Congratulations on winning the powerball! January 15, 2016 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Great job picking the winning ticket, mefite! I only wish I was you. What will you do with your gains, and what percentage will you be donating to the site? (A large one, I hope…)
posted by Going To Maine to MetaFilter-Related at 8:36 AM (152 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I am using my winnings to build the world's largest skeeball machine. It will be Indiana Jones themed, with actual boulders as skeeballs and actual Harrison Ford required to run away from each roll.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:37 AM on January 15, 2016 [31 favorites]


#1. Put aside enough money to live on comfortably for the rest of my life

#2. Solve a problem. Whether that is buying enough buildings to house every homeless person in L.A. or starting a trust for L.A. Unified School District teachers to use for their classrooms, but I would use the vast majority of the money to solve a financial problem.

#3. Endow at least 2 chairs at my university.

#4. Buy some fucking water for Flint, Michigan
posted by Sophie1 at 8:44 AM on January 15, 2016 [16 favorites]


I am using my winnings to buy every combination of numbers the next time around so I will be guaranteed to WIN AGAIN.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:45 AM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


BIGGEST. BALLPIT. EVER.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:46 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Small bills, under mattress. Don't worry about criminal activity though, I'm not an idiot. I used some of the money to buy one of those dog bark motion sensors.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:48 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm using my money to fund a pilot program for teaching Yiddish in American kindergartens. They're already ahead, because they know the Yiddish word for child and the Yiddish word for garden!
posted by maxsparber at 8:52 AM on January 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


I was going to fund MeFi forever.

I mean, after the world's largest ballpit, of course.

Wait. Put the mods in the ballpit. Get Chuck E. Cheese on the phone.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:53 AM on January 15, 2016


I'd probably go out and buy a pretty good sandwich.
posted by bondcliff at 8:53 AM on January 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


SO MANY DOGS
posted by DingoMutt at 8:54 AM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


I thought this was pretty sound advice: Andy Ihnatko on what to do now that you've won the Powerball.
Yes, you can be a billionaire and still be a selfish, arrogant bastard with no regard for the feelings or needs of others. Network with people at political fundraisers for guidance.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:55 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm going to not be financially ruined if I lose my job or get hit by a car!
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:56 AM on January 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


If it weren't for those other two bastards that also won and made me split the pot I would have been as wealthy as Donald Trump and therefore equally qualified to run for president.

So yeah, ballpit.
posted by yhbc at 8:57 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm buying a bunch of ranches all over the American west with a lot of the Morrison Formation in them so I can dig up my own dino skeletons. My Dino Ranches will contribute some of those dinos to museums so I can get a large tax write-off. I will use the money I saved to buy more Dino Ranches.
posted by barchan at 8:58 AM on January 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


I would buy an island, invite several acquaintances and then stage a performance of a Gilligan's Island episode.

Then the giant ball pit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:00 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm burying fake monster skeletons all over the American West to fuck with paleontologists.
posted by selfnoise at 9:03 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I won! I won! I will be using my $8 winnings to buy 1/10th of a cup of diner coffee, since my $8 has to be split between the 41 people in my syndicate. But I'm gonna enjoy the hell out of that swallow of coffee.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:04 AM on January 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


Literaryhero I did some back of the envelope math - assuming a king size bed and all single dollar bills, and assuming you stacked everything evenly, and ignoring that the winner doesn't actually get $1.5 billion and also ignoring compression...

Your bed would be ~1418 feet in the air, making it the 3rd tallest building in the US, at least until there's a slight breeze...
posted by Wretch729 at 9:04 AM on January 15, 2016 [21 favorites]


I have already figured this out. I am starting a scholarship for students who have financial emergencies. My scholarship is not based on academic merit. Your parents won't pay for college because you told them you're an atheist and they disowned you? Great, here's a check for your tuition and living expenses, even if you're a C student. You spent your whole student loan for the semester to pay for a security deposit for your mom so she can get an apartment and stop living in her car. Here's your check! I would cry 75% less at work if there were just a giant pile of money that could be dispersed to students in shitty situations to make their shitty financial problems go away.

(All examples are fictitious. I am good person who does not violate FERPA.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:06 AM on January 15, 2016 [45 favorites]


Holy shit, I have a better idea now.

