If you want to be half a billion dollars richer — and who doesn’t? — clearly the answer is to do more business with Citibank and cross your fingers.

A judge ruled last week that the bank couldn’t get back the $500 million it had accidentally wired to a client’s creditors. Those creditors were, presumably, all like “Woohoo!” and Citibank was probably all like “(expletive deleted)” and someone somewhere went out and bought a very nice dinner because $500 million should get you steak and lobster and a whole lot of wine.

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Shortly after the ruling, CNN explained why this error won’t happen to regular, non-creditor people and how you can go to jail if you keep money sent to you by accident.

We love you CNN, but pfft.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren are nothing if not dreamers. And this week we’re dreaming of spending half a billion dollars that suddenly appeared in our bank accounts, like Tooth Fairy money if the Tooth Fairy was Oprah Winfrey.

Come dream along.


Camden estate, $8.5 million

Sure, you could go buy John Travolta’s Islesboro home for $5 million, with plenty of room to spread out among its 48 acres and 20 bedrooms. Or you could add a few million and really get a nice place.

We’re partial to the most expensive house on the Maine Listings site — a stunning arts and crafts style home on 23 acres overlooking Camden Harbor. Yeah, OK, so it only has three bedrooms, blah, blah, blah, but it also has a one-bedroom guesthouse, a home theater, six fireplaces, custom stained glass, solar power and a vanishing edge swimming pool and hot tub. The grounds are so gorgeous they look like a movie set, but don’t mention that to Travolta.

Ship Ahoy Motel, Boothbay Harbor, $4.5 million

Surely you want that $500 million to stop lazing around all day and start working for you. Buy a motel complex! This place features seven buildings on 22 acres, with 56 rooms, an event center, a deep-water dock and a large family home under construction. Hey, you have to spend money to get money. For goodness sake, you can’t count on these accidental bank deposits every year.

• Support a charity, prices vary


And by support we really mean support. With even a fraction of that $500 million, you could fund the Wilton Scholarship Foundation, New Beginnings in Lewiston and Somali Bantu Community Association, and still have money left for pretty much everything else on our list. The Maine Association of Nonprofits maintains a great list of nonprofits by region, so you can choose charities close to you as well as close to your heart. Maybe don’t wait until you’ve got half a billion dollars in the bank? Even a few bucks could help now.

Maine State Park Annual Pass, $105

Don’t stop at one — gift a pass to every person you know and love and would care to see from 6 feet away. Start setting up your summer social calendar now! Work friends? Sure! Old high school friends? Let’s reminisce! Your cousins-in-laws? Strong maybe.

• Spend a week in a luxe tree house, prices vary

Search online and you’ll find half a dozen Maine tree houses to rent for a week’s vacation — or two weeks, since, heck, we do have half a billion to spend. Purposely Lost in Springvale caught our eye pretty quickly with, to quote: “Three luxury treehouses and two buried hobbit homes.”

Um, WHAT? That settles it, we’re taking four weeks off to Frodo it, too.


• Custom furniture by Thos. Moser, $1 million (we guess?)

Good news! The high-end Auburn furniture maker is now offering 15% off. . . orders of $5,000 or more. But, hey, when you’re a millionaire 500 times over, you can afford it! So tell them what you want, how you want it to look and, boom, handcrafted one-of-a-kind pieces will grace your new oceanside estate. Just know that among their noncustom designs, a Thos. Moser foot stool goes for $300, a rocking chair is around $4,000 and a whole dresser is close to $8,000. See, now, you’re glad the Camden place only has three bedrooms, huh?

• Never do anything you don’t want to again, prices vary

For Bag Lady, it’s cook diner, dust or wait during a garage appointment.

For Shopping Siren, it’s do laundry, clean the microwave or struggle with her hair every. single. morning.

With that much money, we would prop up the service economy by hiring that all out AND tipping well AND getting weekly massages. Oh, this is heavenly.


Best find: Nicole Maines personalized video message, Cameo, $75

There’s a site called Cameo where you can pay for a celebrity to create a personalized video message. So, like, your brother just got his first office job? For $495, Paul Lieberstein  — Toby from “The Office” — will offer his congratulations.

Or for the bargain price of $75 donated to charity, Maine actress Nicole Maines will do it! We love her, we love that she’s on “Supergirl” and we love her advocacy of transgender issues. And the best part is that you don’t have to be a millionaire to afford a Nicole hello.

Think twice: About keeping money that’s not yours.

Unless a judge says it’s OK.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who only need enough money to buy steak, hold the lobster) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]

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