Going out with a smile...and a pocketful of cash!

What would you do if you had only a few months to live?

Personally, I have a reasonably long list of items, most of which cost an awful lot of money. I don't really know how I'd end up paying for them if push ever came to shove; I never really got past making the list. Perhaps I'd rob a bank or hijack an armored car or just sign up for a lot of credit cards and let them repossess my casket.

Maybe I need to make up two lists: things to do and ways to pay for them.

At any rate, I was recently inspired by the story of Jon Matthews. A resident of Milton Keynes, England, Matthews was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer, in April, 2006. At the time, his doctor told him "Don't make plans for Christmas." Matthews decided to try his luck and placed a bet with the William Hill Bookmaking Company, who offered him 50-1 odds against his living for another year. Recently, however, the bet paid off and Matthews pocketed approximately $10,000. He has decided to give half his winnings to the Macmillan cancer charity.

The moral of the story? When medicine fails, maybe a $200 bet is what you need to keep going!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. Jon Matthews is, officially, his new hero.