What Would YOU Be Willing to Do for a Million Dollars?

Several years ago I wrote a very popular post highlighting the seven deadly sins of personal finance. Of course, one of those seven deadly sins was greed.

Greed often makes people do some really crazy things they wouldn’t otherwise consider.

For example,  Baker from Man Vs. Debt asked the other day if you would be willing to kill a stranger for a billion bucks.

I can honestly say that I would never even consider such a proposal for a billion dollars, and I would be insulted at such an offer if it were to ever come my way.     In fact, I feel the need to take a shower just writing about such an evil proposition.

On the other hand, if the offer was for  two billion dollars I probably would have to mull it over for just a little bit.   ;-)

Do  you  remember the 1993 movie Indecent Proposal starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore?   In that movie Robert Redford ends up agreeing to let his wife sleep with another man for $1 million.   Thanks to inflation that amounts to $1,472,031 in today’s dollars.

A telephone poll conducted by Entertainment Weekly determined that almost eight percent of respondents would, um, loan their spouse to somebody for the evening.   Another 13% wanted to think about it – most likely over a few cocktails, I’m sure.   I suspect the majority of those people were in the “yes” camp but were too embarrassed to admit it.

Would you be willing to do that?   I certainly wouldn’t.

But, then again, everybody has their price.

It’s not as if $1,472,031 is chump change.   When confronted with a proposition, everybody will do something for that tidy amount of money.

The trick is figuring out where you as an individual draw the line.

Maybe you wouldn’t offer your spouse up for $1 million, but maybe you would if the number was $10 million, or $100 million.     If you’re being honest, there is a number out there that’s going to cause you to rationalize your decision for taking the money.

I recently found an internet poll that asked people what they would do for a million bucks.   Some of the answers were quite disturbing to me.   For example, at the time this post was written:

38% of those participating were actually willing to euthanize their pet.

8% would have one of their limbs surgically removed.

1% would have their tongue removed.

So how about you?   What would you actually consider doing for $1,472,031?     I’ve included 14 hypothetical propositions along with my thoughts on what I would do if given the chance:

1. Go on a bread and water diet for two years.

I’d take this proposition in a New York minute.   I love bread and I can think of worse things to drink than water.   Hopefully, I wouldn’t die of scurvy or something like that before the two years was up.

2. Never eat meat again – assuming you’re not a vegetarian, of course.

Sorry.   That is sacrificing a little too much of what life has to offer.

3. Move to another country – permanently.   (Catch: It must be a country whose primary language you can’t speak.)

Ooo.   That’s tempting, but I can’t imagine leaving America and never being able to come back.

4. Given only a machete, flint and the clothes on your back, live alone on a deserted island for two years.

Although I am a big fan of Survivorman, I am no Les Stroud.   Forget it.

5. Give up television for the rest of your life.

Give up television for a year – absolutely.   Two years, probably.   For the rest of my life?   Never.     A life without House Hunters is a life that’s just not worth living.

6. Have a sex change operation.

Yeah, right.

7. Live the rest of your life 250 pounds overweight.

Why would I want to live the life of an grossly overweight millionaire?   Never.

8. Play one round of Russian Roulette.

Considering the payoff, those are some lousy odds.

9. Have all your teeth pulled out.

No. (And that’s the tooth.)

10. Put a tattoo on your forehead that said in large letters: I’M A SELL-OUT

Although that tattoo may read “…SELL-OUT,” it’s really screaming “MORON.”   No.

11. Sleep in a box of deadly scorpions every night for two weeks (8-hours each day).

Hell no!   I’d rather play Russian Roulette.

12. Give up your driving privileges for the rest of your life.

Driving isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway.   Absolutely!

13. Sit at the bottom of an outhouse for 8 hours – naked.

Uh, no.   Then again, if I was allowed to wear one of those HazMat outfits…

14. Give up the last 10 years of your natural life.

If I knew I was otherwise going to live to be 100 years old, I would go for it.   But what if the good Lord’s plans for me aren’t so generous?   I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

Okay, I’ve given you my opinions.   Now let me hear from you.   Which of these crazy propositions would you take on for $1,472,031?



Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Wow, you are a mind reader. That movie was what led me to stumble upon the question (and then share my reflection on the blog).

    I was researching the movie for my other post this week (it’ll all make sense later).

    One thing, though. You wouldn’t become a vegetarian for a million bucks? Are you joking? There are an absolute blue million benefits to doing it even if it COST you money.

    I can’t believe you’d do bread & water for two ears (not a chance I do this), but wouldn’t be vegetarian. ;-)

    I’d also do outhouse and driving!
    .-= Baker´s last blog ..Would You Kill a Stranger For a Billion Dollars? =-.

  2. 3

    says

    As much as I would hate to post this I think that I would have to admit that I would do #13 but then again I did work on a farm every summer growing up :) If you think about it then yes it is disgusting but you are making $125,000/hr – $2,083.33/minute – $35.72/second so I’m sure that are other things I could think about besides what is all around me :)
    .-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Win $500 in the 2009 Credit Card Chaser Love/Hate Credit Cards Contest =-.

    • 4

      says

      @Baker: Nah. I love meat too much. The bread and water proposition was for only two years, but the vegetarian gig was for the rest of my life – too much for me to bear. As for the outhouse thing: you’re a sick man. lol

      @Mr CC: Or at Dodger Stadium! Although that might cost me close to a million bucks if I include 81 games worth of parking and concessions. :-)

      @Credit Card Chaser: You not only have to think about what is around you, but what would be coming down from above. You’re sick too. Are you and Baker related? LOL

  3. 5

    says

    I stopped reading at “tongue removed…” Just kidding, of course. Still…seriously???