I'm going to start a foundation that mails $1000 checks to anyone willing to be the one person in their office that doesn't go in on the lottery ticket pool. Because that's so fucking annoying.
posted by selfnoise at 9:09 AM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Your bed would be ~1418 feet in the air, making it the 3rd tallest building in the US

So maybe two of the dog bark things. Got it.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:10 AM on January 15, 2016 [15 favorites]


See Hamilton every day.
posted by Mavri at 9:11 AM on January 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


I'm going to fund production of the next season of Puffin Rock to get that goddamned toddler off my back already
posted by Hoopo at 9:13 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm going to adopt Jackson Publick's Powerball plans as my own and produce a new slate of Master and Commander films, plus a Zero Effect sequel and a Raiders spinoff about the adventures of Captain Katanga. I'll piss away the rest on books and theatre.
posted by Iridic at 9:17 AM on January 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm buying a large plot of land, with a one-room shack somewhere on it. Then I'll buy a shotgun, a ton of ammo, and a lifetime supply of canned food and whiskey.

The remainder will be used to purchase physical gold in form of bars, coins, and jewelery. I will bury the gold on my land and dedicate my life to guarding it.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:18 AM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


After talking it over with my kids, it's Free College for everyone in the family. And after talking with a co-worker, we realized what an amazing gift it would be to people to wipe out their mortgage loans. Freedom from the dread of debt, what an amazing release! So that would be cool.

Also, we're going to hire our favorite local guitar teacher to run a summer music camp for kids.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:19 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Honestly?

Set aside a small fund to be used only to hassle and bother people who have done me wrong, but in such trivial, annoying ways. As in:

Did they cut in front of me in line? Fine, for a week they'll have to deal with random inconveniences, like: did they just pick up their dry cleaning? Oh no! I paid someone to spill coffee all over it. Did they just order a non-fat double latte from Starbucks? Oh no! I paid someone to put in whole milk! New mouthwash? Oh no! Someone mixed in vinegar!

I'm gonna call that fund "Petty Cash".
posted by qcubed at 9:25 AM on January 15, 2016 [87 favorites]


We bought a quick pick ticket, and I loved the dinner table conversations it raised al week: well worth the two bucks!

My daughter is of driving age and said we would have to go buy a new car. My wife observed that a new car would be a give-away to the neighbors that we had won. She countered that a beat-up car would help disguise our winning…and my daughter shouts, "Dad's already got one of those!"

ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ
posted by wenestvedt at 9:28 AM on January 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I would buy myself a minor league baseball team. I'd spend my summers sitting behind home plate, basking in the sun and watching people play for the love of the game. I'd give away the best seats to local kids who did something commendable. There would be a dog park in the outfield and when the team wasn't playing, the field would be available for the community to use.
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:35 AM on January 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


Well now I'm hiring qcubed to be my personal assistant.

With an obvious clause in the contract, though.
posted by barchan at 9:37 AM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm gonna call that fund "Petty Cash".

you are the hero america deserves
posted by poffin boffin at 9:38 AM on January 15, 2016 [17 favorites]


1) Retire all debt of self and immediate family.

2) Lifetime season tickets for Pirates.

3) Permanent Metafilter endowment.

4) Remaining amount to purchase solar power installations for low income families.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:39 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Replace tax havens and criminal banking systems with an elaborate financial mechanism that tricks super-wealthy individuals and corporations into actually paying for the upkeep of their respective society and its infrastructure.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 10:00 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm gonna call that fund "Petty Cash".

If you want to turn that money into more money, make it a reality show where Tom Petty pulls really distressing and unfunny 'pranks' on your enemies.
posted by selfnoise at 10:01 AM on January 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


Financial security for my family and loved ones. Then....

My great grandfather founded the Boston Evening Clinic in 1927. Medical care for free or at minimal cost for those in need before medicare or medicaid or even social security existed. The clinic no longer provides direct medical care, but the BEC Foundation offers grants to help those who provide medical / healthcare services to those with low incomes, their families and the elderly. I'd make a major endowment.
posted by zarq at 10:02 AM on January 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


Hookers and blow.

Anything leftover would go to Gatorade and penicillin.
posted by AugustWest at 10:06 AM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


I would spend millions lobbying for regulations to strictly limit the number of asinine Powerball news segments and interviews with winners and convenience store owners that show up on my goddamn teevee
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:06 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Seriously, Honorable Mention goes to the Petty Cash idea for its versatility. Enjoy picking the glitter out of your suits everyday for the rest of your lives, suits.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 10:06 AM on January 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm gonna call that fund "Petty Cash".

