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jca's avatar

If someone handed you a check for $1,000,000, what would you do with the money?

Asked by jca (29281 points ) January 19th, 2014

I was just watching on the CBS Sunday Morning Show, a segment about a 1955 TV show that highlighted, weekly, a rich man who gave one million dollars to various people. Once a week, the show would discuss the person (or couple) who got the check and what they did with the money.

In 2014, $1,000,000 is not what it was in 1955. A few years ago, one of my co-workers won $1,000,000 with a scratch-off lottery ticket. He took a 20 year payout, which, I calculated, after taxes gave him about $33,000 per year. Not enough to quit work over, but a little “bone” annually to help out, take a trip, buy a car, or invest.

I would probably buy a house and invest the rest. I could not quit work. Right now, for me, for the most part, if I need something I can afford it on my salary, so the million dollars would be “icing on the cake.”

What would you do if someone handed you a check for one million dollars?

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40 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

If I lived in NYS, which I do, and invested in the Vanguard Long Term Triple Tax-free bond fund, which I would, I would clear today $36,100. That would be nice to share with my daughter and my three grand-nephews.

I might install a walk-in tub/shower for my arthritic joints and use a little to continue to improve my property…the Gail Calder Nature Conservancy…to be enjoyed by future generations.

JLeslie's avatar

First, I would put it in the bank. Next, I would do my internet business I have thought about for a while. About $10k to get it started. I would buy a condo in southeast FL. I would let me husband buy a more expensive car than I prefer. I would save some money knowing we will wind up helping my inlaws more and more. I would invest the rest eventually in mutual funds or CD’s. Previously with questions like this I talked about opening a karting track, because where we lived in TN the closest one was 4 hours away. Now that we are back in FL there are three within 2 hours, so that fantasy has taken a back seat for now, but it still lingers somewhat. Some sort of business with my husband would be great. I guess the big question is if $1million is enough for him to quit and take a risk or pursue something else. I would be fine with him doing it, but I am not sure he would be comfortable. He talks about doing consulting eventually, maybe this windfall of money would give him the security to try it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

First thing, bank it.

I have always dreamed of something like this happening, and what I would do. About 20 years ago, I came to the conclusion that I would bank/invest 80% and play with the other 20%.

So I would bank 4/5 of it in something that would increase in value, and I would travel, pay off the house, buy a new car, with the remainder..

johnpowell's avatar

My sister has three kids. 50K for each so they know they at least have a chance to go to college and don’t drop out of high school like I did since I knew college wasn’t a option. Probably buy my sister a house in Portland (300K). Get my mom a house in one of the flyover states (100K).

I would stay in my shithole studio apartment and sit on the rest. Or coke and hookers. It is hard to say without being in that position.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@johnpowell – hookers would probably be more fun.

johnpowell's avatar

I have tried both. Coke is way more fun.

Pachy's avatar

Give half to my brother, invest three-quarters of my half, pay off my home and car loans, and then spend the rest like there’s no tomorrow.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^ ‘What rest? You would have something left from $125,000 after paying off the mortgage and car?

Are we considering this $1 million an after-tax gift?

hearkat's avatar

Buy our home and upgrade our vehicle; invest the rest for retirement.

ragingloli's avatar

I would use it to invest in the development of a fully automatic tentacle rape machine.
Everyone will want one!

DWW25921's avatar

I could buy lots of PEZ dispensers!

ucme's avatar

Convert it into £££££‘s then swim naked in my very own cash pool, giggling like a schoolgirl as I went.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

By the time I paid the IRS their share, I’d take the remainder and buy a gallon of gas – maybe two if I was lucky.

zenvelo's avatar

After paying debts, and buying a moderately priced new car, I’d invest the rest in a few mutual funds. But even one million after taxes wouldn’t get far in Northern California, so I’d have to keep working.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Take a cross country trip visiting every strip club I could find.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I would pay off my debts and buy a house in Colorado. I’d put a quarter of it in a savings account for my son to have when he is old enough. I’d also buy my mom a house. She’s been through many struggles in her life and due to those struggles she still isn’t able to own a home. I’d love to get her out of renting and buy her a nice place to finally settle down and call home.

