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Local Column

Heimerman: What would you do with all that Mega Millions money?

Christopher Heimerman
Christopher Heimerman

Experiences. That’s how I’d spend my Mega Millions winnings. Not on fancy cars or a house with more square footage and amenities than I’d know what to do with.

I’ll tell you a large portion of it would also go to philanthropy – local philanthropy, where I know where the money is going, and that it’s benefiting the community in which my kids are growing up.

That aside, it’d be experiences. Travel. Concerts. Ballgames. Skydiving, bungee-jumping – you know, all those things you’d like to do, if only it didn’t cost a week’s grocery bill to do just once, and then it’s over.

Every activity – be it sports, educational programs, camps, you name it – that my kids would want. As my homegirl, features editor Inger Koch, pointed out, it would also be important – albeit challenging – to keep life as normal as possible for those kiddopods. They’d need to remain grounded and know the value of work, so I’d do a lot of volunteering.

My wife and I have been watching “Billions,” a Showtime TV series about Bobby Axelrod, the Lars Ulrich of hedge fund managers, and his cutthroat line of work. One episode focuses on his negotiations with employees. He offers one $20 million. The employee wants $50 million. I like the show. It’s well-produced, and the casting is great – the incomparable John Malkovich joined the cast in the third season, a veritable murderer’s row that already included Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, who’s tailor-made for the role of Axelrod. The cameos are simply incredible, including Kevin Durant, Maria Sharapova and one of my favorite bands, The Hold Steady.

I’m getting off point. The point is, how much more could you possibly want than $20 million? Turns out, that fictional employee isn’t so much after more money, but forward momentum and, in a plot twist, more autocratic power.

How about a nonfictional potential employee of the state? Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker, who Forbes estimates is worth more than $3 billion, was already mighty rich when he pulled toilets from one of his mansions to grab $330,000 in tax breaks, which Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard calls a “scheme to defraud” the very taxpayers he wants to represent.

This happens to people who come into money, whether it’s earned or given. At least so I’ve heard – that money is the ultimate drug, and one can simply never have enough.

I dunno.

I just want to not worry about money is all. I don’t want my loved ones to have to worry about it any more than they have to. That would do.

How about you? How would you spend your billion (if it were still that much after taxes)?

• Christopher Heimerman is the editor of the Daily Chronicle. He can be reached at cheimerman@shawmedia.com.

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