Half Billion Dollar Lottery.. What Would You Do ?

Word out that the mega millions lotto drawing for this Friday will be in the area of half a billion dollars.

Of course the odds are that there will be a number of winners on Friday but just for the fun of it…

What if you won the whole ball of wax ?

What would you do ?

Just for reference, if you were to take the lump sum payment you’d get around 360 million and assuming around half went to taxes then you’d have 180-200 million left.

So spend away ! (and share your ideas…)

         

Author: PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

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17 Comments

  1. Ooohh, I love this game!

    Step 1: Quit Job
    Step 2: Find a really great financial planner that I can trust
    Step 4: Buy a house for my sister and her husband, and pay for them to go back to school, which they both want to do.
    Step 3: Become one of the San Francisco liberal elite who do nothing but start brilliant tech companies and throw fancy parties for charity.

    Hmmm…evidently I want Employee 20′s life. Yes, yes I do.

  2. I forgot to mention.. I do accept donations ;)

  3. Pay off current house and all other bills. Quit job. Make donations to charities like animal shelters, public tv and radio, City Union Mission and Harvesters. Make list of features for next house, including how to maximize energy efficiency and add a much bigger library and game room. Find land to build on and hire architect. Start browsing university courses to take.

  4. For starters, I’d freak out. It would be hard to wrap one’s mind around just how much money that is, but if my math is correct…you could take the roughly 200 mil (lump sum after taxes) and if you stuck it in a bank account that earned only 1 percent interest, you’d be pulling down 2 million a year.

    That’s like winning the regular lottery every year for the rest of your life.

    Next up, I’d become really, really paranoid. Standing there on television with a giant check would be fun, but within nanoseconds of winning the money, there would be unscrupulous people of all types falling all over themselves to try and separate you from your winnings.

    I’m also willing to bet that in short order, I’d find out who my real friends and trusted family members are. Money makes people act funny, and lots of money amplifies the effect.

    So if I did win (and I’ll buy a ticket just in case), I would:

    1. Hire a wealth management guy, as well as an accountant to keep tabs on him.

    2. Buy liability insurance.

    3. “Make it rain” on my immediate family members and a few close friends.

    4. Set up a charitable foundation or two, and funnel most of the money in that direction.

  5. 1. Hire a tax lawyer, accountant, financial planner, and pilot;
    2. Set up a few additional foundations to take care of my immediate family, extended family, close friends, and our favorite charitable organizations;
    3. Claim the jackpot, then get the hell out of sight for a few months.
    4. Start my own SuperPAC to promote centralist candidates.

  6. After coming back down to earth, I would be working much of the time with financial planners on how to shelter the money from future inheritence taxes that are going to be applied to anything over $1,000,000 at over 55%, not including state inheritence tax.

    On second thought, I won’t buy a ticket. too much to worry about.

  7. As one of the college educated “elites” needing 4 more units I took “Probabilities 101″ and am a bit depressed by the comments in this thread. They sound like the wing-nut view of the world.

    HOT TIP: If you don’t buy a ticket on Wednesday and you don’t but a ticket on Saturday you can “win” $104 a year… Half of the cost of your ticket to a Jimmy Buffett Concert! :)

  8. 1. Adopt the wealth-preservation practices of the ultra-rich.
    2. Use the stupendous income from my serendipitous wealth to reduce the power of the ultra-rich.
    3. Try to come to terms with the inherent contradiction between 1. and 2. above.

  9. OK… I wouldn’t want that much money at a single time. Too much responsibility. It’s better to come into that much money gradually. If you win $15 or $20 million you can live the life you want comfortably (luxuriously) and still have plenty left over. However $200 million is a completely different story and I’m sure completely changes people. Not something I want to happen to me.

    I would definitely grow it and invest in projects I’m currently working on. No need to find other investors. I would also give a certain percentage to charity.

  10. SteveK: you don’t have to spend $104 a year for a chance to win $500 million. You spend $1 now. The amount you spend is well worth the risk you take for such a large return. That’s generally (in simplified terms) how investors evaluate opportunity. Price, risk and payoff. In this case the price is low, there’s a huge risk, but the potential payoff is enormous.

    I am a bit puzzled over why you think the comments in this thread “sound like the wing-nut view of the world.”

  11. 1. I would set up a college scolarship for all family members.

    2. I would pay off all their outstanding mortages.

    3. I would pay off my church’s mortgages.

    4. I would contribute to every battered women’s shelter in the country.

    5. I would spend the rest on rescuing once beautiful old homes, especially Victorian.

    6. It would all be used up – and I would wake up – but still have had the joy of dreaming.

  12. Silly me. I thought the financial planning part was assumed.

  13. I have to wonder if people really grasp what a godawful, staggering amount of money in the hands of one person half a billion would really be. You could (and should) give away at least 90% of it (in some way shape or form). That would still leave you enough to do absolutely ridiculous things with your life – and the lives of family and friends. What would I do? Buy a 6 pak of Leinie’s Amber, a pig ear for my dog, and think it over..

  14. Hmm…so far I haven’t seen anyone here preparing for the zombie apocalpyse. Such a waste, such a waste.

  15. Oh for goodness sakes, Steve. It’s a dream tax, not a long-term investment plan. And I spend more than $100 a year on … well, just about anything. Avocados. Vermouth (and I don’t even drink vermouth). Flip-flops. Things I don’t even like. I can spend $100/year that goes in part to education anyway to have the fun conversations about just how much money that is, and what ridiculous thing I’d do with it. Way better investment than vermouth.

  16. I’d do a lot of the usual as others have already listed (paying off family member’s mortgages, paying for college for the nieces and nephews, plus investing in my brother’s business to give them more working capital.)

    I’d tnen celebrate my hard working hubbies ability to quit his job and support his passion for bicycles (maybe a hobby business bike shop.)

    I’d make a very large donation to two children’s mental health organizations that have been important in my life.

    Then i’d work on setting up a badly needed educational and therapeutic center for kids with special needs, with the goal of eventually duplicating it across the country.

  17. I’d use it to build a space based death ray with which I could blackmail world governments to giving me 1 BILLION dollars! Bwahahahahaha!

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