Samir has it right: the question of what you’d do if you had a million dollars is essentially the same as what you’d do with a million dollars. Sure, you could answer, “If I had a million dollars, I’d light myself on fire and jump out of a tree.” But the question strongly implies “What would you do that you couldn’t do right now if you had a million dollars.” And while rich people often do stupid things, stupidity itself is free.
One of my coworkers if fond of saying that if he won the lottery he wouldn’t be the guy who says “first I’m going to pay off my debt” because if he’s got lottery money in the bank he doesn’t “give a s#$% about my credit rating”. I’m however more in the camp of one of my friends at work who points out that even if it wasn’t a multi-million dollar payout, he’d quit his job because how much of an ass would he feel like if he could’ve spent X-many years doing what he wanted, but instead kept a job and got killed during commute. For me, a million dollars wouldn’t be enough to technically retire for the rest of my life, but if I had enough money to pay off my house and enough in the bank to still afford to feed the family for the next 10-15 years I think it would be foolish to trudge down to my job 5 days a week. This probably says something about me not being in the “right job”, but I just haven’t seen enough openings for “Smart Ass: with good pay and benefits” to risk the family’s health and well being on trying to create that market.
So… what would you do with a million dollars? and if not a million, how much would it take?