We are allowed to dream, aren’t we?
“If you won the lottery, say $60 million, what would you do with it?”
It’s a conversation I hear, and engage in, often. We probably all do. In this case, there were three of us.
“Well, first of all, I’d build a big house – the biggest in town, with a huge Olympic-size swimming pool, a stocked pond out back, and build a golf course for just me and my friends to play on whenever we wanted,” said the first to respond. “I’d also hire a personal masseuse, a butler, and a chef that only cooked pizza. Whatever I had left, I’d just blow it.”
Our pretend second lottery winner had a similar plan.
“First thing I’d do is get a chartered plane and all my friends and we’d go to Vegas,” he said. “We’d go gambling and I’d spend about $2 million that night. Then I’d hire AC/DC and Willie Nelson to perform at my birthday party, even if it wasn’t my birthday. Then, whoever was left, we’d just travel around the world – to London, Rio, Greece, Rome, China, wherever we wanted to go. We’d have a great time.”
When it came to my turn to dream, I paused, deep in thought.
“What would you do with $60 million, Len?”
“I would start a foundation to provide college scholarships for underprivileged children,” I said solemnly. “I would use about $30 million to fund that. Then I would tithe at least $6 million. The rest I would donate to missionaries working in third-world countries in an effort to combat world hunger and eradicate guinea worm disease.”
There was stunned silence for at least a minute before the first guy to speak chimed in.
“Yeah, I meant I would buy a big house and all that after I started a foundation to combat world hunger and emancipate worms.”
In all my times of having that lottery dream dialogue, I have never heard anyone respond, “If I win the lottery, I’m going blow it all at TGI Friday’s.”
But that’s apparently what Vince Young did – with his “lottery” of a $30 million salary and $30 million in endorsements, over the past six years.
According to published reports, Young, the third pick in the NFL draft six years ago, is broke and looking for work after being cut recently by the Buffalo Bills. Young was, not long ago, an All-Pro quarterback for the Tennessee Titans worth around $60 million.
Young claims his former agent and other financial advisors misappropriated millions, and he has filed a lawsuit to that effect.
But other reports have surfaced about lavish spending patterns by the young quarterback, including:
• Frequently hanging out at a TGI Friday’s in Nashville when he was with the Titans, spending $6,000 one night on dinner. Yes, that’s right – $6,000 in one night at TGI Friday’s.
• Wanting to be alone on a flight, he bought all but 10 or so tickets on a Southwest Airlines flight. That’s an estimated 120 tickets.
• Spending $5,000 a week for nearly a year at the Cheesecake Factory.
I find this hard to believe. But, then again, I choke if my family’s dinner check is more than $60.
• Investing in the Vince Young Steakhouse.
Is it a requirement for all rich professional athletes to have a failed restaurant bearing their name on their resume?
Suddenly, having AC/DC and Willie Nelson perform at your birthday party doesn’t seem like such a foolish financial investment.
© Len Robbins 2012