Gratitude does not even begin to cover it…

This weekend we had another bout of realization at just how freakin’ lucky we are. A big part of that has to do with, obviously, my game show winnings. We’ve been watching episodes of Millionaire regularly since I was on (largely to see what happened with the only contestant who went after me) and it’s almost making me nervous again. Last week, 2 people didn’t even make it to $1000 (along with another one from a few weeks back) and lots of people dropped down to $1000. In the few dozen episodes since I’ve been on, I don’t remember seeing anyone make it to my level.

I’m not bragging here, because it’s not all about knowledge. There was a lot of luck involved to get me to that level. And now we are truly realizing just how much that money means to us as bills get paid, home improvements are purchased, and interest is earned. This is not a situation I’m used to. But in the first month of this year, we’ve already begun to make dramatic changes to our life that will really help when the biggest dramatic change happens this July.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be talking about what we’ve been doing with the house and what we will be doing with the house. I’ll also be commenting on some of the other changes we’ve been able to afford. The purpose of doing so is to give people ideas who are looking at similar situations – not to brag about the fact that I won a lot of money. And that’s why, before I start blabbering about new stoves and closets, I just want to stress how ridiculously thankful we are right now.

Honestly, I still can’t fathom that it actually happened or that we even deserved it to happen – but I am eternally grateful that it did.

8 thoughts on “Gratitude does not even begin to cover it…”

  1. Whatever. It’s great that you’re grateful. But you *should* brag, brag, brag! Trust me, nobody is jealous of you or begrudges you your winnings, luck, success, etc. We are all thrilled for you that you won the money, and will not be offended to learn about how you are spending it to make your lives better, easier, more comfortable, etc.

  2. I know this means you can afford professionals, or at least the fancier hobos that know which way to hold a hammer… but if you ever need a friend/sucker to help with some projects, my offer still stands :p

  3. Sometimes good things do happen to good people. I’m also available to help out. Or at the very least drink beer and nod approvingly while you work.

  4. Haha – do you know what’s funny? In a recent shape magazine, they talked about borlotti beans! Mike and I had a great laugh about that :-).

  5. @Malina – Thank you. I know my friends aren’t the jealous type, but I also know that everybody’s dealing with different levels of success and failure. I also know that my spending habits used to be more on the frivolous side, so there’s a big part of me that feels like all of the money should go to credit cards and savings. I’m getting to the point where I realize that as long as we handle it wisely, it’s all good.

    And I know you’re all happy for us!

    @Everyone – Thanks for the offers. While we’ll probably have a professional doing the cabinets and any plumbing work, we’ll also require some drunken sledgehammer swinging to do demo work. Not to mention renovating the basement – which is currently on a 15-year plan…

  6. not to sound like a commercial for ingdirect but their offerings for CDs offer a solid return than most other banks… whenever i had a chunk of change in the past i knew i could do without i’d roll it into a 6 month or one year cd and although it’s not like you could taking a european vacation from the interest in most cases, it sure does beat inflation and you make cash with zero effort and no risk.

    as for larger sums i highly recommend a long-term annuity with pacific life, who have handled my lifetime policy since taking over the case formerly in allstate’s hands after my car accident in eighth grade.

    even investments that most advisors would consider modest still really pay off on a large enough time scale (ten years, fifteen years – think college fund).

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