While humming along to If I Had a Million Dollars with the Barenaked Ladies on the radio, I’ve been thinking about what I’d do if I won the lottery. A million dollars would be nice to have, but given how much everything associated with horses’ costs, I’m not sure that it would really be enough. It probably would be necessary to win the lottery.
Take for instance, New Zealander Lou Te Keeti, who won the New Zealand Powerball. The New York Post details how Keeti won $7.6. million in 2017, and then was diagnosed by doctors with “a case of euphoria.” And who can blame him. Lou had grand plans for the winnings including breeding horses. And Lou has followed through on his horse-breeding plans. So far, he has spent over $2 million to buy 19 racehorses.
That being said imagine all the horse-related indulgences you can have if you won a U.S. Powerball jackpot. The U.S. Powerball is one of the biggest lotteries in the world, with Lottoland noting that a recent jackpot reached a whopping $191.1 million, with the record being $1.5 billion, — more than enough for anyone to take their riding to a whole new level of luxury. That’s nearly 200% more than Keeti’s winnings over in New Zealand, which means the winner can probably tick off every item in even the most grandiose of horse riding bucket lists.
Out of curiosity, I found a poll conducted by The Horse, on what horse people would do if they won the lottery.
Of the 1,296 respondents, 571 (44%) said they would build their dream barn, while 368 individuals (28%) said they would start a horse rescue with their lottery winnings. Another 58 respondents (4%) said they would go horse shopping in Europe, and 46 people (4%) would buy a racehorse. Only 30 individuals (2%) said they would sponsor an Olympic-caliber horse and rider, and the remaining 223 respondents (17%) had other plans for their lottery winnings. The Horse
Here are few things that might appeal to a lottery winner with an equestrian obsession.
1. Buy the best thoroughbreds
With over $190 million you can buy the most expensive horses in the world. And lets face it they don’t
come cheap. In fact, the former Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus was reportedly sold at auction for $60–$70 million in 2000. Today you could acquire him for less, given the precipitous drop of his stud fee from $150,000 in 2001 to $7,500 today (as he has been unable to sire winning offspring). A better option though would be Tapit, whose record stud fee is $300,000. That means his sale price might start at $90 million, as a stallion is worth at least 300 times his stud fee. If that is too steep, you can settle for American Pharaoh. His reported stud fee is $200,000, which means he’d be worth $60 million only. (Interestingly this would prove to be a good investment, especially with the Jockey Club proposing a yearly cap on stallions’ mares. This move will “improve the genetic biodiversity of the thoroughbred breed,” and will likely drive stud fees even higher.) And if you don’t want the big guy himself, you could always buy a nice mare and breed your own.
2. Invest in a ranch
I’ve been looking at the “As Seen Through a Horse’s Ears” on Facebook for long enough to know that a
ranch out West would afford some amazing vistas and trails that woudl be a nice change from the Boston suburbs. This might necessitate a move to a state like Idaho, California, or Texas. The McCall Red Ridge Ranch in Idaho might still be up for sale, and will set you back by $62 million. Ranch San Carlos, in California, and the Veale Ranch in Texas might be on the market, too, at a cool $85 million and $95 million, respectively. With still some $100 million left in your coffers you’ll have plenty of choices. Except that is for the $250 million Sandow Lakes Ranch in Texas. You would need another record-breaking jackpot for that one.
3. Splurge on equipment
Everyone knows that I like saddles. With an unlimited budget, The $7,695 Passier Sirius Dressage Saddle will sure serve you well, as will the $8,050 Hermes Cavale Saddle. You can even buy the most expensive saddle ever sold, if you can track its owner. It is a solid gold saddle that once belonged to the Crown Prince of Dubai, Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, and was bought anonymously for $653,234. However, I don’t think it would be very comfortable.
As for me? I’d definitely support some of my favorite Equine Rescues, with CANTERUSA.org at the top of my list. Most likely I’d have a bunch of horses on my back forty, too. Then of course, I’d need saddles for all of them.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
5 thoughts on “If I had a million dollars . . . the Ultimate Bucket List for Equestrians if they won the Lottery”
I play this game often. On the few occasions I’ve actually bought a ticket, it’s not come even close to the winning numbers. So, let’s say I won El Grande, something over $200 million AFTER they take taxes out.
First, I’d donate half of it to charities that I choose, not one’s that are constantly sending me begging letters. The caveat being, stop sending me begging letters or no money.
That leaves me with $100 million, right?
I’d buy the property not far from my home, of about 1200 acres. I’d develop a small portion of it…a nice barn, a covered arena…no, two! One of my friends is a professional cross country course designer. I’d have him design a high caliber cross country course, with trails for those of us not so brave as to event. I’d host 3 day events there. I’d allow my friends and neighbors to ‘haul in’ to use the arenas during our long, long rainy season.
Having been turned off of breeding horses for money relatively early in life by witnessing the seamier, ugly side of the business, I wouldn’t breed them, just own horses.
I would have, oh………two Warmbloods.
The rest of the property I’d turn into a wildlife refuge. I’d stay in the house I own right now. It’s small, but it’s paid for.
I’d take that trip to the Serengeti that I’ve dreamed of all my life, have a pair of boots built for me that really, truly fit my feet (they’re two different sizes ….and shapes).
The rest of the money? Well, I don’t know. I suppose it would come to me, eventually.
Obviously, I have everything I need, and am happy with what I have. So it’s probably why I don’t play the Powerball except for fun.
What I meant by ‘playing this game’ often, I mean…daydreaming of what I’d do were I so lucky as to win. In reality, I think I”ve purchased a lotto or powerball ticket MAYBE ten times in twenty years.
It’s a great plan. I will admit that after working for an advertising agency that represented a state lottery, I’ve never bought a ticket since. But I, too, dream about how many fun things I could do and maybe even do some good along the way.
One of my friends used to work for the state Lottery. When he did, he was not allowed to play the lottery, due to ‘conflict of interest’, I guess. Now that he’s retired, he still doesn’t play it. He says, “The lottery is for those who are bad at math.”
Still, it’s fun to dream.
That’s pretty much the conclusion I came to as well. On both fronts!