who simply don't do the be-at-home thing well because I don't have the inner gumption to get the hell off my ass. Give me thirty million dollars? How many seasons was "Eight Is Enough" on the air?

And I have to ask myself if I'd still write novels. That's a tough one for me. Yes, I'm one of those people who would write anyway because I love the craft. But in many ways, writing professionally is exactly how that sounds--it's a job. It's one thing to write for joy and crack myself up over my own funny prose, it's another to wrestle with a story line or push myself through my third round of revisions when I'd rather rip the thing to shreds and never look at it again.

If I won the lottery, I could buy a kick-ass shredder.

And I wonder if I'd ever finish a project through ever again. Part of the joy I get from writing is the fantasy. Someday I could write a best seller, get a $100,000 advance on my next ST and write for a living instead of juggling the craft with my day job. And really, no matter what you do, I think part of living is striving for some sort of dream and having to work to get it. So what if you could have all the things you love and not have to work to get any of them? Would you still love it?

Would you still go in the garden and tend to weeds if you could afford to have someone do it for you? Maybe at first. But then over time you might hire a guy to do one thing, then the next day you're a little tired so you ask him to plant those pansies--just this once--and before you know it, you're sitting on the patio watching someone else garden for you.

I can't really say for sure that I'd stop writing, or gardening, or any of the other things I love if I won millions, but I do have to say I fear it. I don't fear it badly enough to stop throwing in my $2.00. I mean, come on! I'm not crazy!

But what about you? Do you dream of winning it big? Ever think it might make your life worse instead of better? And what would you do if you had all the money in the world to spend? And if you say "travel", you're required to say what you'd do once you're traveled out and have seen it all.

Answer those questions and you're automatically entered in my contest. The prize is an autographed copy of "Underneath It All", along with a spa kit so you can soak in the tub and daydream about how you'd be spending those millions!

For more on Lori and her latest release, be sure to check out her website and her blog, the Sizzling Pens, where Jenna will some day become a pen pal.


  1. Hi Lori,

    That's a really thought provoking post. Now I come to think about it, if ever I imagine myself winning money it's to do the sort of things I'm aiming to do anyway, like pay bills, help the family, support a couple of charities and so on. I couldn't imagine changing my lifestyle, but possibly a major factor is whether you can remain anonymous as a winner. I would, however, indulge in a holiday somewhere fantastic if I could. That seems so appealing.

    I was talking to someone whose father in law had one the lottery - twice! The first time he paid off the debts, gave money to family, bought a new car and had a holiday. The second time he took all the guys he worked with on a week's holiday to Fiji!


  2. If I won I'd better afraid of being pestered by many people. I heard about a local couple winning a million before we moved here and apparently they were berated if they didn't offer to buy coffee for everyone at coffee row and berated if they did. People said they were misers on the first account and said they were trying to show off on the second account. Go figure. But it would be so nice to win some money so I could help my siblings, give to the church and some charities.
    Soaking in the tub and dreaming sounds divine right about now with the heat we have been having.

  3. For as long as I can remember, my mum has been convinced that her twin sister 'won a million' at some stage, but is keeping it a secret. After a lifetime of watching that at close quarters, I think I'd rather stay poor but keep the love of my relatives and friends. Though enough money to take us all somewhere sunny for a rest would be lovely!

  4. Of course I've dreamed about being rich but, the reality is that I know everyone who never had anything to do with me before, would come out of the woodwork and be my best friend.That would be hard for me to deal with, so I'm glad that I'm a poor working class person.

    If I ever won a lot of money, the only thing that I'd definitely do is take a trip to Ireland. I've always wanted to go to that magical place ever since I read my first romance book, set in Ireland.

    I could never sit around and do nothing so, I wouldn't hire anyone to do all the things that I love to do. I'd still garden and remodel my house and cook.

    I'd probably donate a good portion of the money to my favorite charities and, put the rest into a fund for college for my kids and a retirement fund for hubby and me.

