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One Billion Dollars

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I have a confession to make. It's practically treasonous, so prepare yourself: I do not want a billion dollars.

Please don't have me carted away. I know that's the most un-American thing that you've read today, and that I sound like a brat. It's the truth, though. I don't want that much money.

Well, maybe that's not entirely true. Like everyone else, I desperately want to win the Powerball Jackpot. The $950 million or whatever $1.5 billion eventually whittles down to after taxes sounds incredible, but I cannot be trusted with that much money.

Think about it. One billion is a completely ridiculous number. I can't even comprehend what one billion actually is. It makes no sense. Google tells me that if I need help wrapping my little head around the number, I should use the term "one thousand million." I guess that helps a bit, I can almost visualize what that means, but I still find it difficult and now my eye is twitching.

One billion is a lot. It might be too much. Did you know that it's estimated that it takes approximately 95 years to count from one to one billion in a single sitting? One billion seconds is nearly 32 years. One billion minutes ago the Roman Empire was alive and well. There are 15,783 miles in one billion inches, that's a little more than half way around the Earth. This game could go on forever, since Google apparently knows everything. Let's be honest, nobody cares what one billion of anything means unless you're talking about money.

What would you do with one billion dollars? Like you, I've spent a lot of time fantasizing about what I would do with all of that money. I suppose one of the first things I would have to do is pay off my student loans. If I had anything left I'd go to Hawaii until June, or maybe forever. I also want a house with a backyard, a new car, my own masseuse and a chef. All of those things are doable and mostly responsible. The trouble is that I know myself and it wouldn't take long for me to get out of control.

I am not someone who would be responsible and coy about the money after I got those first necessary items out of the way. I'd probably end up with a Girl Scout Cookie factory in my back yard, the cast of Hamilton performing on my front porch every morning, and an apartment made entirely of cheese. Guys, I really like cheese. Like, a lot.

After I bought all of the cheese in France I'm guessing my book and magazine addiction would get woefully out of control. What else would I do with my time? I am also not the sort of person who would humbly return to his job. The money would be my job. I'd spend it, count it, stack it, and roll around in it. When I'm tired of this, the only thing left for me to do would be to rescue all of the dogs from all of the shelters. I'd be the crazy old dog man. And listen, when I say "all" I really do mean all. I am a billionaire now, after all, so I can do things like ask for all of a thing and have it happen.

Surely you weren't expecting me to solve any problems. Oh, I guess I'd give a ton of money to causes and organizations I care about. I'm not sure what I'd do beyond that. Maybe buy some new politicians? It certainly wouldn't be the first time that has happened. I mean, that is a thing I could do, right?

See, being a billionaire is hard. I'm tired from the stress, and I'm just pretending from my couch in Rogers Park. I definitely do not want that money. I do have $20 in my pocket, though. That will buy me 10 tickets, right? I can walk to the convenience store on the corner and buy the tickets right now. They do sell cheese -- fine, I'm buying tickets. Those dogs need me.

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