I bought a Powerball ticket the other day, and it nearly ruined my weekend.

Ordinarily, I’m not a big customer of the lottery industry. But every once in awhile, when the jackpot reaches stratospheric levels, I’ll reach for my wallet and pay what some refer to as “the stupidity tax.”

So it was that not long before Christmas, when the Powerball bundle was heading toward $500 million, I took the plunge.

At first, like most lottery ticket buyers, I found myself focusing on the jackpot.

What would I do with that sort of money? Even after taxes, that’s a Scrooge McDuck-sized pile of cash.

The possibilities were nearly endless:

•Travel — post COVID — was on the list.

•So was making sure that our grandchildren’s college education was taken care of. We’ve started 529 plans for all of them, but this would take things to a whole new level.

•And while our kids are doing well, it would be wonderful to assure a meaningful measure of security for their futures.

•Meanwhile, there’s a piece of lakefront property in New Hampshire that Connie and I have often dreamed of.

Those were just the self-indulgent things on the list. At the same time, there were many good things that could be done on a community level:

•Endowments for Arts Place, John Jay Center for Learning, Jay Community Center, Friends of the Limberlost and Jay County Public Library.

•With that kind of money, I daydreamed, I could be a one-man redevelopment commission, a kind of a force of nature for rescuing local downtowns. The former Stewart Brothers Furniture building would be acquired to become the new home for Dunkirk’s library and the Glass Museum. Downtown Portland and downtown Redkey would get serious facelifts. Unencumbered by local politics and second-guessing, I’d go all out.

And then, just as quickly as the daydreams began, misgivings materialized:

•How would that kind of windfall affect my friendships? Would it create a barrier? Would I become the bank of last resort for acquaintances who had fallen on hard times?

•Would we have to move? Would we have to go somewhere that could provide some measure of anonymity?

•How could we help our grandchildren and children without ruining their lives? It’s one thing to help, but you don’t want to create dependency. No one wants to create a generation of “trust fund babies.” At least, I don’t.

And finally, just about the time I pulled into the driveway at home, there was something more.

At this stage in my life — I think it was Garrison Keillor who referred to it as the time when the closing credits begin to roll — it’s inevitable that I find myself wondering how I want to be remembered after I’m gone.

For me, the answers were simple. I want to be remembered as a good husband, as a good father, as a good boss, as someone who had an impact on his community and as someone who tried to make a difference in the world.

Would I trade all that to be remembered as “the guy who won the Powerball”?

The answer was no.

But I have to say that the question bothered me all weekend. I could feel the lottery ticket in the pocket of my jeans, and for all I knew it was a winner.

So it was a relief Monday to find out that the jackpot was growing and my ticket was just another piece of paper to be recycled.

I don’t think I have ever felt luckier.