What would I do if I won the $65 million Lotto Max lottery?

A couple weeks ago, there was a draw for a record-breaking $65 million Lotto Max jackpot. While getting groceries and filling up gas that week, I noticed more people lining up to purchase lottery tickets. Even though the odds of winning was so small, I guess people were enticed by the record-breaking jackpot and the idea of getting millions of dollars.

A few days before the jackpot draw, Jessica asked on Twitter what people would do if you won the lottery.

Like Jessica, I only buy lottery tickets on very special occasions, and I can’t remember the last time I bought a lottery ticket. Personally, I would save that $10 and use the money to grow my net worth rather than using that money to buy a lottery ticket.

Jessica’s tweet made me wonder, what would I do if I won the $65 million Lotto Max lottery?

A while ago, I wrote a post on what I would do with $10,000,000. It took me a while to figure out what to do with $10 million, so I thought it would be an even harder exercise to figure out what to do with $65 million.

What would I do if I won the $65 million Lotto Max lottery?

First of all, I would donate $5 million to charities. You may recall that it is a dream of mine to be able to write a $1 million cheque and donate it to a charity of choice. Being able to write five cheques for $1M each would be icing on the cake!

Which charities would I donate to? For these charitable donations, I would stay local. Since we donate regularly to BC Children’s Hospital and Greater Vancouver Food Bank, they would definitely be on my list. The five charities I would pick are:

  • BC Children’s Hospital
  • Greater Vancouver Food Bank
  • Vancouver General Hospital
  • Surrey Christmas Bureau
  • BC Women’s Hospital

For the remaining $60 million, I would dividend them up to the following:

  • $10 million for financial freedom portfolio.
  • $15 million for educational scholarship fund
  • $15 million for a giving fund
  • $10 million to start a non-profit organization to help the community
  • $1 million investment portfolio for each kid ($2 million total)
  • $2 million for miscellaneous stuff and helping out family
  • $4 million for travelling
  • $2 million for investing in small businesses

Wow, it was a lot harder than I expected! It was a hard exercise to figure out what to do with all that money and I really had to play around with the amount to make sure everything added up to $60M. It sure is tough to be a lottery winner, ha!

Below are explanations of what I’d do.

Financial freedom portfolio – $10 million

With $10 million, I would set up a financial freedom portfolio. The portfolio would consist of dividend-paying stocks and index ETFs. It would look very similar to our dividend portfolio. I would stick with around 50 Canadian and US dividend paying stocks and 2 index ETFs (VCN.TO and XAW.TO). This should give us enough diversification.

To be extremely conservative, I would estimate the financial freedom portfolio to yield at 3%. At $10 million, it would mean that the portfolio should generate around $300,000 each year. Given that we are spending less than $55,000 a year on average, there will be more than enough margin of safety with the financial freedom portfolio.

Given the nature of dividend growth stocks, the financial freedom portfolio should have no problem keeping up with inflation. In addition, the portfolio should continue to appreciate in value.

“Earning” $300k a year means Mrs. T and I would only work if we really wanted to. Given some of the plans I have below, we probably wouldn’t be working but would just be volunteering our time.

Educational scholarship trust – $15 million

I have been very fortunate to receive a number of scholarships throughout my university days. I would like to return this to deserving students by creating an educational scholarship trust. To make sure the scholarship trust can last, I would invest the $15 million into 3 index ETFs – Vanguard Canada All Cap (VCN.TO), iShares Core MSCI All Country World ex Canada (XAW.TO), and BMO Aggregate Bond Index (ZAG.TO). I would take a balanced investment approach and invest 40% in ZAG, 20% in VCN, and 40% in XAW.

I would find a third party to run the educational scholarship trust. Each year, a 4% withdrawal from the trust would be made. The money is then awarded to the deserving students. Mrs. T and I would be involved during the decision process. Depending on the market return, the fund should be able to generate around $500k a year. The $500k can be distributed at different amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

Giving Fund – $15 million

Although I have given $5 million to charities, I want to continue the giving gesture each year. That’s where the Giving Fund comes in. To keep things simple, I would set up the Giving Fund exactly the same way as the educational scholarship fund and invest the $15 million in VCN, XAW, and ZAG. Each year, I would withdraw 4% from the fund and donate all that money to the different charities.

$10 million to start a non-profit organization

Having a supportive community is very important in my eyes, which is why I want to give back as much as I can. I would love to be able to set up a non-profit organization to help out women, visible minorities, new immigrants, and high-risk kids. The organization will be there to provide a helping hand to people in need by providing food, health care, emotional support, financial support, education, etc.  

Kids’ investment portfolios – $1 million each

While I want to make sure Baby T1.0 and Baby T2.0 will be OK financially, I want them to learn how to be financially responsible as well. I don’t want them to become spoiled kids because we won the $65 million lottery jackpot. The kids’ investment portfolios would be structured very similar to the kids’ dividend portfolio. We would purchase some dividend-paying stocks and fully reinvest all the dividends received. When both kids are older, we would get them involved in managing the portfolio. When they turn 21 and can show that they are financially responsible, we would designate the portfolios under their names (I suppose there will be capital gain consequences).

$2 million for miscellaneous stuff and helping out family

The $2 million would be used for paying off any major debts and helping out immediate family. Pretty simple. I would only help out immediate family that we have contact with. We definitely want to avoid getting contacted by my cousin’s cousin’s cousin’s cousin’s son, for example.