If you want to turn that money into more money, make it a reality show where Tom Petty pulls really distressing and unfunny 'pranks' on your enemies.


Yes! Tom Petty puts the milk in the non-fat latte, said prankee comes out of the coffee shop, and just as they discover the whole milk in their latte Tom Petty steps out of the bushes and starts playing "Running Down a Dream".
posted by barchan at 10:07 AM on January 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


Keep farming until the money runs out.
posted by stet at 10:11 AM on January 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


I had this so planned out.

1) Go see Hamilton
2) Pay off all of the houses in my immediate family
3) Start college funds for my family's kids and my coworkers' kids
4) Purchase the newspaper I used to work for from Gannett and return it to local autonomy
5) I'm going to start a philanthropic foundation that will focus on literacy and hunger, probably in the poorest school districts in the country.
5a) and base it out of a turret at Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World. I can pay the rent.
6) I'm going to sponsor a re-imagined Life pavilion at Epcot.
7) Bring minor-league baseball to the now-empty field near me in Camden, NJ.
8) Talk with Cortex about MetaFilter's needs.
posted by kimberussell at 10:14 AM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


So after the obvious (debt paying for immediate family/college funds for nieces/nephews/cousins of a certain age, etc etc).

Funding a series of private group homes for the mentally ill that pays a decent salary to the care takers, has an in house psychiatrist, and has a fund to pay for psychiatric medications. It is ridiculous how little care takers get paid, so you don't get the best applicants and its insane that someone needs to choose between buying food and paying for their medication or having to wait weeks to get an appointment to adjust medications. Plus, there aren't nearly enough group homes to help keep the mentally ill from being homeless for the rest of their lives.

Also - I want a new iPhone.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 10:23 AM on January 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


I will have a giant pyramid of granite built in my honour. It will be built in a location that is geologically stable, so ensure longevity. It will contain a labyrinth of passages, the walls of which will be carved with the history of all of my great deeds, such as how I conquered North America and set up my great Empire. Who will question the truth of such claims millennia from now when they are clearly written in stone?
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:23 AM on January 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


I would buy a vowl.
posted by heyho at 10:33 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm going to combine a few of the suggestions here and have TV news reporters rounded up and thrown in a giant pit of dog balls by Harrison Ford. And get myself a beer.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:38 AM on January 15, 2016


After debt? Make art for the rest of my life, and give enormously to charities and foundations working for trans women.
posted by odinsdream at 10:43 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would build a smaller pyramid next to fimbulvetr's that just says "DON'T BELIEVE HIS LIES" so future archaeologists would have something fun to debate.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:43 AM on January 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


See Hamilton every day.
Give cash to anyone on the condition that they stop talking about Hamilton.
posted by chococat at 10:45 AM on January 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


I will have a giant pyramid of granite built in my honour ... Who will question the truth of such claims millennia from now when they are clearly written in stone?

Ben Carson will think you're just storing grain.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:47 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Screen accurate Millenium Falcon and replicas of every movie costume I have ever had heart eyes over.

So, basically, a life size dollhouse and lots of dress up clothes.
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:48 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I could analyze so much monkey poop and still have money left to develop a vaccine for malaria, and then maybe go visit some manatees. And buy a small house on the Maine coast for me and my cats, and then fly back and forth to West Africa to do research just for fun.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:48 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


It can't be a coincidence that Doonesbury has been running the Zonker Wins The Lottery storyline.

…and of course, I'll be dating show girls.
posted by zamboni at 10:49 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm buying as much medical debt for pennies on the dollar as I can, then forgiving it all, Rolling Jubilee-style.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:49 AM on January 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


Pick a random person and pattern my will after Brewster's Millions.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:50 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Obviously, I'm going to buy $1.5 billion worth of lottery tickets, because I'm on a roll!
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:50 AM on January 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


I am so skint right now and I've bounced a few payments recently and my car is 18 and the heater's broke and it was snowing today, so there are obvious things I could spend money on, good things I would do with it and help people and all that there. But I swear when I heard the amount the first thing I thought was "I'd be stupid-enough rich that I could commission a house made out of chocolate. Or at least some furniture."
posted by billiebee at 11:07 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


four words: "The Most Dangerous Game"

i'm referring, of course, to lawn darts
posted by Greg Nog at 11:10 AM on January 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


I didn't win, but I would have if I had purchased a ticket. I just wanted to give other people a chance for once.
posted by janey47 at 11:22 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm with Greg Nog. I'm putting $10 million toward bringing Jarts back and saving the rest as a legal defense fund.
posted by The World Famous at 11:28 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


You wanted to play lawn darts?

haha, suck it, someone just went through and broke all the fins and changed the center of gravity.

