What would you do with $1 billion?

We’re all thinking about it, right? What exactly would we do if we were to win more than $1 billion in the Mega Millions jackpot?

It’s an exciting idea, as unlikely as it is to happen.

My theory is that we shouldn’t tell anyone if we win, but I’m not sure how good we are at keeping secrets. I think once the kids know, the world knows.

Here is what we might do with our winnings, in no particular order:

We would buy a beach house.

We would travel, but the four of us can’t agree on where.

We would probably not move because we love our house, but we would redo the kitchen.

We would get the most incredible Halloween decorations.

Don’t ask me why, but we would buy a PlayStation 4 and a Nintendo Switch.

We would give some money to organizations that help orphans and people who are homeless.

We would invest money for college educations and for the long-term future.

It doesn’t seem like that much, really. I’m sort of comforted that we could probably do all of that with under a million dollars—unless the beach house was an enormous one on the water and the Halloween decorations were out of this world.

What we all really want is to be happy. And, of course, a new kitchen won’t really make us happy—unless maybe it comes with a personal chef.

I came across a quote from St. John Paul II, whose feast day is Oct. 22, and it made me feel better about our pie-in-the-sky, what-if-we-won-lots-of-money conversation.

“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness,” he said. “He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you. He is the beauty to which you are so attracted. It is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise. It is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life. It is He who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.”

So, as we daydream and imagine, it’s good to know that it is Jesus Himself that we are seeking. Maybe we don’t need to buy a ticket after all.

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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.