If I had won the $588,000,000 jackpot the Bradenton area would be so much better

December 2, 2012 

I didn't wake up Thursday a multimillionaire after the largest Powerball jackpot drawing ever. But I did spend some quality time the night before thinking about what I would do if I did win the $587.5 million. Bet you did, too.

For starters, the fiancée would get anything and everything she desires. Luckily, that would mean still living in Manatee County. She loves it here. I do, too.

We'd probably buy up property on the northern tip of Anna Maria Island. Create a cozy complex of cottages. I like the sound of "Tatangelo Town." There would be everything from a water park to houses with personal caretakers for all three of our dogs.

Then we would get down to the business of really making things right.

I don't think $587.5 million would do much toward changing the world, especially after Uncle Sam took his cut. But that kind of money could do wonders for life in the Bradenton area.

Like extending Riverwalk all the way from downtown to the gates of our new home on AMI. Better yet, we'd pay for the newly named Bradenton Area City Walk to snake through the entire county.

It would go over major roadways and through neighborhoods to all our favorite spots from Cortez to the Village of the Arts to the riverfront parts of Palmetto. We could take long bicycle rides then without worrying about being run over by a texting teenager.

We'd also happily pay for every street to have a sidewalk. Is it just me, or does Bradenton have a serious shortage of places to walk? I've lived in a good number of cities from Florida to California and never recall there being so few places to stroll safely.

Next, purchase City Hall. Bring in a bunch of boutiques for the fiancée to do all her shopping while I drink and eat at a pub imported directly from Dublin. A ping-pong social club where the police station currently stands would be nice, too.

Oh yeah, and toensure The Manatee

Performing Arts Center gets finished in time for the March engagement of "Miss Saigon," we'd buy the naming rights. You guessed it. "Welcome to the Tatangelo Performing Arts Center."

Of course, we would give a ton of money to charity. Charities for animals. Charities for noble causes. Even charities for people. And, yes, if you're reading dear parents and siblings and such, we would be charitable to family members. Might even throw a few bucks at our various BFFs.

And then, after doing all those good deeds, I would personally get Led Zeppelin back together for a show at McKechnie Field. Our favorite local acts would open.

Our favorite restaurants would supply the food. Tickets would be given to a few thousand of our favorite friends and relatives.

Finally, I wouldn't quit my job. Not completely at least. I have too much fun writing this stuff.

Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.

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