$50 for 2 hours of time.
posted by qcubed at 11:31 AM on January 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, someone ruined your beer for playing jarts with by mixing it with o'doul's. And your lemonade and sweet tea by mixing those with salt. If you're drinking rosé, that's been left alone, but the bottle's been drunk already.

$20/1hr.
posted by qcubed at 11:33 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Your parents won't pay for college because you told them you're an atheist and they disowned you? Great, here's a check for your tuition and living expenses, even if you're a C student.

"Hi Mom! Hey, can you disown me? It's, uh, for school."
posted by yohko at 11:34 AM on January 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


According to the Great Pyramid of Fimbulvetr, Fimbulvetr the Mighty created Jarts. And then banned it on a whim to punish all those who annoyed Fimbulvetr the Mighty.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:37 AM on January 15, 2016


In all seriousness, I have a plan for this kind of thing because I know people who actually straight-up did win the Connecticut Lotto back in 1993 and managed not to go bugfuck crazy, so they're my role models for this kind of thing and I'd use them as inspiration. To that end:

1. Eldercare trust funds for myself, my brother and sister in law, my parents and my never-married aunt.
2. Pay off my debt, and the debts for everyone in my immediate and extended family.
3. Pay off debts for my three or four very best friends, including an offer to one to finally fight back against a very antagonistic divorce settlement (he was screwed over, but was advised by his lawyer to give in because "she's wealthy enough to fight back and ruin you financially".)
(3a. - addendum - fund a way to research how to screw that bitch over because SERIOUSLY.)
4. Buy an apartment with a couple spare bedrooms, and put the word out to my friends that they have a permanent place to crash if their life takes a wacky downswing of any kind.
5. Go back to occasional stage managing.

And finally, the wacky one -

6. Inform that really hot guy I hooked up with in Paris that I now have the financial ability to make weekly transatlantic booty calls.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:37 AM on January 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


I would quit my job and pursue my dream as a hedge fund manager.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:38 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


The MetaTalk Powerball thread, in which a great nostalgia for suburban child-skewerings is revealed
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:39 AM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, shit, I forgot two serious ones as well:

7. A grant to my current place of employ (an NGO) that is expressly devoted to the administrative work conducted in their offices, because I know how fed up we all are with the substandard computers and such.

8. Another grant to my current place of employ that specifically assists refugee artists, because I know how artists are generally screwed over financially, and are probably even more so screwed over if they have to flee their homes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:39 AM on January 15, 2016


Buy my grandparents' old house.
Pay off my debts.
Go on all the vacations.
Take singing lessons.
Buy everything I like off eShakti.
posted by RainyJay at 11:42 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had this so planned out.

1) Go see Hamilton


Ha!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:49 AM on January 15, 2016


$50 for 2 hours of time.

$50?!?
I should have stayed in town where it's only $20.
posted by The World Famous at 11:54 AM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Given that I've won the lottery, I can afford to pay something approaching a livable wage.
posted by qcubed at 11:56 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just bought myself a clue. I'm not quite sure what it means yet, though.
posted by This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things at 11:59 AM on January 15, 2016


I tried to buy nary a one or a zero, but I couldn't not have both.
posted by This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things at 12:03 PM on January 15, 2016


Get an actual, decent house so that we can quit being screwed over by the endless yearly rent spikes. Pay off Mr. Logical's student debt, so it can stop hanging over his head, and pay someone to go fix all the "home improvement" my father has done to the parental homestead. Set aside a chunk of it to be used for anonymous donations to my friends' various classrooms and lives, because I know a lot of people where that would really make a difference.

Then probably take a week to go to Thailand or Jamaica or somewhere, rent out a nice villa, learn to scuba dive, and get myself a bomb personal chef and trainer when I got home, because why not.
posted by tautological at 12:35 PM on January 15, 2016


The hubs and I talked about this a while back. First order of business is to pay off all of our debt, including the mortgage, car-notes, and student loans.