    Other than the things that I listed, I really don't know what else I'd do with a lot of money. I might not have answered all of your questions but, that's what I would do.

    Oh yeah, Lori, I'd buy you that kick ass shredder. Great blog by the way. It really got me thinking.

  5. Hi Lori,

    I would love to win the lottery. I would share the money with my family and donate some of it too. I would claim it as anyonoumous though because you never know what people would do. I have watched some of the shows that show lottery winners. A lot of them ended up losing all the money and losing their homes.

  6. Wow, great post, Lori. I'd never really thought much about the downside of winning a boatload of money. Well, of course, I'd thought about all the people who'd want a chunk and how I'd handle it, but as far as whether I'd be really happy...I don't know. I am a heck of a lot happier now when I have a couple extra bucks left over after bills are paid, I know that much. But would I grow so used to that that it wouldn't be a big deal anymore? That I don't know.

    I do know that it would be really hard to decide who gets what and why. I've got a huge family, lots of aunts and uncles and whatnot and lots of cousins. If I gave theme each a grand, I'd be broke. My husband actually talked about this awhile back and we decided that we'd definitely build a house, stash away college money and invest. But neither of us would go to extremes with it. Well, maybe I'd hire a personal trainer and buy a few pairs of shoes, but we've been up and down so many times financially before that I think we'd be content just to be stable. Budget a certain amount for each month/year, etc.

    Wow, I'm getting longwinded! Sorry! I did want to comment on writing. I would still write. I would probably even have more time to spend on it, too. I absolutely love to slip away into my own little dream world and write. Sure, I might be rolling in the dough, but money won't buy me all of those Blaze fantasies. Hmm...well, I suppose it could, but then I'd probably end up divorced and having to split the money and well, like you said, I'm not crazy!! :)

    Again, great post!

  7. I would love to win the lottery. I would pay off all my bills, give money to my family, and donate to charity. I would like to claim my winnings anonymously though because people won't leave you alone if you win a lot of money.

  8. Good morning, everyone! Wow, lots of interesting things people would do if they won it big. It sounds like everyone has given it some thought at one point or another.

    I think I'm like the rest of you in that I'd love just enough to get ahead financially but still leave me needing to make some sort of income for padding. That would be perfect.

    I most definitely think people like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan would be in a lot less trouble if they had to actually work for a living. I mean, you can only shop for so long before having everything you want gets boring.

    Oh, but that personal trainer--and a cook, I want Oprah's cook!--that would be good. I'd love to win the lottery just to see if those things would really help me get the weight off, or would it just give me the income to buy all the Ben & Jerry's I want. **gg**

  9. I used to think a lot about being rich when I was younger. I haven't thought much about recently because I started looking at the lives of the rich celebrities and other people who have lots of money and didn't like what I saw. Sure they are beautiful, have all the best material things, etc., but I found them to be seriously lacking in humbleness, personality (in some cases), and how they flaunt the rules and expect to be let off easy, while those of us who don't have that kind of money to buy them off get stuck with the full sentence. I also found some of their snobishness not to my liking. Celebrities may be rich in money, but they are poor in the true qualities you need to make you a real person (not all, but quite a few).

    There are a lot of poor people that have gotten rich and suddenly they are biggest jerks and have heads and egos the size of Texas. I wouldn't want to be like that.

    So if I were rich I would use what I needed to get myself out of debt, go on a couple of nice vacations, set up a fund that would give me enough money to live the rest of my life and my parents lives (without having to worry about not having enough money), but not luxuriously, and give the rest to charity.

    Great post Lori!

    Side Note:
    I promised my parents when I was younger that I would take care of them if I ever made big money. So I would uphold that promise before I got any of my other wishes or wants.

  10. My dream if I would be fortunate enough to win a million dollars would be to travel to Italy, France, England and Spain as well as Eastern Europe. Then I would buy a lovely cottage at the seashore so that I could spend everyrsingle summer there and invite my family to vacation there with their children and benefit from this lovely setting. I would be helpful to my children and generous to friends whose lives are not as fulfilling as they should be. This would give me great pleasure.

