THE BLOG
12/17/2013 10:26 am ET Updated Feb 15, 2014

Syria's Mega Millions

There are 2,304,266 refugees in the bitter cold Syrian refugee camps, 20 percent of whom are children under 18. That's half a million children possibly freezing to death as we speak.

There is big news here in the U.S. that our Mega Millions jackpot is $580,000,000 at the time of this writing, and growing fast. It could hit a full billion dollars by the next drawing, this afternoon.

UNICEF gives 100 percent of your donation directly to its intended cause. Their blankets gift is $23.84 for four blankets. That's $5.96 a fleece blanket. Their winter clothes gift is $56.76 for a full set of winter clothes.

In other words, $580 million equals 97,315,436 fleece blankets, or 10,218,464 sets of warm winter clothes, for the mega millions of people, including children, dying of cold in Syria.

It is also enough money to bring enough hot food and safe drinking water to these children for a year. And to throw in a few hundred thousand soccer balls.

Let's start a movement to donate this unwon $580,000,000 to the children in these Syrian camps.

No one seriously expects to win this money. No one will feel cheated should it go to someone else, which is surely will. In fact, if this fortune vanished right now, no one would feel particularly hurt, or lose more than a few dollars (obsessive players like my postman aside).

History shows us the tragic ends that come so often to lottery winners. So donating all of this money could actually save a few American lives as well.

But I don't want to be flippant. I'm really serious. As of right now, this money belongs to absolutely no one. It lives in the ether. Gaining interest in some states' checking accounts, as it waits for a home like an orphaned kitten. And like a kitten, this money will be happy with any home. It just wants to be loved. And give love.

And what more or greater love might it give, than to bring warmth and save the lives of innocent, beautiful, frightened children who've been shocked from their normal lives to these horrible camps?

If we do this, than this will be the first lottery in history where every ticket buyer will win. Because every player will each feel joy. And isn't that part of why we play Mega Millions to begin with?

So, who do we talk to? How do we spread the word to get the Lottery to agree? Well, we need to start a movement.

Only, we need to start it quickly. Like, as you're reading this. Because once the jackpot is won, it's not nobody's anymore. It's somebody's. Most likely not yours.

And then it cant be these children's.

And the longer they shiver and starve in the snow, the more everybody loses.

Derek Sherman is the author of RACE ACROSS THE SKY, published by Plume/Penguin Books in 2013. www.RaceAcrosstheSkyNovel.com