How to Spend Your Powerball Winnings Like a Baller
The U.S. Powerball lottery will draw a winner tonight for a $1.5 billion dollar jackpot. Someone’s going to win it. Chances are it won’t be you or your co-workers, but millions of people are taking the gamble.
But let’s say you do win. How are you going to spend that money? New York Times economics reporter Josh Barro wrote a piece this week advising you to take the annuity because you’ll end up paying less in taxes over time and be left with more money in the long run. But that’s hogwash. You don’t know where you’re going to be in 30 years, and there’s so much cool stuff you can do with all that cash right now. Even if you do lose half of it to taxes, you’ll be left with a payout of over $500 million. Not bad!
The first thing you should do is take $40 million and invest it. Just sock it away in a low-risk mutual fund or whatever your accountant (your new best friend) tells you is best. That’ll guarantee you a steady income for the rest of your life no matter what. So that leaves you with roughly $460 million to spend however you see fit. Your money is your money, but we have some suggestions.
A Home Away From Home
Giant mansions are for losers. You’re a winner—buy an island. For $10.5 million, you can own the 600-acre Deer Cay in Belize. Build it up: factor in ten million for your home on stilts, five million for your golf course, and another six million for the lifetime salary of your private chef. Maybe invite John McAfee over for cards? Or not.
A Nice Plane
Obviously, you’ll never, ever be flying coach again. Hell, you don’t even have to fly first class if you just buy your own plane. The Gulfstream G650ER is the flagship jet from the leader in private luxury aviation. The $66.5 million bird has a max range of 7,500 miles at Mach 0.85, but it goes even faster on shorter trips, topping out at Mach 0.925. Wooosh! By any measure, the best way to get to and from your Belizean pied-à-terre. Take some friends along: it sleeps up to 10.
What about for quick trips? Like, when you want to head over to Per Se for a bite, or when you need to buy more Châteauneuf-du-Pape to water your rock garden. Get one of these Ehang 184 personal drones and sail above traffic. The autonomous flier seats exactly one (life at the top is lonely) and can take you anywhere within a 10-mile radius with a tap of your phone. The cost is around $300,000, so you should just buy a fleet of four because even though there’s no way this thing could possibly ever crash, it’s nice to have a spare. Or three.
A Rag of Your Own
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has put The New Republic up for sale. He bought it in 2012 in hopes of dragging it into the digital age, but he wasn’t able to. Whatever, you’re smarter than that guy—you picked the winning Powerball number! Scoop up the failing pub and showing the web-based media world how it’s done. Hughes would probably sell it for a discount. Who knows what he spent on it, but he’s trying to dump it, so you should lowball him. Offer him $40 million. Also, when you buy it, you’re required to write a Medium post explaining your intentions.
You could run for mayor. Imagine that—being in charge of a city. Maybe there are some issues that get you fired up, but as a voter who used to work all day, you’ve never had the kind of leverage or time to really make a difference. Well, now you can. For just a fraction of your life’s worth, try being the mayor of a city for a few years. According to The New York Times, Mike Bloomberg spent over $100 million of his own money when he ran for a third term as mayor of New York. But New York’s huge, and most cities are way cheaper than that. A place like San Antonio would be pocket change.
You can’t be rolling in that much dough and not have a sick sound system. Try the Clearaudio Statement turntable for a cool $150,000. It uses the same motor technology that NASA used in the Mars Rover to play your Steely Dan records. One thing: it weighs about 770lbs, so pick a place you like and leave it there, unless you’re also hiring a very strong person to help you around the house. Oh, and haven’t you always wanted to be a DJ? Buy two and practice your crab scratch.
A Soccer Team
Buying a major sports franchise in the U.S. can cost well over a billion dollars, but not all sports are priced equally. Soccer has yet to develop the fandom in America that sports like basketball and baseball have, making Major League Soccer teams still cheap by comparison. Forbes estimates the average value of an MLS team to be around $157 million. Curbing from that, we imagine a low-rent team will probably cost you around $100 million. Totally affordable. Plus soccer fandom is growing rapidly in the United States, so it’s probably a great investment decision. It’s also an opportunity to design your own bizarre mascot, which could be a lot of fun.
Buy Some Pills
Buy the rights to Daraprim and drop the price. In 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals purchased the rights to the drug Daraprim for $55 million, then jacked the price of a pill from $13.50 to $750. At this point, the company’s reputation is in the dumps, so offer them $65 million for the rights. They’d see a nice $10 million profit and they’d get to leave the whole mess behind them. And you’d be a hero.
Fly Your Friends Into Space
Space travel is surprisingly affordable. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo holds six passengers. Tickets run $250,000 each, which means you can charter a private flight for you and five friends into space for $1.5 million. The 2.5 hour flight will put you in space for a few minutes—just enough time to record a YouTube video of you singing a David Bowie medley.
Spend $1 million and buy another 500,000 Powerball tickets (they’re $2 each). This will greatly increase your chances of winning twice and making history. Also, everyone will hate you, but that’s fine—only the super-rich are empowered to be this annoying.
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