Then we raze this house to the ground and build our *modest* dream house right here where we are... complete with goats, llamas, chickens, ducks and wild-life sustaining type garden. All with a huge privacy fence and state of the art security system so we don't have to worry about the nosy neighbors. ^_^

Everything else goes in the bank -- managed by someone who knows what they're doing -- and it's business as usual until we die, because money just doesn't go that far anymore and a person can blow through a few million without even realizing it. The hubs will work for a few more years until he doesn't want to anymore, but he'll be happier knowing he doesn't have to, and I'll be happy with my little farm out here in the boonies.
posted by patheral at 12:50 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I will fund a not-for-profit that researches and repays all the low-income people who funded my 1.5 billion dollar windfall.

Using the leftovers, I will then fund another not-for-profit that uses the Petty Cash strategy against anyone who takes advantage of the disadvantaged.
posted by mayonnaises at 12:55 PM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Vantablack suit. Vantablack jet. Vantablack island. From my Vantacabana there I'd initiate my scheme to absorb a significant percentage of the world light supply. Zuckerberg and Gates would swing by to check out my light hoard. We'd talk about ways to effectively redistribute it. There would be goldschlager on tap but I don't drink so it'd be, like, goldwasser. Also funding for the development of an edible form of diamonds, for diamond pizza and so forth.
posted by generalist at 12:56 PM on January 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


"I could analyze so much monkey poop," I saw just this much and knew which Mefite this is...

I would buy desert land with one of those south New Mexico water holes, surround it with a shipping container, two story fort, south facing balconies, closed courtyard, Tesla wall, solar, off the grid, camo roofing, gardens...Bye now.
posted by Oyéah at 1:24 PM on January 15, 2016


Inform that really hot guy I hooked up with in Paris that I now have the financial ability to make weekly transatlantic booty calls.

Unfortunately, it might take a bit more than the Powerball jackpot to reboot the Concorde program.

But if we're talking hypotheticals, why not clone Johnny Cash and have him and Tom Petty mete out merciless frustrations on unsuspecting commoners?
posted by a halcyon day at 1:33 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd have The Smiths or REM reunite for my birthday party and if anything was left, I'd give it away.
posted by 4ster at 1:43 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Global MeFi meetup. One location. All MeFites.
posted by dg at 1:46 PM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


(Sorry, I'm a little one note and in the throes of writing up my dissertation, so even more one note than usual)
posted by ChuraChura at 1:48 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd want to build something like Nemo 33 or Y-40.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:51 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I created this enormous machine that your bodies all live in that make you think this is all real and I am not a giant scorpion robot.

It's working out great so far.
posted by French Fry at 2:14 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I will buy golfballs...golfballs the size of hail!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:21 PM on January 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


(and some socks)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:21 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm going to fully fund with total costs paid the national MetaFilter meetup we've talked about so many times over the past few years, with flights, costs, site rental, food, booze, entertainment, and everything paid for. I won't require that everyone attend, but believe me I will keep a list of who isn't there. And then turn that list over to whoever set up the Petty Cash fund.
posted by hippybear at 2:29 PM on January 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


(Sorry, I'm a little one note and in the throes of writing up my dissertation, so even more one note than usual)

I would totally fund your monkey poop research! If I'm being serious, funding all kinds of research would be a huge thing I would do if I won the lottery. Including my own, of course. But to get one of my research grants, people would have to do silly things. So grad students and researchers all over the country would be sayings things like, 'Yup, got a $5000 Barchan grant to go to Antarctica. But part of the deal is that I send the foundation pictures of me running through a shitherd of penguins while wearing yellow MC Hammer pants."
posted by barchan at 2:43 PM on January 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


I would not give any of the money to Tom Petty, unlike you jokers.
posted by The World Famous at 2:56 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would exactly match every single one of Bruce Rauner's political ad buys that he buys out of his personal fortune, only mine would just be black text on a white screen with a deep voiced announcer repeating over and over, "Bruce Rauner is a terrible person. Bruce Rauner is a terrible person."

That'd run me about $24 million. I'd use the rest to join rich-dude clubs and when they complained, "You're just here because you won the lottery," I'd be like, "So did you. BAM you just got woke!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:12 PM on January 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


Global MeFi meetup. One location. All MeFites.

