Social Question

jca2's avatar

If you won a billion and a half dollars, what would you do with the money?

Asked by jca2 (15747points) November 8th, 2022

I’m using the amount a billion and a half because the Powerball jackpot was almost three billion, so just a rough estimate that approximately half would go to taxes, you’d have 1.5 billion as winnings. That would be 1,500 millions.

I ask these questions sometimes (about lottery winnings) because I think it’s fun to speculate. I will very rarely play the lottery (maybe once or twice a year) and I will almost never gamble, so it’s not a chronic problem for me, just doing some fun thinking.

I think about the friends, family and organizations that I might help. I think about whether or not i would help friends even if they might not do the same if they were in the same situation. It would be very easy to throw people a million if I wanted to, to help them out.

My first priority would be some sort of tax shelter, where the money would be out of my hands. It would have to be invested, and I’d probably have to move to a secure location. My house is in a lovely and safe place, but it would not shield me from thieves or kidnappers.

Also, just to add that I realize that the chances of winning such an amount of money are almost nil. I’m not unrealistic. Just doing some fun thinking.

If you had 1.5 billion dollars, what would you do with all the money?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

23 Answers

chyna's avatar

Some states allow you to collect the money in secret, but my state isn’t one of those. And I figure someone would figure it out and announce it, so your idea of moving is probably for the best.
After seeking professional advice on tax shelters etc., the sharing comes in.
Family would come first and foremost. Friends and coworkers. Then donations to the animal shelters, St. Jude’s childrens hospital and homeless shelters and food banks in my state.
I would set up a fund to pay all kids breakfast and lunches in my state for as long as the money held out. Even the families that could afford the lunches should get it. That way, the less fortunate wouldn’t be as noticeable. My state is one of the poorest in the nation, so helping get kids food and clothes would take a large portion of my money.
Of course I would move also, and travel.

Smashley's avatar

I’d buy the for sale Ottawa Senators and donate them to the people of the city in perpetuity. Major tax write off and instant lasting popularity, plus a suite of my own to watch all the games from.

With the rest… I dunno… chips and dip?

Entropy's avatar

Well, realize that the money isn’t lump some unless you accept only a smaller total in most cases. I think I’d hire a good financial manager and let them manage most of it in various investments.

I’d take some amount of it though and invest in sort of cool tech project things that aren’t publicly traded companies. Like there’s a cool company that’s investing in robots and AI to precisely target pesticides and fertilizer in farming. Or various other things I’ve encountered over the years….I’d have to remember them.

My main charitable angle though would be education based. I’d have to hunt around for the right opportunity, but I want to set up a school aimed at providing affordable quality schooling for those trapped in districts with non-performing schools. Not a charter school though. I don’t want to be reliant on the school system shutting me down when the political winds blow a different direction.

Smashley's avatar

@Entropy – maybe use your money to lobby for a more equitable distribution of tax dollars to schools? Like try to break that coupling of property values to school funding? That could have a more lasting effect on more children than the beneficiaries of your publically-funded private school.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’d hire a team of CPA’s and attorneys to deal with the money and an armed security team for protection. Then try to live a normal life.

JLeslie's avatar

I’d buy citizenship in one or two countries.

I’d give money to my sister so she could stop working.

I’d buy a new house where I live.

I’d buy land to build a race track community if we get past 2024 and I feel like the US won’t be falling into the third world abyss that it is headed towards.

I’d set up a charity to help poor children in various ways. I’d help the mentally ill also. I’d look into other charity possibilities too.

elbanditoroso's avatar

30% of it goes to the tax man. So it’s really only a billion.

- Pay off my house, and sell it

- Move out in the country

- put a bunch of it in a trust for grandkids college education

- travel

- contribute big $$ to the ACLU EFF and similar organizations.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I’m going to claim it with the anonymous LLC thing. Then disappear.
Randomly in the news, reports of unprecedented generosity occur with increasing regularity. A mysterious benefactor is unidentified but always leaves calling card.

flutherother's avatar

I’d buy a new house and I’d pay off my son and my daughter’s mortgages and I might just give the rest to Nicola Sturgeon to spend as she thought fit on Scotland.

