UPDATE, Jan. 14: I did not win the Powerball jackpot.
Like many people lately, I have lotto fever. How else to explain my dangerously high temperature, muscle and joint pain, and explosive diarrhea?
Also, how else to explain my obsession with this week's Powerball drawing? It's all I can think about. I know I'm not alone. I see the Facebook posts and news coverage. Seems like everyone has lotto fever. That's not surprising, considering how much money is up for grabs—as CNN Money reports, the jackpot "swelled to $1.5 billion on Tuesday morning." And it can only go up from there, thanks to all the hype. I predict the jackpot will continue swelling right up until Wednesday night's drawing, when it will groan and burst in a spectacular, blinding explosion of concentrated wealth, flattening everything in a 2-mile radius.
Will I win? Well, let's just say that with odds of 1 in 292 million, I like my chances.
Let's also say that I got a D in statistics, which, by the way, I pronounce without that first "t" sound, like this: "suh-TISS-tix."
Also like many people lately, I have thought a lot about what I could do with my winnings. Which, for the record, would actually be about $930 million as a lump sum. I could buy an island! A McMansion! Heck, a mansion mansion! A Maserati for every day of the week!
Wait. No. I know exactly what I'll do when I win that $930 million.
I will register for a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series event.
Extravagant? Ostentatious? A vulgar display of obscene wealth? Perhaps. I don't care. Life is short.
And you know what? I won't even bother registering early. I'll wait till the last minute—when even signing up for the half will set me back 175 bucks:
Here's how it will go down:
I decide, on a whim, to run a half-marathon. I open my laptop, launch my browser, and type "www.runrocknroll.com." I choose the first available event, fill out the online registration form, enter my credit card info, then click REGISTER or whatever the little button says. I won't even give it a second thought. You know why?
Because I will be rich. Signing-up-for-a-Rock 'n' Roll-event-on-a-whim rich. That's why.
Will I be annoyed by the mystery $14.99 "IT processing fee" that shows up during checkout?
Please. I will barely even notice it.
In fact, I will pay the $14.99 IT processing fee of the person behind me in line. That is the sort of rich person I will be.
Of course, I won't go crazy. You're always reading stories about ordinary people who win big jackpots and then wind up, a few years and dozens of Rock 'n' Roll races later, flat broke. So I will limit myself to just one or two RNR events per year. And I'll skip the merchandise options. Mostly.
This is my plan.
Don't worry, friends—I won't forget you when I'm swimming in cash and running multiple Rock 'n' Roll races per year with my other wealthy friends. I'll still see you at local, more affordable races, which I will make a point of attending, just to stay grounded and to ask whether anyone has change for a hundred. Underneath my Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series technical tee, I'll be the same, old Mark.
The rich are different from you and me, the saying goes. They have more RNR Marathon medals.
We shall see, friends. We shall see.