Admit it: you, like me and several million other Americans, are daydreaming about winning the MegaMillions(TM) lottery game of chance, with its first-place winnings of.... 1 BILLION DOLLARS! (you have to say...or think... ONE (pause) BILLION (pause) DOLLARS! ) That's an awfully large amount of money. So let's put this into context. No, I am not going to tell you that your or my chances of winning this large amount of cash are further away from being struck by lightning several times or hitting the center of a target several times unaided from a thousand meters or any of that other stuff. Let CNBC, Bloomberg and FOX Business ruin our fantasies business and legally-like.
No, I want you to think about the good that twelve percent of that money would do for a program like Scouting. What you choose to do with it – a fleet of tricked-out H3 (Hummer Model Three) vehicles; super-duper expando mobile homes; that island off the coast of the Florida Keys; a ticket on the Elon Musk Planet transporter -- whatever...that's your decision. After taxes, federal and state and maybe city too -- you'll be a millionaire but not a billionaire (roughly 60 percent of the winnings will go to taxes) -- so you want to choose what to do with it carefully, right?
So why would I even attempt to ask you to support Scouting? You probably never were a Scout or a Scout leader -- we call them "Scouters" -- so that appeal isn't something on the front part of your brain. No, your brain is thinking that "We're in the Money" dance or jig or whatever Mr. Moneybags does in those commercials. You're thinking about telling your boss to shove your job up something he or she cannot physically do. You're thinking of to buy your family and friends all of the things they ever needed, wanted or desired. You're thinking of running away to some remote place on the planet and using dollar bills as kindling as you and your mate consume very expensive drinks and resting in each other's arms. You're thinking of ANYTHING ELSE other than SCOUTING --
Let me give you three reasons for considering giving just a little -- say, 12 percent -- of your winnings to the Boy Scouts of America. Income tax deductions... You're gonna need them if you're paying 57 percent of your taxable winnings to the Internal Revenue and state tax agencies. This will save you millions and you don't have to conceal or stash it away from the "revenuers" nor the Times. Also, you could potentially roll over this deduction to cover several years. You need to consult a CPA or money manager and see how this could be accomplished -- and hey! The BSA may give you a plaque or name a camp in your honor or provide you something long-lasting to show your relatives that you're not the miser they are whispering behind your back...
payback. Okay. I stated that for the majority of you out there, you don't have anything to payback...or do you? Those Cub Scouts became Boy Scouts. Those Boy Scouts became Explorers, or Venturers or Sea Scouts or just adults. Those adults work with you, went bowling or clubbing with you, helped you root for the hometown sports team, and even were, maybe, your BOSS or his or her BOSS. So now, instead of you handing out cash directly to them, how about if you gave just a little bit of your new cash winnings to the Scouts, eh..they can use that money to help develop the NEXT set of MegaMillions(TM) (or whatever it is by then) winners...
Legacy, you want to have a good one, one in which long after you're gone (you know, you can't take it with you...just the memories of having a great time with it) so why leave part of your great memories with an organization which will keep your good name and what you did for them for, um, well, maybe 75 to 100 years. A lot of our camps which others have left a legacy for back in the 30s and 40s are now housing developments or lakes or shopping centers. Some of them reverted back to open, green or brown space, as nobody wants them and they are just out there, withering away. I can't help you there, except to say "give your money wisely", The idea, however, is sound: giving a small amount of your winnings to Scouting really does help the movement to continue to grow -- and a large part of what we do, we do outdoors (or we SHOULD be doing outdoors if we had the land...and you know where I'm going with that...*smiling*)...
Again, you can give any amount of money to anyone or any organization you choose to...you paid for the lottery ticket, you crossed everything you've got and offered a small prayer (and hope that you didn't sell your soul to the wrong deity!)...so you get to figure out what to do with it. I suggest 12 percent (that's like 120 million dollars before taxes; 60 million dollars or so afterward) to the BSA because, well, that's the group I'd been associated with and know what their true needs are down the road. They need to continue to pay for their national outdoor center in West Virginia. They need you to hire Bill Gates and that guy from Oracle to come in a build them an IT system which will work in the New Century. They need you to buy up all of their camps and put them into a national trust, like we do our national parks and let local BSA Councils run and manage the camps...in that way all they are concerned about is providing a great program and opportunities for boys and girls (at a lower cost to attend/participate) while the overhead is paid for from your trust. They need you to be their "hero". You might even get a Silver something or another for it -- they may have to INVENT an award to give to you!
After your gone
After you're gone, your family and relatives will be thinking more about the things you did with your money to help others (and to realize the big tax deducation, etc. etc.) and smiling that you did more than buy up the Bud Light (TM) distributor and made them send you a case of Bud Light (TM) every week for the rest of your life...and the rest of the lives of five of your besties. And the big oversized cruise ship you renamed the "Moneybags". And the specially-equipped Boeing(TM) 757 along with four sets of pilots to keep your plane in the air 250 days out of the year. Oh go ahead and daydream it all... and good luck!! In MY daydream, someone else will win it all and just PayPal(TM) me enough money to pay off my student loans and my other large bills, leaving me with the ability to give the BSA (actually, my local Council -- the Transatlantic Council) the remainder. I don't need to win the "big prize" -- one or two percent of it, after taxes, is just fine for me.
(as of the date of this posting, the MegaMillion(TM) jackpot stands at 970 million dollars. Tickets are $2 a set of numbers and can be purchased in 44 of the USA's 50 states, the American Virgin Islands and in the District of Columbia. As they say in the commercials, play and dream responsibly!)