What would I do if I won $1.9bn? Get petty revenge on my nemesis

What’s the point of being filthy rich if you can’t indulge your grudges? If I ever scoop the US’s Powerball jackpot, the world will fear my racoon-based vengeance

There was a one in 292m chance of it happening and it turns out … I didn’t beat the odds. I regret to inform you that I have not won the $1.9bn (£1.7bn) Powerball jackpot, the largest lottery prize in US history, despite splashing out on three $2 tickets.

Some people may be of the opinion that not winning the jackpot is a blessing of sorts. There are, after all, lots of stories about people who win the lottery and find it ruins their life. Friends and family harass them for money; they burn through their winnings; life loses its meaning. While that’s all very sad, let me tell you right now: winning almost two billion dollars would not ruin my life. I wouldn’t be one of those people who squanders their money on fast cars (I can’t drive) and vintage champagne (OK, maybe I’d buy some champagne). I would use the cash wisely.

OK, OK, not entirely wisely. It goes without saying that I would donate to charity and do good deeds blah blah blah. But I’d save a little money for eccentric-rich-person stuff. I wouldn’t pull an Elon Musk and buy Twitter, but I’d definitely pull a Barbra Streisand and clone my dog.

But do you know what I’m most excited about? My lottery-funded petty revenge fund. I mean, what is the point of being filthy rich if you can’t be petty? There is a developer who bought the house next door who has been making my life hell for months with 7am construction starts. If I was a newly minted multimillionaire, I would buy all the properties within a five-mile radius of this developer’s house and turn them into rehabilitation centres for sick racoons. Knowing he was lying awake listening to the sounds of racoons scratching and screeching in the Philadelphia night would bring more joy to me than a superyacht in the Mediterranean. (My wife may not agree.) I guess I could use the rest of the money for therapy.

• Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist

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Arwa Mahdawi

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