  11. I would be very conservative and put a large amount of the money in a fund for retirement and in case of health problems as well. Then I would dispense money to my sister and her daughters since she just lost her husband who was 56 years old and she is totally lost now and needs moral and financial support. I would also take her on a much needed vacation and rest for her well being. My children would be well recompensed and all their loans paid off. I love doing things for family who appreciates this gesture.

  12. This post is so great! With the proceeds I would take a trip since I have never travelled anywhere in my life and it is time to remedy that. To various countries in Europe and then Australia. When I return I would treat all my family to a vacation of their own. My sons and their wives and my sister and brother and nieces. I would settle the finances so that I would have comfort and ease for the rest of my life. I presently volunteer at a seniors residence and would continue doing this work which I love. Nothing else would be modified since I am not flamboyant and live simply.

  13. Winning would be a wonderful thing for me. I would pay off my home, go on a lovely holiday with my daughters and then quit my teaching job. I would devote myself to my painting since I am an artist and have very limited time for it now. I would love to have a home in the mountains and escape there every summer and during the holidays. I would invest enough for my future and live carefully.

  14. Because I am young and am still in school with large loans I would firstly finish school and pay off the loans immediately. Then I would help out my mother and sister who have always been there for me. We would move to a better climate and travel as well. Whether I marry or not I would put a good percentage of the money in a special retirement fund so that I would never have to worry about the future. Treating myself to eating out and new clothes would be a wonderful experience but I wouldn't go overboard. Just the htought that I could have a secure future would be enough for me.

  15. Wow, I think everyone dreams at least once of winning a boat load of money. Its just a fantasy, and one you hardly think of the downside of. If I ever did win, I think I would just go on as I have, but of course update! I'd buy a new house, car, put money back for the kid's college tuition, retirement money, help out my parents...But....I think I would have to go "crazy" at least one weekend. You know, would have to have at least one designer handbag, and one designer dress, and maybe two pairs of designer shoes..limiting myself to two there..a hardship! And I think I would absolutely have to go crazy building my very own library..ah my eyes are cross-eyed in absolute bliss thinking of the possibilities.

  16. If I had a million dollars. I just love that song by Barenaked Ladies. It is so unique and wonderful. My dream would be to use the money wisely. By putting aside a good amount for my future I would ensure that I would have no worries. I would not feel guilty at all about enjoying this windfall. Travel takes a good chunk out of it but to me travel is not wasted. It is memorable and important. After I have had my fill I would buy a house and fill it with the comforts that I enjoy, mainly books and music. Then I would spoil my family with meals and gifts periodically. It would make a big difference in my lifestyle, more ease and less pressures.

  17. Wow, I guess it's not hard to come up with ideas on how to spend millions, huh? I really have enjoyed hearing what everyone would do if they won it big. It didn't sound like anyone would turn it down, that's for sure.

    And I have a prize to give away. I've put everyone's name in a hat, shook it up, and came up with ....



    Congrats on winning the book and spa kit. If you e-mail me at with your snail mail address, I'll get your package in the mail.

    I only wish I could give one to everyone who posted, but alas, I haven't won that big lottery yet!

    Thanks again for making this a fun day for me, and to the Pink Heart Society for inviting me as their guest!

  18. Maternity leave is not all its cracked up to be. I had a similar experience despite being thrilled with my son.

    When I think about money, I think about having a bigger home, two new cars (not necessarily luxury ones), being out of debt, having six months of savings, and having funds put away college and retirement.

    With all that in place, I wouldn't need a whole bunch more. With a reasonably, modest income, I could support our ministry, dress and feed the family, take care of regular expenses, purchase gifts, go on vacation, and have a little left. So for me, winning big would be about taking care of the big things.

    I used to think money would make me happy. Now I think money would make me more comfortable. The happiness comes from finding joy in other things, like family, friends, books, nature, etc.