yankeetooter's avatar

Quit my full time job so I had time go to school full time and finish my degree…

bob_'s avatar

Three simple words: hookers and cocaine ~

zenvelo's avatar

@bob_ You could share with @johnpowell.

cookieman's avatar

After taxes, that’s about $660,000. About half of that would get me completely debt-free. I’d put about $100,000 in a college fund for my daughter, and invest the remaining $200,000+ for our retirement.

Then, back to work. My monthly savings from no debt would go into liquid savings for fun and emergencies.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

In Canada your winnings are tax exempt The Lottery Corporation pays the taxes so if you win a Million dollars you get a million dollars,I would invest it then in a few years retire early.

Seek's avatar

I’d move out of the US, to either the UK or New Zealand, and buy a house outright. Then work on citizenship and live off whatever’s left whilst getting settled.

flutherother's avatar

I’d spend most of it on wine women and song and the rest I would just squander.

Blondesjon's avatar

I would play 4,000,000 game of Ms. Pac Man.

I will see all the cut scenes.

janbb's avatar

I would invest it and use it to live on.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Put it in the bank and live off the annual accrued interest.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Shopping spree, first stop, DENVER, for some of that non medicinal.

talljasperman's avatar

I would become a foodie and travel the Canada and the US for the first year ,and try the food. I would give my local homeless shelter enough money for king size blankets or sleeping bags at least 500 comfortable ones and $140,000 for the shortfall that they had this year, so that people can stay warm all day in the winter. I would pay off my student loans and my credit card and become a career student at Athabasca University until I get a Masters degree in Career Counselling, then I would open up a really good free and fun , by donation, website for Career seekers and those trapped in a rut. Also I would renovate my bedroom and bathroom for tall people… An Emperor sized bed and blankets and towels, and a deep and long bath tub. Then I would hire a matchmaker to find the perfect woman.

josie's avatar

Put it in a trust for my children, and stop worrying forever.

ibstubro's avatar

I would open an off-short bank account and deposit the money where Uncle Sam didn’t know it existed.

My extravagance would be a new (to me, one year old) Lincoln SUV.

I would let it sink in for 6 months, then decide what I really want to do, since it’s now reality versus speculation.

20 years ago, I remember a guy making the argument that $1,000,000 was not enough to retire on.

I would give serious consideration to a residence in Hawaii. No? Then the beautiful U.S. Southwest. NO?? Well, then crap, I might have to stay in the paid-for Midwestern ranch and travel the world.

(Give me Billion and I have that all mapped out!)

talljasperman's avatar

@ibstubro I also would like a billion dollars.

gailcalled's avatar

@Bluefreedom: Check the best interest rates offered by putting money into a savings account even in the most generous of US banks.

Here’s a typical example; American Express high-yield savings account.

$1 million dollars at the end of one year will earn $8,536. Compounded for five years, without taking any money out until then, you have a whopping $43,416.

If you put the million into a CD at CiT bank, you take home at the end of one year $2500.

Vanguard’s Money Market Fund is now paying 0.01% per annum.

ibstubro's avatar

@talljasperman BILLION is Earth Shaking kind of money!

Bluefreedom's avatar

@gailcalled. Had no idea the returns were that bad. I’d definitely re-think my first idea then.

ibstubro's avatar

No, just a BILLION @uberbatman. Or 8

VS's avatar

Pay off my house, quit my job, travel frugally for a few months, and bank the rest. I could live the rest of my life comfortably on what was left.

talljasperman's avatar

I would hire a full time Doctor for Fluther to answer all the weird health questions.

Paradox25's avatar

Gamble it away, like most people I’ve known had done, though they had inherited their money.

crushingandreaming's avatar

Donate it to a charity or to my church.

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