It is an undisputed fact that every time I enter a Chipotle, the cursed Canadian warble of the Barenaked Ladies enters my ears, leaving me to wonder what I would do if I had a million dollars? Of course, in our broken capitalist hellscape, it’s not even that fun to imagine what I would do with a million dollars (pay off my student loans and then save just enough to give birth to a baby in a hospital) but adjust that number to something along the lines of $10 billion and then we’re in big fun daydream territory!
I can’t be the only one who hears about an insane lotto jackpot and immediately starts fantasizing about owning 5-1o new lighthouses, right? I asked my office compatriots to share their wildest lotto winning fantasies (with the built-in assumption that we’ve all redistributed an appropriate amount of our wealth since we’re not monsters!) because what better way to get to know someone than to ask them how they would spend heaps and heaps of monetary “success”? Because it really isn’t just about money is it? It’s about time and access and the unfettered ability to believe in oneself when you don’t have to think about making rent. Read on and share your big pile of endless money fantasies below!
Who are you? Ja$min Aujla, Director of Partnerships
What would you do with that giant pile of money? I’m obsessed with Shark Tank and I always think of how fun it would be to be a shark and have people come and pitch me their crazy, smart, and weird ideas. So I would essentially create my own Shark Tank (but not as a TV show), with a couple good trusted friends, and host it in a really cozy, welcoming office/apartment space every week. I’m aware that this could also be called a VC firm but mine would be fun and exciting and not full of finance/tech bros. The idea of investing my own money in people/companies I’m really excited about and believe in feels very fulfilling to me.
Okay, what’s the next thing you would do? Okay now for the cliche stuff: I’d host regular dinners at all my favorite restaurants and at home, take extravagant holidays around the world, do a bunch of shopping, have daily massages and facials and get everyone around me full body health check-ups every year.
Who are you? A sentient throw blanket by the name of Haley Nahman, Deputy Editor
What would you do with that giant pile of money? The first thing I would do after the obvious stuff would be to look into how many pets I can have without it disrupting my social and professional life too much. I want another cat and two dogs at least, maybe a bunny and a chicken, and I want a house for all of us that is designed primarily with comfort in mind and optimized for creatures of all kinds.
Okay, what’s the next thing you would do? Design a room just for writing and other creative projects. Also arrange to have a regular full-body scan (like an MRI) for no other reason beyond doctors explaining everything little random thing thats happening inside my body. (Why does my right knee hurt? Why can’t I take deep breaths in the morning? Why do I get headaches all the time? Why does my lower right back randomly spasm? I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP.)
Who are you? Elizabeth Cardinal Tamkin, Market & Affiliate Strategist
What would you do with that giant pile of money? Buy these shoes. (Ed note: Eliz, ever the realist.)
Okay, what’s the next thing you would do? I think I would move my butt to a giant home and adopt five more french bulldogs. I would also probably replace my laptop and phone with the updated versions.
Who are you? Dasha Faires, Director of Product Development for Repeller, Man Repeller’s accessories collection.
What would you do with that giant pile of money? If you’re sure we’ve already taken care of all the charities and surprised a few family members with a nice fat check, then I would retreat to a cabin in the woods somewhere and take piano lessons and then record an album.
Okay, what’s the next thing you would do? Then spend the rest of the money making a bunch of films, then probably run out of money because films are expensive so then my husband would probably suggest we open up a plant/flower shop in a small town somewhere to make enough money to pay the bills.
Who are you? Emily Zirimis, Visual Manager
What would you do with that giant pile of money? Pay off all of my debt (mostly student loan debt that will seemingly never go away).
Okay, what’s the next thing you would do? Pay off family debt, buy a house in the Hamptons and also a house in upstate New York (because why not?) travel to Europe, buy way too many accessories, even more travel with friends + family.
Who are you? I’m Amalie — just a social gal (a.k.a Social Media Manager)
What would you do with that giant pile of money? Since we are going exclusively with the absurd, I will say that I would definitely invest in some REAL ESTATE, BABY. I want one of my condos to be in the hotel from Crazy Rich Asians with the infinity rooftop (preferably with synchronized swimmers included). I would like another to literally be exactly the home from Call Me By Your Name, down to the props and 1980s setting. Additionally, I would like to own Hallie’s dad’s Napa Valley ranch from The Parent Trap, also probably her mom’s home in London. This all seems reasonable and strategic, wow I am proud of myself.
Okay, what’s the next thing you would do? The next thing I would do would be to essentially buy my way to friendships with people I admire. I would fly out Otessa Moshfegh and Terry Gross and Jenna Wortham and The Real Elena Ferrante TM, plus her translator, for full spread lunches al fresco and pick their brains until they couldn’t be picked anymore.
Who are you? Gyan Yankovich a.k.a. Man Repeller’s brand-spanking-new managing editor
What would you do with that giant pile of money? I’d commission Wes Anderson to personally design and decorate three homes for me: one by the seaside, one summer-camp-style by a glorious lake, and one Grand-Budapest-but-even-better hotel home so my friends and family can come and stay with me anytime I’m there.
Okay, what’s the next thing you would do? Get outfits that match each of my new homes, of course.
Who are you? Crystal “Mo Money, No Problems” Anderson, Manager of Production
What would you do with that giant pile of money? I’d buy a big-ass house that had vintage clawfoot tubs in every single bathroom.
Okay, what’s the next thing you would do? Fill that big-ass house with every beautiful delicate vintage dress I could find.
Who are you? Nora Taylor, Copywriter
What would you do with that giant pile of money? Become a great patron of the ahhhts! (The arts, for the uninitiated.) Basically, a one-woman Kickstarter. What’s that? You’ve got a solo show about cheese? I’ll support it. Want to open a gallery that’s just photos of Steve Harvey? Here’s a CHECK. I will make weirddddddd requests at the opening night parties, but everyone will just refer to me as a lovable eccentric. I’ll also donate to capital campaigns for places I have no connection to and make them name buildings after me but provide ZERO biographical information.
Okay, what’s the next thing you would do? I was in no way joking about owning 5-10 lighthouses.
Photo by Dmitri Kessel via Getty Images.