The 100 Million Lotto Question

You don't get many chances to participate in a 100 Million Lotto everyday. There will be an upcoming draw on Melbourne Cup Day. If my buddy is here, he will probably grin sheepishly and do his hilarious "有买有希望, 没买没希望" gig. That's the equivalence of "You have to be in it to win it", for those who don't read Chinese. Well, even though the chance of winning this one is 1 in 45,379,620, I cannot refute that fact.

I must be one of the minority who doesn't do this. I've never queued up at a betting agency before. My participation in lotteries had been shared purchases urged by friends once in a blue moon. Such as the typical 15 million toto draw in Singapore. Even for that, I could only recall buying that once, probably around the 2007-2008 period. Anyway, a story to share.

I remembered an oral examination topic when I was in primary 5. I have never been good in making any form of speech. I would never be able to express half of what's on my mind during a conversation or presentation. Most of the time, it felt like my mind is simply too fast for the mouth. In fact, I am probably unable to pronounce 50% of the vocabulary that I could write and use. Sadly, it remains so till today. Every oral examination was a fearful experience for me. Although I noticed I managed to score reasonably well each time, oral examinations remain a thorn in the neck. On hindsight, this problem should have been addressed, rather than avoided much earlier in my life. It will probably make my life a lot easier. 

Well, the reason why I could remember this particular oral examination was because I aced it and emerged the top in my class. When the results was announced, the class gasped and stared at me, especially one of my classmate, who customarily top the class in oral tests and exams every single time without fail. Needless to say, her eyes were bulging out of the sockets. There was nothing I could do than give a silly grin and shrug. So how did I do it? That must be one every classmate's mind. 

There was no secret really. Basically, as a good product (I wasn't defective then) of the Singapore education system, I could perform mechanical functions reasonably well. So there wasn't much advantage to gain over one another over the "Reading" part of the oral examinations. So long as we read without much mistakes, smoothly with the right pace, the difference between the best reader and the above average ones will be 1-2 points at most. I wasn't great in the description of picture section when I first started. But Miss Ong trained us patiently and I managed to get the gist of it. Back then I had a decent creative writing mind, so basically what I had to do was to translate these into words because I would normally have different perspectives to my classmates. The weirdo genes flowed in my blood since birth, it wasn't acquired. Thus, I would normally do reasonably well in the second section as well.


This sucks. This kind of thing is a viscous cycle. The more you hate it, the less you'll practice and the less you practice, the worse you become and the more you hate it. Well knowing the problem does not mean it is easily addressable. Most of us know we are well aware that we are caught in the midst of the rat race. Many of us hate it, but most of us do nothing to get ourselves out.

When people were making fun of Ris Low some time back, I wasn't very rampant in joining my friends. Well I did imitate her a little because what she did was quite cute you know. Deep down I knew I wouldn't do better than her if I was asked an open ended question with a camera pointing at me and a microphone shoved into my face. Ok. I scorned at the Prime Minister for having no balls to face a foreign media for an unscripted interview. I admit I am no better at it myself. But you don't need to be a toastmaster to expect more from your country's top man.

The reason why I scored well in that particular conversation section was that I thought of the topic a few times before. So it ended up somewhat like a scripted interview. Somehow the message managed to flow and I finished every single point I wanted to convey. When the examiner Mr Tan, looked up halfway during my attempt and gave me a smile at the end, I knew I would nail that one.

The conversation question posed was "What will do you with $100?"

Now what will be your answer if I pose the question back to you, "What will you do if you are a 100 million lotto sole winner?


  1. Go to medical school, train to be a doctor, and then volunteer in third world countries for the rest of my life.


    1. Oh, and in between, randomly pay for strangers' groceries at the supermarket, especially during festive seasons like Christmas.

  2. Ha, sounds like we have something in common in the oratory department.

    Btw, there's no way to comment without an account with Blogger, Wordpress, etc. I created an account just for this!

  3. Hi Asingaporeanson,

    If I win, I will not tell anyone about it in the short-term. See my comments to TT regarding handling sudden windfall.

