How many different ways are there to get hold of a million dollars?

More than you might think, actually.

Of course, there’s always the lottery. Or perhaps an inheritance, or a very savvy investment might come your way. If you were Joseph Schooling, you might be rewarded for your fabulous achievement at the 2016 Olympics with a very cool one million dollars by Singapore’s National Olympic Council. Of course, most of us can only dream of achieving what Schooling did, but it doesn’t cost anything to daydream, so why not?

And if it did happen, what could you do with that much money?

Taking a leaf out of some inspirational people’s lives, here are some unusual ways you could make the most of such a windfall.

You could circle the globe in style

A young man taking a photograph, standing in a grassy area surrounded by mountains

You could travel the world with a million dollars

There are vacations, and then there are round-the-world, never-ending extravaganzas which will rock your Instagram feed.

Take the case of Garrett Gee, whose company was acquired by Snapchat for a staggering $54 million. Rather than spend it all on material goods, he and his family drew up the ultimate bucket list – a list of all the things they wanted to do in the world – and decided to get down to doing them.

Closer to home, Singapore’s own Juvena Huang – a.k.a. the Wandering Wasp – made it her mission to travel on the world’s most dangerous roads on the back of her Vespa. She has made it as far as Iran, and does not seem ready to stop anytime soon.

Garrett and Juvena’s dreams aren’t much different from many of ours. Most people wish to be able to travel the world, to learn more about the different cultures and places, to be able to mingle with different people, speak their languages and taste their cuisine. With a million dollars, all of this is possible – and without having to give up our worldly possessions!

There are vacations, and then there are round-the-world, never-ending extravaganzas which will rock your Instagram feed.

Open a hipster café or become a “hawkerpreneur”

A bowl of curry mee on a red background

Do you dream of becoming a hawkerpreneur?

We all have business ideas in the back of our mind, but we don’t always have the chance to act on them and see them through.

Maybe you’d want to invest in a hipster cafe and food delivery business that is all the rage right now, and see how you can grow its potential into something huge.

What about a trendy hawker centre instead?

The young ‘hawkerpreneurs’ at Truly Test Kitchen have done exactly that: former employees of a bank, they took over a retiring hawker’s business and put a hawker-style restaurant in a disused industrial building in the east of Singapore. Truly Test Kitchen serves up traditional hawker staples such as curry and bee hoon in an experimental setting, proving very popular with customers.

Be an angel investor

If you don’t want to get involved in business yourself, you could always help other people to reach their business potential by being an angel investor.

Angel investors (or seed investors) provide start-up capital to new businesses. They spot an opportunity – and a good business idea – and come forward to help others achieve their business gains.

It’s thanks to angel investors that we have companies such as Airbnb, Reddit and Uber around. They all started out as small but hopeful possibilities.

Get happiness - by giving it

An image of a red panda in a tree

Would you devote your efforts to the conservation of endangered animals?

Wealthy individuals such as Mark Zuckerberg, J. K. Rowling and Bill Gates have all found ways to donate sizeable chunks of their fortune through their foundations to help the cause of human advancement or to relieve suffering.

In fact, J.K. Rowling has donated so much of her wealth to charity – as best-selling author of Harry Potter – that she is no longer a billionaire. We’re pretty sure that the charities who’ve received it are flourishing, though.

You too might want to give your undivided time and attention to doing something for causes you care about: working with disadvantaged children in Cambodia, devoting your time and effort to preserve the orangutans of Borneo or saving the wood bison of Alaska.

Dreams often come true…

As you read this article, you probably did so from a third person perspective, thinking: Something like this could never happen to me.

A picture of a person sitting in front of a sign that reads ‘Be a Changi Millionaire’, and currency notes raining down

You could be the next Changi Millionaire

But luck favours the bold, and those who believe. In fact, even something as simple as shopping might make you a millionaire - thanks to the Be A Changi Millionaire competition. In the past six years, six different people have become Changi Millionaires. This year again, one lucky passenger will receive a windfall of one million Singapore dollars – and that lucky winner could be you! All you have to do is make a purchase at participating shopping and dining outlets at Changi Airport for your chance to win.

The only difficult part, then, will be knowing how to spend the money!