Hey, we just added a feature for that. Everybody'd need to set their "regional" range to 13000 miles, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:14 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Fund suicide hotlines
Create some sort of fund to get free emotional care for people who work retail/support
Buy debt and forgive it.
posted by sleeping bear at 3:28 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Buy debt and forgive it.

Yes! So many good ideas here. I think I'd want to give everyone in VT free health insurance, get Bernie elected president, put a drop-in computer help staffer in every public library in America one day a week, build a third fourth and fifth story on my dad's house and then turn the bottom two floors into a 24 hour library. Find a way to buy one of the caretaker apartments in one of the NYPL libraries and have it as my pied a terre. Buy the place I live in in VT and let my landlady live in it in total comfort (she is 90 and a persnickety Yankee and always keeps the heat too low on her side of the house) for the rest of her days, buy some jeans that fit, get a haircut.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:35 PM on January 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


Unfortunately, it might take a bit more than the Powerball jackpot to reboot the Concorde program.

Psssh - for me, "booty calls" don't necessarily take the "get here immediately" form, it's more like "'kay, this weekend I'll be at THIS hotel, I'mma probably get there in the afternoon, turn up Friday night when you get off work and just come straight up to room 29-D and be ready to shag for the next 36 hours."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:39 PM on January 15, 2016


in my defense i am not usually that much of a horndog it's just that this guy was really damn hot
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:51 PM on January 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


Honestly the thought of winning a billion dollars gives me the fucking willies. I'd be cool with winning a couple hundred grand, though.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:53 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: in my defense i am not usually that much of a horndog it's just that this guy was really damn hot
posted by hippybear at 4:25 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


hire jessamyn back
posted by desjardins at 4:26 PM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


For real though - I'd build a cabin deep in the Rockies and no one would hear from me ever again.
posted by desjardins at 4:28 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


i'm glad all you potential philanthropists are here to balance me out because i wouldn't do a damn thing for anyone but myself with 1.5 billion dollars

me me me

me
posted by poffin boffin at 4:29 PM on January 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I would love to spread some of it around anonymously in little random acts of kindness. Pay for the coffee/toll/whatever of the person behind me, wrap a $1 around $100 and toss it in for a busker, tip really well for that hard working server, that kind of stuff. Just little things that would make a person's day just a little bit better. I tuck away a few dollars in purses and wallets before I donate them to non profit thrift stores, with a little note that says, "today is your lucky day." I'd do a lot more of that kind of stuff.
posted by NoraCharles at 5:08 PM on January 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I take my dad out of the shitty, shitty nursing home he is in and even though I am not sure he is aware of anything around him, I'd buy a house with HUGE windows looking out toward the forest and nature, fill the house with coon hound puppies like when he was a kid and have Theresa Brewer going on the speakers.

I would also rescue a burro and get a couple baby goats and rescue a calf that would be seperate from it's mum. There would be a lot of cuddling.

I also always dreamed of making a deal with a car seller. When I saw someone with a broken down total shit box I hand them a preprinted card that says "This card good for new 1 toyota corolla...etc".
posted by ReluctantViking at 5:38 PM on January 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm gonna hire all the actors/models I think most resemble my favorite video game characters for a cosplay photoshoot and then post the pics on Tumblr.

Henry Cavill with a blonde dye job and honey-brown contact lenses = Cullen Rutherford, amirite?
posted by Jacqueline at 7:04 PM on January 15, 2016


I'll build the Triboro Rx.
posted by ferret branca at 7:40 PM on January 15, 2016



I'm torn. I would either:

a) Disappear. Utterly.

or

b) Gift every single human being . . .

$1,580,000,000 / 7,395,131,574 . . .


21 cents.



Just to show 'em.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:44 PM on January 15, 2016


Have a slice of cake.
posted by ardgedee at 8:16 PM on January 15, 2016


I'd frame it.
Give it to charity minus

One million dollars.

Then retire to a Sherry bodega.
When the stars are right, acquire a cat which I shall call Fromme Lumbersunslippers.
Or Aten for short.
posted by clavdivs at 8:30 PM on January 15, 2016


If I win the Powerball, I will finally have the money to become the mad professor I have dreamed of.

First, I would use my money to appoint myself the endowed chair at an R01 university. If I bring in enough money, I figure it can lead to instant tenure.