    What will I do with the money? A combination of securing passive sources of income, do things on my bucket list (within a shorter timeframe since now I have the financial resource to speed things up), re-plan my estate/will, fund some capacity building projects for individuals (close friends/family) and the community.

    Hi Void Decker,

    > there's no way to comment without an account with Blogger, Wordpress, etc.

    It depends on the security setting determined by each blogger. Some bloggers disallow anonymous comments, and thus the need for an account with Blogger, Wordpress, etc. There are bloggers who allow anonymous comments on their blog.

    Cheers, WD.

    1. Hi winkingdoll,

      Why would you need to secure passive sources of income when you have $100 million?

      Assuming you spend $1 million a year (and ignoring the interests accrued), that's 100 years of spending before the well runs dry.

      Surely you don't think you are going to live for another 100 years?

      P.S. Start on your bucket list now, or after you have secured yourself a nursing job. Don't leave till you have enough $$$ or when you are on your death bed. Because tomorrow might never come.

    2. Hi CK,

      I didn't state it explicitly, but I believe I will give away the lion's share of the $100 million over my lifetime (or in the worst case, in my will), keeping just enough $ to supply me with passive sources of income for a comfortable life. I reckon that I will put aside between $600K to $5 million to secure those passive sources of income, most likely a ball-park figure of $2 million.

      That way, I do not mix what is my personal money, from what I shall mentally put into the "To Give Away" (TGA) box. For my personal money, I shall use as I deem fit, including splurging on the occasional luxury depending on my whims. For the monies in the TGA box (including monies for my family/friends and those for charities), and my attitude will be that of a fiduciary. Hope the above clarifies the matter.

      As for the bucket list, I have already started/completed some items. E.g. Experience life in a different country, develop my psychic skills, try a different career, learn to drive (albeit in Singapore), learn a foreign language (ok, I have "returned" what I learned to my teachers, but still been-there, done-that), start a business (ok, have closed it since but still been-there, done-that), help a stranger in need, make a difference in the life of another person, etc.

      Should tomorrow never come, I would personally find it a blessing because of my personal philosophy that death is merely a transition to another state. For me, everyday is a good day to die. Note: This is different from wishing to be dead everyday -- the crux is that I am ok that I am alive, I am also ok if I were to die. For sure, I soak myself into the moments and enjoy the present where possible. But for me, the ultimate goal isn't to live a long life or to seek whatever achievements in life.

      Cheers, WD.

    3. Dear Winking Doll,

      Unfortunately, it will be almost impossible not to let anyone know that you won 100 million dollars. The question is how fast everyone around you knows. From there, everyone will want a piece of you. You'll be branded as unfeeling if you do not response to each sob story.

      I have always want to do better financially so that I can provide a better life for my family and maybe helping my friends out if I can. But unlike, I've never wanted to get rich by winning a lottery. The implications to my life will be unimaginable.

      I guess I'll never be wealthy, at this rate I'm going.

  4. For me, I will start writing thrillers. While I am not writing, I will be up to my neck in human rights activism.

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  6. Hey!

    I am also laughed at my mispronunciation! Even till now!
    I fared the worst in talking in IELTS!

    Some cruel people still laughed at me when I did not speak clearly.
    In the past, not hardworking enough to watch English show and to listen and practice.. Noone to practise with me and no enrichment centre.

    Haiz. Sometimes I wish I could go to speech therapy and overtime I could speak with confidence.

    Back to $100 million q, I will engage speech therapy and overcome my fear of speaking! Thrash those who laughed at me! I rem my primary school Chinese teacher telling me the top leader hired teachers to teach them languages intensively! So see, the leaders are those who speak well and those who can't articulate well are deemed slow and forever being stepped on.

    Then of course, I will engage these teachers for my children to give them the confidence and the "unfair advantage" (copied from one tuition centre ad). The rest of the money is for investment in whatever to generate passive income (quoted by ex-manager.. Saying I should not resign but to work hard to be able to have passive income).

    Then I Will open a tuition centre (many) for those under privileged students! Help them tramp the current disadvantaged situation they are in. Oh! Love your post! Merely thinking makes me so happy!

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