Zaku's avatar

I’d do some reflection and more serious thinking if it actually happened, but in general I expect I’d:

* Assist and simply give to people I love, like, care about, etc., who could use help.
* Travel at will.
* Get some nice houses in nice places around the world, and let my family, friends, and/or people I like use them for travel, and as ways to have an occasion to spend more time together.
* Get some extra nationalities.
* Fund (partially or entirely) some projects, artists, charities, activists, and restaurants/cafes/etc I favor, either new or existing ones. Some I’d want to be involved with (e.g. game development), and others I’d mainly just fund.
* Acquire some natural lands to protect them from development.

longgone's avatar

Get my grandma a slightly bigger home so she can host Christmas. Probably renting rather than buying.

Let my husband take some time (half a year?) off to first recharge, and then find fulfilling work.

Buy a hotel and turn it into pay-as-you’re-able housing for anyone living on the streets, especially those with pets (others can already go to shelters usually). Doctors, therapists, vets and animal professionals on site. This would be a local first attempt to see how it works. Obviously, the idea is to expand if possible.

I might buy a small piece of the rainforest and donate it to an NGO so it can be protected. Not sure how much that would be.

I’d want a certain amount of the money set aside, but only 20,000 or so. I want most of it to be spent making a difference. I don’t think it’s possible to have an obscene amount of money and be happy. I feel like I would always worry about it.

Smashley's avatar

@longgone – regardless of how much money you keep, your normal life is over. No one will ever believe you aren’t being a miserly asshole. Winning the lottery dramatically increases your odds of being murdered by a family member.

longgone's avatar

@Smashley I believe that. Maybe I should just get rid of it all. My relationships are quite important to me.

mazingerz88's avatar

Will most likely produce my dream movie. An adaptation of Stoker’s Dracula novel.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to announce that I’m the one that won. That should cut out the family wanting to off me factor. I’d hire a good financial advisor, tax lawyer, & NOTHING in my life would change outwardly!!! I love my house & where I live. I love my car. I’d continue to work with my emotionally challenged kids because I LOVE that job!!! The main thing that would change is that I’d be able to breathe easier knowing that I can live out my old age in relative comfort even if they do stop Medicare!!! And…YES I’d make some anonymous donations!!!

jca2's avatar

I think I’d take about 20 million and make a list of about 10 friends and family to give a million each to, and a few more people that I like I’d give half a million to. I’d probably buy a house and keep the house I live in now, for the school my daughter attends, and go to the new house on weekends. I’d donate some money to animal rescue groups, and ideally I would have some animals living on the property I would purchase, so it would be like a sanctuary if I could avoid letting it get out of hand.

My first task would be consulting with family members who are in the financial field, who could help me set up some trusts so the money would be invested and not privvy to scammers and thieves.

SnipSnip's avatar

Build a building to house it.

Jeruba's avatar

The question actually made me laugh. A billion and a half? Once you’ve got a billion, what’s another half billion? I would actually be just fine with about $20 million, if you could arrange that, thanks.

With that, I would buy a house in New England without selling my house in California. I’d invest a couple million and give a couple more away to relatives. I’d support some arts organizations and charitable organizations. I’d buy a few pieces of fine art for myself.

I’d hire somebody to come in regularly to do housework.

And I’d pick one person or family somewhere nearby, people that I don’t know, and be a secret Santa.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would pay off my bills. Then start my own science foundation and science news channel, for adults and children. So that they have access to the science toys electron microscopes and the Hubble space telescope, super computer, and more
. even if they don’t have a high school diploma.

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

Give most of it to some worthy philanthropist cause. I couldn’t spend that much in two lifetimes anyway.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Since I’m living paycheck to paycheck I would expect to have a good answer.

I don’t.

I’m satisfied with what little I have. My needs are met…I think about money when it’s time to pay bills.

The best I can come up with is maybe a new car, though the car I have is paid for and runs well. Maybe indulge myself and take the wife on a cruise. A lifetime supply of underwear and socks would be nice. The rest of the money would be invested in some kind of retirement account.

That was fun, huh?


Forgot to mention a big screen with the appropriate sound system. Yeah…that’s the ticket.

Kropotkin's avatar

It took a while to think this one over, but I’d basically go around trying to buy things from people that they believe is priceless or precious to them.

People’s pets. Sex with wives. Stuff like that.

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther