As married couples are wont to do, my wife and I got into a little disagreement last week. Nothing too serious, except that I asked her to run over to the local Hess store to buy a Powerball ticket and she neglected to do so. As it turns out of course, I had picked the exact combination of numbers that won the $588 million jackpot, so if she had carried out her errand as I asked, we would be in line for $196 million, a third of a share. (I'll take the lump sum, thanks.)
After she stopped howling at my explanation that those numbers had been bouncing around in my head for weeks, having come to me in a vision, she then asked me what I'd do with the money. Or to paraphrase, what airplane(s) I'd be buying with my nearly $200 million. I have to admit, I'd never even thought about this and I will further admit it took several days to formulate an answer. Really, I think I'd give most of it away in scholarships of some kind because the truth is, I don't lack for material things and don't want any more. Actually, I could do with a little less.
Still, this being an airplane blog and all, the choice thing really bugged me. Why couldn't I decide on such a silly, simple thing? The unfortunate side effect of having owned airplanes is that you never think what it costs to buy them, you always think what it costs to operate them. There's no point in buying a Gulfstream or a Citation or a Falcon of any vintage if you can't keep it in fuel, rubber and engines. I'm afraid my choice might strike some as unimaginative and rather mundane: I'd buy a used Eclipse. And also an Extra 300 for fun flying. And I'd probably take a partner in the jet, too. (A $193 million check just ain't enough to turn someone as frugalokay, cheap--as I am into a spendthrift.)
The Eclipse meets my imagined needs as a newly minted millionaire perfectly. It'll go about 1000 miles, it sips fuel and it's fun to fly. It's also kind of stealthy and that's ideal for a guy like me who doesn't like explaining himself. I'd like it even less with a nine-figure net worth.
How about you?