My million dollar deal

When George Lucas visited Steven Spielberg on the set of Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1976, he was so impressed by the movie's huge sets and Spielberg's vision that he bet Spielberg that the film would become a bigger hit than his own space movie that he was just completing at the time.

The bet was an exchange of 2.5 profit points on Close Encounters of the Third Kind for 2.5 profits points on Lucas's film -- titled Star Wars.

This actually turned out to be a good deal for both men. The money earned from Close Encounters of the Third Kind helped to keep Lucas’s studio afloat in a times of need, and the profits from Star Wars are still being realized by Spielberg today.

My friend and I have a similar bet. Several years ago we agreed to pay 10% to the other person if we ever made one million dollars on a single transaction. My friend is a landlord and property owner and I was school teacher with a dream of finishing his first novel.

It seemed like a great deal for me at the time.

When I told me wife about the bet a few years later as I began publishing novels, she was none too pleased.

Unfortunately, neither one of us has come close to having to fulfill our end of the bet, nor does it look like we will be doing so in the near future, but if I am ever required to hand over $100,000, it won’t hurt too much.

The other $900,000 will be comfort enough.