Then, I would resurrect the woolly mammoth. One billion dollars ought to be enough to resurrect an entire herd, if not several.

If there's money left over, I will resurrect the passenger pigeon.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 9:13 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


After about two years, after having gone on a long vacation, established a number of shell trusts, and making sure generally everybody isn't paying attention anymore, I set up a small but very generous scholarship which promises $30,000 over a year. Applicants must send in a small but detailed idea of a project they will undertake over the next year with this 30K. There will be several categories - fiction writing, non-fiction writing, music, engineering, code, video games. The remit will be broad; maybe there's fifteen categories, all with one advertised 30K scholarship.

This scholarship will be in collaboration with a company who wants to get their image out, thus hiding me from suspicion and providing an incentive for them to advertise it.

Now, the kicker. EVERYBODY who applies gets the scholarship. 900 million can buy thirty thousand such scholarships. We have several thousand motivated artists who have just got expenses for a year. We have several thousand more less motivated ones who may just waste it, or may do something very interesting. We have at least five people who are completely deluding themselves of their skill and that will be really funny to watch. If we get several thousand artistic and scientific projects this way I'd figure at least one is going to have a wide-reaching impact.
posted by solarion at 9:32 PM on January 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


You're on to something there. This is an insane amount of money, as you can see by doing the division as above. 21 cents for everyone on the planet? I mean on the one hand that sounds silly, but on the other, it's amazing. I'd definitely do what you're suggesting, pick a pool of people and pretty much just give them whatever they want.
posted by odinsdream at 9:36 PM on January 15, 2016


See Hamilton every day.
Give cash to anyone on the condition that they stop talking about Hamilton.


Give cash to people who aren't needless jerks about things other people like in a frivolous thread about people's fantasies.
posted by Mavri at 10:10 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Loan out a billion, get back a trillion.
posted by bleep at 10:17 PM on January 15, 2016


Hey, we just added a feature for that. Everybody'd need to set their "regional" range to 13000 miles, though.
OK, so now I just need to win the lottery and we're set!
posted by dg at 10:17 PM on January 15, 2016


After paying off debts and resetting some place warm year round, I:

1. Hired a financial adviser to help ensure my money keeps earning money. (Because I'm not going to be able to do that.)

2. Created the seahorse media empire I've promised myself I would.

3. Hired an army of people to stand outside payday loan stores and stop people going in. Offer to give them triple what they owe or what they need to borrow.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:22 PM on January 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Addendum:
4. Find a few "mail order brides", offer them employment to create a non-profit that works to help women vulnerable to human trafficking. Or some variation.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:20 PM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Lots and lots of plastic surgery.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:35 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


B E E R
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:08 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Set up a for-realsies Crone Island! Which island should I buy??
posted by orrnyereg at 2:22 AM on January 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Buy more lottery tickets.
posted by Segundus at 2:51 AM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


The family stuff:
1. Pay off mortgages/credit cards/student loans for me & reasonably-close family (if ya haven't already bothered to snailmail, email or phone me or send a Christmas card, don't bother asking: the answer is NO).
2. Buy houses for those family members currently renting; replace all elderly/crap cars that need replacing.
3. Set up elder-care trusts or college funds, as appropriate.
4. Move to a remote location --- a private island off Maine maybe, or deep in a West Virginia hollow, or way out past Nowheresville, Montana. Remote with a capital R, but with excellent internet access and a nice big library in my house. Or maybe just make it a family compound with secure fencing to keep out the riffraff.

Now for the fun stuff:
5. Anonymously fill up a couple local food pantries, wall to wall with everything they not only need but also everything they want. And keep them filled to the gills.
6. Ditto for a homeless kitchen I know.
7. See about opening a sort of clothing pantry, maybe as an adjunct to the food pantries? But with only new clothes, never anything used --- including brand-name stuff, so the kids don't feel bad or get picked on because they aren't wearing the same currently-stylish clothes and shoes as their more-fortunate classmates.
8. Ooooh, add a free doctor's office, dentist and optometrist to that! And school supplies, and what else?
9. Okay, yes: a nice big toss in the MetaFilter donations pot. Gotta make sure they keep this place running!
posted by easily confused at 6:31 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have a close friend who actually won about $100,000 in the lottery when he was in college. This would have been mid 90s. Because he is practical and earnest to a fault, he bought himself a Honda Accord and invested the remainder in tech stocks while he finished his degree. He ended up losing nearly all of his money. It did foster an interest in business and technology which led to his holding a nice secure practical position at a certain too big to fail tech company, but he still drives the 20 year old Accord today. I'm thinking ball pit is the right call.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:08 AM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Radical books-to-prisoners mega pipeline.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:14 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd buy the Playboy Mansion and turn it into a convent of super-rad feminist nuns. They would take Hugh Hefner under their wing and treat him like an ordinary person worthy of love and respect (truly the Lord's work) until he eventually went insane from remorse for treating women like objects for so many years.
posted by corey flood at 11:33 AM on January 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


