June 24, 2021

If I Won the Lottery... (a writing prompt)

I was sitting with my computer, asking Jerry, "What can I write about?" (Read in a whiny voice.) He said, "Why don't you write about how you ask me this question every single day and then you never take my suggestions anyway?" Hahaha, it's true!

I like that I've gotten in the habit of doing some theme posts each week--my running updates on Monday, Transformation Tuesday, weight loss stuff on Wednesday, Friday Night Photos, heritage recipe on Saturday. That leaves Thursday and Sunday for me to try to get a little creative--some days, though, I'm totally blank.

Jerry and I were recently talking about what we would do if we "won the lottery" (meaning, a huge sum of money--not a $10 scratch off). My idea was pretty unique (I've never heard anyone else say it before, anyways) so I thought I'd share it here as a writing prompt:

What would you do if money and resources were not an issue?

My big idea came about one day when I was telling my kids about how much better it was back when I was a kid and we didn't have the internet (you know, the stereotypical "get off my lawn!" old people talk). I MISS the days before the internet. Of course, having the internet has opened a HUGE world of possibilities in numerous ways--it's a very positive thing, for the most part--but for those of us that remember the pre-AOL days, there is something nostalgic about that time. Back then, we didn't miss the internet, because it didn't exist yet. Everything was so SIMPLE.

My mom said that I used to watch the radio--when the radio was on, I would pull up a chair and watch. Haha! We were easily entertained back then.

Anyway, this led to my telling my kids, "I wish you guys could live in the 80's for just a week--you'd appreciate everything you have now so much more!"

And this is where my idea was brainstormed. If I had infinite money and resources...

I would buy an island somewhere and section it off into different camps. Each camp would be dedicated to a period of history: 1100's, 1500's, 1800's, 1910's, 1920's, 1930's, etc. etc. The camps would be set up so that they are exactly like what you would have found in that time period.

This wouldn't operate like a museum, but a literal home-away-from-home *camp*. People would pay for a week or two weeks or whatever amount of time to go live in that time period. They would not be allowed to bring cell phones or anything at all--everything that they need would be provided, but only if it's something that was relevant in that particular time period.

So if I wanted to send my kids there for a week to live in the 1980's, for example...

They would have to show up with nothing. They would be given a wardrobe for the week (with 1980's clothing), a house that is identical to what a house looked like in the 80's, with all of the 80's decor, a landline phone complete with phone book and directory assistance, a radio, an 80's television set, a kitchen equipped to cook things that were popular in the 80's, etc.

Anyone remember these couches?

There would be several other people/families in different houses at the same time, so they could all really live as if they were neighbors in the 80's. If they want to take pictures to post on Facebook later, they can use a disposable camera and get their photos a week or two later, like we all did before cell phones ;) 

Fun, right?

Haha, maybe it sounds like torture to some people, but I would LOVE to do something like that! I'd love to do it for all different time periods. It would be a blast to invite a bunch of friends who are roughly the same age to go stay for a week at camp in their "childhood era".

Probably not what most people think of when planning on how to spend their lottery winnings... but this is honestly what I would love to do if it were possible!


  1. This was fun! I'm an 80's baby and man would this be fun! My husband and I talk about this too, even though we dont play the lottery, it's fun to think about.

  2. Like Westworld kind of! I think that's a great idea.

  3. LOL, loved that couch as a kid!

  4. What a cool idea! There was a series that either PBS or the BBC did where they took a group of people and recreated an era in a similar way. I really enjoyed watching those shows - it was fascinating the way some folks adapted and some did not.

  5. Oh wow I LOVE that idea! I'd be first in line to sign up! Probably for a spot in the 1990's so I can relive my childhood!

  6. OMG! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that idea! There would be several camps I would spend a week at. I hope you win the lottery :)

  7. The park where some writer friends and I "retreat" a few times a year didn't have internet access for a long time after internet access was common. I loved it. I had to plan ahead, setting an email autoresponder, and researching beforehand anything I needed to use in my writing.

    Then, one day when I was at the retreat, my new computer FOUND internet access. I was horrified, pissed even. My "retreat" was spoiled. I didn't tell anyone else right away, but eventually their computers either updated or they got new ones with auto-connect settings and soon we were all on the 'net when we were supposed to be writing.

    I use a program called Freedom to block my internet sometimes. While this helps me be more productive, it requires me to turn it on or, more importantly, not turn it off! I have so little self-control.

    So I'm not sure if your idea would be lovely or awful. It definitely would be a shock to your children as going back to the 1920s would be to me. We just get used to a baseline.

    I do love that you're thinking about this though. I think people would pay to be transported, for a week, with the promise they'd get to come home to the present.

  8. Neat idea!! (Please include modern TP/menstrual supplies when you send people way back in time -- oof! 😹) BBC did a version of this called, "The Supersizers Go..." with Sue Perkins and Giles Coren. They are hilarious!

    Channel 4 and PBS showed "The 1900 House" which has a lot more detail. There are several sequels in various countries too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_1900_House

  9. This post was fun. It brought to mind a recent occurrence with a very young man. We were in the process of buying a car and the young sales associate tried to call us. We gave him our land line number. Apparently it came up busy and he thought it was disconnected. Haha. He didn't know what a busy signal sounded like. Too funny!!!

  10. I am fond of my modern conveniences (especially indoor plumbing). I could manage a short stint in the 80s or even a bit further back, but no interest in anything too rustic. For me, lottery winnings would be all about travel. For hubs, it would be about replacing all of the crap vehicles we own with new reliable ones. Too bad we never play the lottery!

  11. I love this idea! I would sign up for every period of history you had to offer!


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