Tonawanda News

November 29, 2012

DUVALL: A dollar (or two) and a dream

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — They say all it takes is a dollar and a dream. That’s not entirely true for this week’s record $500 million Powerball jackpot, though.

It actually costs $2.

I haven’t bought a ticket yet, but I probably will. Unless I forget, which is plenty likely. But with so many people day-dreaming about such an incredible pot of gold I figured why not engage in some of it myself.

Here follows an abridged list of the things I could do if I had $500 million:

• I would pay my favorite band from my high school and college years, the Barenaked Ladies, to write a new song: “If I had $500 million.” Then I would rent out First Niagara Center for a free concert to have them play it — with all the original band members on stage.

• While we’re mentioning First Niagara Center, where the Buffalo Sabres aren’t playing right now, I would publicly offer to pay the $182 million separating the NHL owners and players in the lockout.

Perhaps the public shaming would move both sides to an agreement. If not, I’d buy the Phoenix Coyotes, being sold out of bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar and do my best Terry Pegula impersonation.

Owning a professional hockey team would be awesome and $500 million would get the job done.

• If I decided football was a better sporting outlet I’d offer to buy out Ryan Fitzpatrick’s contract just so I could stop getting so mad every time he throws a game-ending interception.

In so doing I would probably add years to my life in spared aggravation. 

• I’d buy Ann Romney another dressage horse to make up for all the times I made fun of it during the campaign.

• I’d cut a check to the Papa John’s owner for $8 million, just to make him shut up about Obamacare. Any restaurant owner who threatens to raise prices on mediocre fare to make a political point would, I’m certain, take the money and run. Then we would all know just how disingenuous that guy is.

Screw Papa John’s. Order from your favorite LOCAL pizza joint and help their owner pay for health insurance for his employees.

• I’d give fellow rich dude Warren Buffet’s secretary a raise. Dear Warren seems to prefer pointing out the percentage she pays in taxes compared to the salary he pays her — rather than just giving her a raise.

• Speaking of secretaries, I’d immediately hire one of my own. I can never remember when I’m supposed to do stuff.

• I’d buy a new car. A nice one. And I would try to convince myself not to care whether it was made in the U.S.A. or not, but if I bought a foreign car I’d probably buy two Americans ones and give them away to balance out the socio-economic karma.

Anyone want a Buick? It’s on me. But I’m keeping the Porsche.

• I’d tear down the Skyway since the state DOT seems to think just leaving it sit there for another 20 years is the best plan they’ve got. 

I’ll find somewhere else to drive that Porsche, I promise.

Here’s hoping I win so at least a few of these wishes can come true. Though it’ll probably take the secretary I can’t afford otherwise to remind me to buy the ticket.

So much for that dollar (or two) and a dream.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. His column appears Wednesdays and Sundays. Contact him at