$4 million for travelling

Given that our financial freedom portfolio should be able to generate close to $300,000 per year, I don’t know if we need $4 million cash set aside for travelling. But I would love to use the $4 million and take my family, my parents, my brother and his wife, Mrs. T’s parents, her siblings’ families on a round the world trip for a year. If possible, I’d love to fly everyone in business class and make this a once-in-a-life-time experience.

Invest in small businesses – $2 million

For the “last” $2 million, I would use it to invest in small businesses that seem interesting to me. Maybe I would invest in small tech startups, or invest in sustainable farms, or invest in local bakeries, restaurants, or breweries. I think the possibilities are endless. This would be considered as the play money and I wouldn’t be too concerned with the return on the investment.

What would you do with $65 million?

Above is what I would do if I were to win the $65 million Lotto Max jackpot. $65 million definitely is a lot of money and it has been very interesting to dream up what I’d do with the money. It also makes me wonder what these multi-millionaires and billionaires do with their money.  

What would you do with $65 million? Would you invest it wisely? Or go to the casino and put it all on black?

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22 thoughts on “What would I do if I won the $65 million Lotto Max lottery?”

  1. 65 million is a ridiculous amount of money. We have a lotto coming up tomorrow here in Australia that is 80 million first prize. I think that is just too much money for me that I wouldn’t know what to do with it all. I will get a ticket tomorrow even though I know I won’t win. Gotta be in it to win it.

    Reply
      • I think you better refigure, I didn’t see you pay the income tax on that money. Secondly while a lot of people claim they’ll only keep a small portion, so far no one has actually followed through after winning. Do you really think you would? I’m sorry but I’m not buying it. I have friends with much more than 65 million, they are generous but none give that kind of percentage other than a few billionaires like Bill Gates.

        Reply
        • A gentlemen in Alberta won 40 Million a few years back. He had lost his wife to Cancer. He and his family created a trust and gave the money away. He had sold a successful business and didn’t really need the money.

          Reply
  2. Sounds like a great plan you have! I would love to see a breakdown of how previous lottery winners have actually spent their fortunes. I doubt any of them set aside as high of a charitable percentage as yours includes. I would assume they spend it more in expensive mansions, fancy cars, and lavish vacations.

    Reply
    • I’d be curious too. The statistics say that most lottery winners end up where you were before the win financially a few years later. I guess most people don’t set up good financial plans with their lottery wins and end up blowing all that money.

      Reply
  3. I like how you would split it up. If you can minimize lifestyle inflation, you can give most of the money away to good charities. That’s what I would do too. Nobody needs more than $10 million to live on.

    Reply
    • Even at $300k each year from the financial freedom fund, that’s WAY too much money than what we need. We can get by pretty comfortably with 1/4 of that amount. 🙂

      Reply
  4. After adding to my retirement portfolio and writing some cheques to the immediately family, I would donate the balance to good charities as I assume they will have effective plans to distribute it to those in need of their services. As I am already retired, I would concentrate on travel plans which will be fun with no budgets and time contraints to get in the way of my dreams. Nice exercise. I agree it is best to think about the possibilities before you actually come into the funds. I guess I will have to buy the occasional lottery ticket.

    Reply
    • That’s great that you plan to donate the balance to good charities and help out the community. Travel plans with no budgets and time constraints would be totally awesome. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Hmmm, that’s an interesting topic. Here’s my thoughts about giving away money. All these charities are run by people we don’t know, so unless you really trust the person of not miss-using the funds, then it’s all good. I think you would be the best candidate to manage all 65 million. How about investing all cash for a 200K monthly cashflow and then donate 10 to 15K per month to selected charities. So 5 charities, 10K each per month, that’s 50K per months to charities. The rest of the income is your choice. If you want to travel the world like a boss, then 50K per month should be sufficient.

    Reply
  6. Great article and it’s fun to dream. Love your plan. I would do the same as you. Hadn’t thought of the Education part before. Nobody needs that much money. I would like to see smaller prizes and more winners. Prefer to 65 – new 1 Million dollar winners or 130 groups/individuals win 500 K. Still life changing.

    Reply
  7. That’s why the multi millionaires don’t need to work. They can just invest their money. When their returns are more than their expenses, their money will just keep on growing for years to come. They are also taxed less with investment income than regular salary income which most of us do.

    Reply
  8. I used to put money regularly into the lottery system (like once a week because after my divorce where I lost 7 figures I figured the universe/karma owed me.).

    I soon realized that it wasn’t going to happen and I was just throwing money away. But whenever there is a large jackpot and an office pool I participate because I would kick myself if I didn’t and everyone else won.

    Lot of lottery winners end up spending it all and even being worse off after a jackpot. So it is good to have a plan (or at least don’t spend for a year until you do get advice)

    Reply
  9. Ooo I have considered this since a jackpot was 65 million and I was living in montreal, now in Newfoundland. I’ve noticed that lotto winners do not become celebrities so I doubt I’d have too much attention for too long. I’ve considered the tax on, capital gains, or interest (since tax free savings is capped, right?) and have made a rough estimate, considering a potential 50% tax, that I’d earn 300k just on interest. The idea is that I’d basically not touch the big pot and create instead a dynasty that would be out of my control after my death other than what was written in the will. But someone has already asked whether its realistic to stick to such a minimalist plan. What to do with 300k per year? It would be wise to get a career since the costs of schooling full time are no longer a hurdle. So what career to pick? I already went to film school (and I’ve considered simply making 65 I million dollar movies) but I wonder if something more conventional would be interesting, like journalism, massage therapy, early childhood education, actor/entertainer (though again I’d be interested in something conventional). At least I’d be able to get my dream starter house in Halifax and an apartment to myself in a major city close to family like Winnipeg. Makes ya think.

    Reply

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