How to Spend Your Mega Millions Jackpot
It could happen to you. Except not really.
Sorry, didn't mean to get your hopes up. According to a recent story on why the MM jackpot could soon reach record levels, your odds of winning are roughly 1 in 259 million.
The Mega Millions jackpot is juicy, but thanks to new, longer odds, it's entirely possible the payout could reach $1 billion by Christmas.
When no winner was selected in Friday's drawing, the jackpot rolled over to $550 million, the second-largest payout ever. It jumped again Monday to $586 million, with a cash payout of $316.5 million, said Tandi Reddick, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Lottery.
The solution? Buy 259 million tickets. Barring that, you're left with what most of us will be doing in the hours leading to tonight's drawing: fantasizing about what you'd do with those fat stacks (minus federal and any applicable state taxes). I have a few suggestions.
Help James Cameron Make Avatar 5
Cameron recently announced he'd be shooting three sequels to Avatar in New Zealand, guaranteeing the country $414 million in exchange for a 25 percent tax rebate. Obviously I'm estimating your investment based on the budget for the original
Alternately, you could pay Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy to make 100 sequels to Before Midnight. I'd sooner watch those than another overpriced Ferngully remake.
Buy Controlling Interest In MGM
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has a storied history that stretches back to the dawn of moving pictures. Among their list of classics are The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, The Thin Man, and many others.
Buying a billion dollars' worth of MGM stock won't secure ownership rights to those movies, though (Turner Entertainment owns the rights to the studio's pre-1986 catalog). But what it will do is allow you to block the release of the RoboCop and the last Hobbit movie, which is really more important.
Buy A Professional Sports Franchise
The good news is: there are plenty of teams available for the person with a billion to blow. The bad news (especially for those of us in Texas) is that your NFL pickings are pretty slim. Of the 32 teams, only six are valued at less than $1 billion: Arizona ($961 million), San Diego ($949 million), Atlanta ($933 million), Detroit ($900 million), St. Louis ($875 million), and Buffalo ($870 million).
I'm as shocked as anyone the Bills are worth even that much. And the Texans are listed at $1.4 billion by Forbes. They're sure getting their money's worth this season.
As for the other major (American) franchises, you can take your pick. In the NBA, any team not called the Knicks (speaking of getting your money's worth) or the Lakers are available, including your Houston Rockets ($585 million). You could also buy the Astros ($626 million, but why would you want to) or any team except the Yankees, Dodgers, or Red Sox.
Finally, for those interested in bringing the NHL to Houston, you could pretty much grab any team except Toronto and move it here. I say buy the Canadiens, just for the comedy value of Quebec subsequently declaring war on the United States.
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Forbes listed West's earning for the first half of 2013 at $20 million. If we conservatively estimate he'd double that for the entire year, and the Mega Millions payout ends up being $400 million, we could conceivably make him go away for a decade. I'd be willing to negotiate for less time, however, if the deal included no more Kardashian magazine covers.
Who are we kidding? If you actually think you have a shot at winning tonight, you sacrificed anything passing for self respect long ago.
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