Nov. 30, 2012 at 10:24 AM ET
Yes, we all know that we’re more likely to be struck by lightning or attacked by a shark than to win one of the lottery’s biggest jackpots.
But the bad odds didn’t stop readers this week from dreaming about what they would do if they had been the biggest winners of the $580 million Powerball drawing on Wednesday night.
A post this week on how you could amend your holiday shopping list if you raked in the big jackpot got readers talking about how they could improve their lives – and the lives of others - with hundreds of millions of dollars.
Of the nearly 20,000 people who took our survey, more than half said their No.1 goal would be to buy a really nice house.
“A new home for my parents to move in with me in their old age then remodel my old home and donate it to homeless veterans,” one reader wrote.
Many readers said their first impulse would be to help others, in addition to themselves.
“I'd make sure every kid in my county had a good meal, decent clothes, supplies, and something fun--just for starters,” one reader wrote.
Others said they’d like to give back to organizations that have helped them in the past.
“My gift would be to donate a majority to Children's Hospital -Wisconsin. They saved my kid's life and I will never be able to repay them,” one grateful reader wrote.
Many readers had modest dreams, involving the things and people they loved.
“Nothing too fancy. I would like my '66 Chevy truck fully restored, a decent house with a shop, and then a historic tour through Europe,” one reader wrote.