If I Had A Million Dollars... or $45-million

  • Posted on: 25 April 2014
  • By: Shawn DeWolfe

The Bare Naked Ladies song went, “If I had a million dollars….”. I’m going to need more like $45-million. But there’s good news for everyone if I win the lottery.

I don’t want to be greedy, all I need is all of these cool toys and lots of free time. Seriously, I believe money doesn’t buy happiness. But I have run the math on what it takes to cover myself. Covering my finances is a small piece of getting what I want, but let’s tackle how close money can get me to happiness.


I want a nice house in town-- not crazy nice. $1.5-million should buy me something big enough. I found a nearly perfect house a few blocks from here: Japanese inspired, a pond in a central courtyard, a massive soaker tub. The price: $550,000. I would need to build something crazy cool-- maybe throw in a slide and zip line somewhere.

I want more than one home. So, let’s get a nice house in Cumberland. The ranchers up there go in the neighbourhood of $440,000.

On the mainland, a decent condo in Kitsilano. Here’s a little get away for $653,000

I am okay being a landlord. I need to buy a few revenue properties. Let’s say three of them for $500,000 apiece. That’s $1.5-million outlay to give me an indexed $1600 per month (times three). $4800 is an okay baseline to work with.

Home purchases amount to $3.1-million. In keeping with the mi casa, su casa approach, our friends and family will be allowed to use the Cumberland and Kitsilano places when we’re not living there. The revenue homes would generate about $3000 per month in net income. Most lottery winners end up broke in a few years. I plan to go the other way. Give me a million dollars-- I’d like to give back $5-million in five years. The difference between twigs and a bonfire is the right spark.


Out of the gate, I am going to have to make some car salesman’s day. Two nice hybrid cars ($40k apiece) and one truck (we’re going to have crap to move) for $30k. $110k goes into cars and trucks soon after I win the lottery. I think for 12 years I will want to see new cars in the DeWolfe household every three years. So, I’ll need four volleys at $80k per to cover my need for speed.

I will need a couple tricked out Bombardier Spyders-- the pair goes for $60,000.

Batman had a boat, jet, helicopter, and a batmobile but I’m going to stop the spending at $490k fo the vehicles... for now.


Electronics are going to have to happen. Because I went and bought three homes, I guess I need nine TVs and three sound systems. Just to ballpark the crazy spending: $15,000.

Next come the computing power. Power says “Alienware” -- that’ll be $2,200 per, times three computers multiplied by a two year replacement cycle. Let the accountant know that I will need $46,200, but I can scrimp and bring that down to $46,000 for laptops.

Cameras: each of Those DeWolfes needs $1500 in gear. We’ll share our toys and keep another $5000 in lenses available in the Legion of Doom (we’re going to have to call the Kitsilano place that).

I would like some of those remote control drones. I think we need six good drones (Saturday drone racing) -- $6000. Also, these purchases put me in the realm of the 1%-- I’m going to need those drones to keep up surveillance.


A lot of homes, a lot of bedrooms -- that’s $14,000 in beds and another $10,000 in bedroom furniture.

I guess we need a nice living room if we’re going to have nice TVs. Couches are stupid expensive and that’s the tip of the furniture iceberg. We better put aside $30,000 for furniture for the three homes.


All of this cool stuff-- we’re going to need to have some spending money, right? $120,000 per year for our household for… well… until we get too old to drive the Spyders and then, well, life is over. That’s 40 years for the two of us. We better set aside $6-million. That will generate $120,000 per year in interest payouts. That’s not indexed, so we will have to yank principle at some point. I’d like my daughter to have a cushion. I know a number of trust fund brats-- they’re a lazy lot, but they’re not miserable or desperate. Here you go kiddo: $2,000,000 begets you $40,000 per year.

The Little People

If I’m rich, I want to my friends and family to not have their noses pressed up to my windows. That can be fixed one of two ways:

Solution #1: robotic attack dogs (sorry, Mom-- run for it).

Solution #2: spread it around.

Robotic attack dogs are not yet technically practical. So, I have to solve this issue with money and generosity.

Here’s how I cover off my family and friends.


Let’s buy decent condos for our parents. Luckily my father is not in the picture, so three condos at $400k is $1.2-million.

Let’s give my nieces and nephews (five of them) $100,000 each ear-marked for a down payment on their homes. Heck, let’s give my sister a decent down payment too $150k.

Let’s help my brother-in-law and my aunt burn their mortgages. What’s that: $600k more?

Shelter helpers amount to $2,450,000.


My family are not as car hungry as I am. Let’s ear mark $120,000 for hybrid cars (my money, my rules-- get your enviro-friendly car on the way out).


Let’s make sure the nieces and nephews have a cushion: $1-million each to generate $20,000 per year income. We better take care of the parents: $2-million for each of them and the can chew heartily on the principal to reap $50k/year apiece. That’s $11-million in love.

The Friends

I have a special plan for the friends. We are going to hold a big-ass party. We are going to hold an awards ceremony. Do you remember those sucky award things in elementary school where every kid got a lame prize for “Achievement” and “Recgonition” and “Good Try.” -- we’ll do something like that. We’ll run a big game show. Eventually everyone will get a cool prize-- a car, a down payment, a trip to Europe, a big-ass TV, an extra cool laptop-- prizes galore. We’ll invite our 100 favorite friends and earmark $2,500,000 for prizes. Everyone leaves with something awesome.

