Opinion » Bill Cope

Mr. Cope's Cave: If I'm Lucky, I'll Get Eaten By a Shark as Soon as I Win the Lottery

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What would you do with the money if you won, Mr. Cope?


Don't know, Junior. Nine hundred million smackeroos goes far beyond my imagination's capacity to dream up ways to spend it.

It's way up over a billion smackeroos now.

See? Even more pressure.

But there has to be some fancy car you want. A Ferrari or a Rolls Royce, huh? Wouldn't that be cool? And wouldn't you like to have a big mansion to live in? Somewhere really cool, like next door to an ocean somewhere, maybe. Or you could move up into the foothills. Or gosh, Mr. Cope, you could move to Eagle! Think about that. You could live in Eagle! How cool would that be? And what about a big yacht? Surely you'd want a big yacht if you could afford one.

Hum, that'd be sort of fun. A big mansion in Eagle with a bigger yacht parked on the front lawn.

Oh, you know what I mean. You could live anywhere you wanted. You could even buy an island. A whole island, just for you. Some place totally cool. Like down in the Caribbean. Or even the South China Sea.

But Jethro, I don't know anyone in the Caribbean. Or the South China Sea, either. What good would a yacht do for a person who doesn't have anyone to go yachting with him?

You could buy a sea plane and fly your friends to your island to go yachting with you. That would be so cool.

It's starting to sound awfully complicated, don't you think? Seems like a lot to think about... an island, a big yacht and now a sea plane. The thing is, I consider it a pain in the ass to get the oil changed in my Chevy. And now you're suggesting I get myself a navy, an air force and my own little country to keep running?

Mr. Cope, you would hire people to take care of that stuff for you. What's wrong with you? It's like you're purposely trying to spoil the idea of winning all that money.

So Elly May, how many people do you suppose I'd have to hire? Let's think about it here... so there'd be one bunch to mow the island and comb the beaches and such, another bunch to keep my own Downton Abbey from going to pot, a crew to make sure the yacht doesn't sink, and even more people to keep the sea plane in the air. It's starting to sound like I'd be managing a good-sized enterprise, and that doesn't sound like fun to me.

This is crazy, Mr. Cope! Your money worries would be over forever!

Would they, Jed? Or would they just be starting? My goodness, I'd have to hire another bunch of lawyers and bookkeepers to make sure I wasn't messing everything up. You know, like with taxes and investments and payroll and... and, well, whatever else can get messed up when you have a billion smackeroos. Then I'd have to hire people to keep an eye on the lawyers and bookkeepers to make sure somebody wasn't stealing my money from me and putting it in their own pockets. And I'd have to fly them all over to my island every couple of weeks to make sure they were doing their job. And of course, I'd have to worry the pilot I was paying to fly these all people all over the damn place wasn't some beach bum drunk who ends up killing all my friends when he ditches the plane in a marina full of other rich peoples' yachts, and then I get my ass sued for about a billion more smackeroos than I ever got from the lottery. Criminy, makes me wonder how many people would even be buying those lottery tickets if they knew how much work and worry they were getting themselves into if they win.

Honestly, I think you're looking at this all wrong.

Well think about this, Granny!... what if my mansion catches on fire and burns to the ground because I didn't think to hire a whole fire department to move out to my island along with all the maids and cooks and gardeners and yacht captains? Or what if I get one of those islands that'll be under 10 feet of water in a few years 'cause of global warming? And... and what if... oh... let's say what if El Chapo escapes again and kidnaps my wife until I agree to let him turn my island into a base for his drug running submarines? And what if my relatives back in Tennessee that I've never even met... what if they catch wind of this and all start hitting me up for money for the rest of my life? And I suppose every time I get sick, my doctor prescribes I go to the Mayo Clinic for a month, just because she knows I can afford it! Or what if I turned into one of those old super paranoid weirdos you hear about all the time who have all the money in the world, but end up living in a chicken coop eating cat food? I'm telling you, it's just not worth it! I hope like hell I don't win that damn lottery. Tell you the truth, I'm GLAD I have a better chance of being hit by lightening than winning that damn lottery. I wish I'd never... never...

Never what, Mr. Cope? Is it that you wish you'd never bought some lottery tickets?

Well what do you expect? You can't win it if you're not in it.