    Some of the items on your list had me cracking up. The thought of mutilating my own body (or even being that much overweight) is just too much to bear, even for that sum. Doing a veggie or bread diet…I could probably swing. I was veggie for 3 months once and enjoyed it. And I love bread…hmmm.

    Scorpions? Only in the horoscope.

    I think I would do the outhouse though. Come on, it’s only 8 hours. People do much dirtier jobs. :)

    Had a lot of fun with this one…thanks for posting (and to Baker for the original).
    .-= Wojciech´s last blog ..How to Write a Great Financial Mission Statement =-.

  4. 7

    says

    There’s nothing I would trade for the certainty of $1,472,031, but for the speculation? That’s a horse of a different color; a very grey, drab horse with a long-term investment timeframe.
    .-= Susan Tiner´s last blog ..QuickBooks Inventory: Let’s Assemble a Product =-.

    • 9

      says

      @Susan: Good for you, Girlfriend! Well said.

      @Bret: Another noble thought. Although isn’t that a double-win proposition? You get the 10% returns on savings PLUS $1,472,031! :-) Thanks for noticing – although let’s give credit where credit is due, Bret. After all, you recommended the theme! Still tweeking it – you know how engineers are, as long as we have budget, a project will never be considered finished. LOL

  5. 10

    says

    I’d take the vegetarian option – I was one for a couple of years when I couldn’t cook, and I’d find it easy now I really can. Even though I love meat, for $1 million in the bank and the freedom that’d give me for my life elsewhere I’d do it, especially as I think as a planet we probably should.

    I’d happily give up driving, too. Some of my million dollars would go into a trust for cab rides!
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Facing mortality when you have a family =-.

    • 11

      says

      I just couldn’t go vegetarian, Investor. It would be especially cruel knowing that I could eat more often at great steak houses and be unable to feast filet Mignons so tender you could cut them with a knife.

      I’m just glad you, too, didn’t admit to wanting to sit at the bottom of an outhouse like some other sickos I know. LOL

  6. 12

    says

    I can’t believe you wouldn’t move to England and learn English for a million dollars ;-)

    I reckon everyone has a price. You might not kill for $1m, $10m or even $100m. But how about $1billion, $10billion or $100billion?!

    $100billion could save millions of lives in Africa, so arguably it would be wrong not to do the deal.

    • 13

      says

      You know what? Last month the Honeybee and I watched a British movie called “The Business” (which I reviewed on this site, by the way – sorry for the shameless plug). Although the movie was really good, I spent half the flick asking her, “What did he just say?” or, “Did you catch what he said?” I swear, at times I thought I was watching a foreign film without the luxury of subtitles! LOL

      As I noted in the article, I would never kill for $1B, but might have to consider it for two. ;-)

  7. 14

    says

    Your article is quite interesting but you will be shock to see what persons will do just for money. Those that you have written I wouldn’t think of doing myself either. Nothing is wrong with money it is the Love for it and we should not sell our soul just to gain it.

  8. 16

    says

    I am actualy a man who does all the thing you could think of for a price. Check out JonesForHire.com and learn more SPREAD the word Believe me the things people ask about. One man offered me his house to allow him to chop off one of my hands but the house was in shambles so not worth the deal. I HAVE MY PRICE FOR ABSOLUTLY ANYTHING! Check it ou and as i said spread the word.

    • 17

      says

      Why don’t you share with my readers which of the options I offered in the article you would be willing to do for $1.4 million bucks?

      (That’s the least you can do considering I am giving you a free plug!) :-)

  9. 18

    says

    The only ones from that list I would not be willing to do are numbers 8 and 11. Just because it wouldnt do me any good to have millions if im dead. I think itd be loads of fun to be paid to move to a foriegn country and all of the other, including the outhouse, would be way too easy.

    • 19

      says

      @Devin: What about the out house? You said you’d do that, but you could easily catch hepatitis or cholera sitting in all that excrement. There is no cure for hepatitis that and it is usually fatal in the long run.

  10. 20

    Alisa King says

    I don’t believe I would do any of the above..(BUT)I would let my husband do # 13.. I am for sure he would do it if it was only a womens outhouse..hahaha

  11. 22

    Melissa says

    Why wouldn’t more people try #1? I would! I could make up for the lost time once I get my paycheck. Think about it. Two years ain’t that long in the grand scheme of things and there are lots of different types of bread.

  12. 23

    Dustin says

    I thnk you are overestimating how bad the outhouse would be. I’d do it right here right now for a cool million.

    What’s 8 hrs of crap for $1 mil?

  13. 24

    Financial Bondage says

    I don’t want a million dollars… but I’d love to be debt free with $100k in the bank. That would be a nice place to be financially. :)

  14. 25

    mark mansell says

    this is no joke ..i would do anything for a million….i have six kids….i have never made over 25,000 a year..so a million would be nice

  15. 26

    in need says

    Im up for the out house 8 hour gig
    Ill even let them televise it
    Im in such need ill do it for 10hrs please i give consent to the owner of this site to give out my Email to the person who puts the money up first
    please do.

  16. 27

    Corey Simon says

    I would do them all. If I would die, this would make sure that my kids would have some what of start. yes I would miss them, but reward of being able to take care of them without worry would be worth it.

  17. 28

    anonymousWatcher says

    I don’t know….i’m pretty sure i wouldn’t be vegetarian for the rest of my life. For a few months perhaps. Bread and water 2 years, probably. Give up driving? I can’t even drive yet, and probably end up building a runway in my backyard and a Leer jet to come with that. I’m sure the investments would have payed for themselves after a few years.

  18. 29

    Palkanlaskenta Lappeenranta says

    I can do number 2 even thought i am not vegetarian i can do it for one million.Well as an accountant in Finland i mostly earn enough money and if i will get a million for doing it well i will never give up.

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