The Good Causes

There’s lots of good work that needs to be done. I would start a $5-miilion foundation to fund good causes in Victoria-- the classic charities. Some of that money would go to the causes as funding, some would be set to one side to fund an administration that would beat the local bushes for more money-- c’mon, cough up you cheap locals.

I would earmark another $5-million to heavily subsidize people who are mounting solar and wind power generators onto their homes. If it costs $10,000 to deploy alternative energy into a home, and we paid for 50% of the costs, that would allow 1000 homes to convert to alternative power.

I would start a commercial space lottery-- $5-million in rental subsidies to super cool businesses who cannot operate in downtown’s high rent climate. Businesses would have to apply, be judged and get 2 years of rent for $1 (we’ll pick up the rest). It would use up Victoria’s lingering mass of unrented space. After these businesses got past their difficult years with this aid, they may be able to continue, grow and their “DNA” could contribute to the unique makeup of local businesses. Left to its own devices, the super expensive real estate conditions in our town is a killer. When an ecosystem is not under stress, you have lots of variety. Under stress, only the tenacious species persist. We need to have room for funky, cool shops and services. Right now, our environment is best suited for 7-11s, banks and businesses who don’t have much of a problem with getting money.

Ever wonder why things don’t change, locally? Victoria is driven by various old-boys clubs of people who keep things our city in amber. Progressive candidates in office could break up that dynamic. All of the problems we face (Colwood Crawl, affordability, good jobs, social programs)-- they’re all fixable if they are confronted with a plan and some courage. Those brave political candidates aspire for office, but maybe they need help messaging-- getting their message out there. In Vancouver, the mayoral campaign are an arms race: bills in excess of $1-million for each of the front runners. I don’t want to pay for the whole of an election. In Victoria, mayoral candidates can manufacture popularity with $75,000 to ride into victory. I would set aside a fund of $420,000. That’s would give one mayoral candidate of choice and three excellent council candidates $50,000 and $30,000 each respectively to fund their campaign. $420k would cover 12 years of elections.

Entrepreneurial Stuff

I cannot retire. Stopping isn’t what I want to do. I explode with ideas all the time. If I could take my nose off of the grindstone, I could probably make headway on some cool stuff.

With my lottery booty, I would establish “The DeWolfe Group” -- a corporation to replace the partnership. It would be the umbrella to cover off all of the business things I would like to do. My pet projects are starved out, so they’re grow painfully slowly.

I would invest $200,000 into IFCon. Conventions and conferences run into the half-million dollar territory, so that would give it a bump to make it really take off. That would allow the hiring of a classic event planner and take all of the variability out of the formula.

I would spend $100,000 on Interact-4 on a field trip to establish the company in another territory. The great thing about our product is that anyone who tries it, buys it. Ironically, with all of this lottery winning talk, this product is the lottery win. It could give me the crazy income and fund all of the other stuff-- were it sold extensively.

Last year, I bought into Where-Can-I-Buy-A-Car-Online.com. Yeah, the name is too long. With $100,000 for smarter domain names and another $200,000 to begin the marketing and establish a sales network, this ventures could also take off. When I extrapolated its sales in three years, it could earn enough to pull off this lottery bonanza and it could do it every year. These stunted businesses leave me frustrated, but I try to play through. It’s like having a cash machine, but no power outlet to plug it into.

What My Greed Does

By the time all of this is added up, the spend comes close to $45-million. That does seem like a lot. That’s a fraction of what government spends locally. It’s how much money Facebook earns in a week.

Sure, it looks like I’m a ravenous consumer. Maybe my hovering army of drones makes you think I’ve done too far. Here’s what my spending spree looks like when extrapolates as community benefits.

  • I let nine homeowners make their sales. Along the way, I paid out over $125,000 in real estate commissions. The down payments to my nieces and nephews spawn another $75,000 in commissions down the road.
  • I gave three senior citizens homes and equity.
  • I gave five youth a nest egg that they may lean on to keep them out of desperation and preclude them from tapping into from social services in tough times.
  • I gave a small windfall to 100 of our friends.
  • I gave $5-million to regular charities.
  • I used $5-million to spark 1000 conversions to renewal energy supplemented homes.
  • I used $5-million to give 25 fledging businesses their start in downtown Victoria. Each of them employ people and they all pay taxes.
  • I used $420,000 to connect transformative aspiring public servants with the voters.
  • My IFCon funding makes the convention happen and happen well. That generated $5-million or more new money coming into the local economy through hotels, restaurants and shopping.
  • My Interact-4 business sparks 20 people full time jobs locally. It like gives another ten salespeople part-time recurring revenue. Our software keeps 250,000 condo owners out of financial jeopardy through our capital asset planning tools. Our co-op product keeps 1000 housing co-ops in Canada on an even keel. As housing co-ops do a lot to provide good housing to lower-income families and each of our 1000 eventual clients have a median of 40 units per, that will keep 40,000 families in safe and well cared-for housing in Canada.
  • When the car site (geez-- I don't even like the name), is under full steam it will employ 25 people at its head office, another 25 at our satellite offices. It’s secret sauce element (sorry, you have to take me to coffee to find out more), will give over 2400 people in North America part-time and recurring income.

What does my appetite for $45-million do? It directly houses 20 people. It manages the housing for another 400,000 people. It would spark the generation of over 2500 full- and part-time jobs across North America. And, I’d get a cool three wheeled motorcycle.

That’s why I’d like to win the lottery.

Last updated date

Monday, September 30, 2019 - 17:12