Having it all, and then some

Ive often said that if I won the lottery jackpot (and by jackpot I mean something in the neighborhood of $100 million), that everyone around me would benefit. With $100 million in my pocket, I would take a large chunk and reward all the people in my life that are important to me. Im talking about houses, cars, jewelry, hot dog stands whatever they wanted. Wealth to that degree means just about anything is possible, and I would want to provide just that to my closest friends and family. But before I started dolling out the gifts, I would make darn sure that I had all my finances in order. Given the gift of financial freedom, I would not want to get myself into trouble with stupid investments or excessive spending. History is ripe with examples of people who suddenly had it all and then squandered it just as fast. In many cases after a person wins a large sum of money, their problems only multiply. Many lottery winners will tell you that once people find out that you have a lot of money, their attitudes toward you change dramatically. And lets not forget the constant onslaught from agencies looking for you to either invest or donate to their causes. Winning a lot of money can become bothersome if youre not prepared to handle the intrusion into your life. Ive always said that the best thing a person can do after winning the lottery is to shut up. Keep the money a secret and youll avoid all the lecherous people that come out of the woodwork to feed off you. Unfortunately, most lotteries require you to go public with your face and name so they can promote their game. They love to show photos and video footage of you holding that oversized check with too many zeros to count. After that, its not too hard to find out where you live. In the end, the best way to become rich is to earn it through hard work. Obviously, earning $100 million is unrealistic for most of us, but honestly, do you really need $100 million to get by in this world? I would argue no ($50 million would do just fine). Ironically, Iron Man opened this past weekend with a $100 million take at the box office, the second-best premiere ever for a non-sequel (just behind Spider-Man). And while no individual person is set procure all that money, several of the main people involved just got (more) rich overnight. Iron Man, the latest in a slew of superhero films delivered over the last few years, introduces Tony Stark, a man who is wealthy beyond the average persons wildest dreams. But this man is also a genius and decides to use his brains and money to create a truly amazing product a product everyone in the world would want to control. Billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the kind of man we would all imagine ourselves to be if we were super rich. Hes smart, savvy, cool, and a quick wit (sort of the antithesis of Bill Gates). However, when youre that impressive and very public with your image, certain individuals will stop at nothing to see you fall. Theres no doubt that the driving force behind Iron Man is Robert Downey, Jr. This phoenix has risen from the depths of drug addiction to reclaim a spot among his generations most talented actors. One can only hope that he is able to maintain sobriety and continue to deliver great performances like this. What impressed me the most with this movie was its ability to maintain an edge. Too often, superhero movies dummy-down for younger viewers and fizzle once the main character discovers his super powers. Iron Man delivered a storyline that was both tight and believable while avoiding the softness that so often hampers these big-budget productions. Even if you generally shy away from superhero movies, I would encourage you to give Iron Man a try. Its fast-paced, full of gadgetry, and entertaining from beginning to end. Id even go so far as to rank this as one of the better superhero films Ive ever seen; right up there with Batman Begins and Spider-Man. A well-oiled B+ for Iron Man. Got a question or comment for Dom? Contact him at moviediary@comcast.net

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