After the obvious paying off the house, etc, I don't really have anything I want for me. I'd set up an annuity like the prize one, but smaller for a guaranteed income.

Then, I want to use the rest to shut up the disingenuous obstructionists who alway cry "who's going to pay for that" to ensure nothing good ever happens. Like local transit. There's a chicken/egg problem where they can't afford to operate more because they don't have enough riders, but nobody rides because they can't count on it being there where/when they need it. Can't expand service, because "who's going to pay for that?" Me. I'm going to pay for that.
posted by ctmf at 11:34 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


1. Provide reasonable trusts for my childrens' futures, help friends and family members, visit Europe, and all that boring stuff.

2. My wife and I would set up a nonprofit with an endowment to fund an autism treatment center (free of pseudoscience bullshit) that would serve autistic children AND adults* on the "patients pay nothing" Shriner's model. We would hire well-paid experts to run and staff it. Hopefully, we could set it up in a such way that it would expand to more treatment centers over time. Part of the center's services would be respite care. (With three autistic kids, my wife and I went over 10 years without a evening out together.)

* - Availability of services for adults with autism is even worse than for children.
posted by double block and bleed at 12:27 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Move out and pay somebody else to fix up my house. While said house is being fixed, boat. Big boat. Big big boat. Sail big boat around the world with 30 or so of my closest friends, stopping off for months at a time everywhere. Also, buy a fisheye lens. And just to be selfless, I will endow a really nice - one of the fancy ones that does hot and cold - water cooler everywhere I have ever worked so it can't be taken away whenever the budget cuts hit. Also clean lovely break rooms and in house sandwich chefs.

Mostly I just really want a fisheye lens.
posted by mygothlaundry at 5:54 PM on January 16, 2016


I'll happily buy all of you a domestic beer.
posted by jonmc at 6:05 PM on January 16, 2016


My first thought was that I would just give it all away as fast as I possibly could. But then I realized that even if I were giving away a million dollars every single day to worthy causes, it would take years.

I would move to one of the places in the world with the least amount of money per person. I'd work or volunteer there, and wouldn't touch the money for several years, while my perspective on a billion dollars readjusted.

And THEN I'd start dealing with it.
posted by aniola at 6:19 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


After buying the super creepy haunted castle in Scotland (so my heirs would have a place to stay for a night in accordance to my eccentric will), and after making my friends / family into millionaires of their own, I started my SuperPAC: Rebuild America.

We're doing the job the DNC should have been doing: 50 state (though concentrating more on red states) push for building and supporting Democratic majorities at the local level. We're starting with state legislatures and governorships, and working to reduce gerrymandering and voter suppression laws. In the long run, I'd like to bring in support at the very local level and support progressive candidates for Board of Education and city council positions. And we may branch out and support candidates for the House of Representatives, but that's a longer term goal. We have no plans to get involved directly in Senatorial or Presidential races. There's enough money in those two already.

I know we're starting in an election year so I'm not expecting miracles from a brand new organization. This will be a learning phase and I"m sure we'll make tons of mistakes. And we'll have an uphill fight in many states. Despite the lottery making me wealthier than I could have ever dreamed, I can still be outspent by the Koch's and others. But, we have to try. The Democratic Party is a pathetic beast in many states and this needs to change.

I've given some thought as to why I'm picking this as the major use of my money as opposed to charity instead. Due to politics and human nature, I know some unscrupulous people will get their start thanks to my organization. But I believe our successes will ultimately accomplish a lot of good. Perhaps more good than many charities could accomplish in the US. And in turn, when some members of my farm team make it to the national stage, and influence the United States to be a mostly sane, kind, and rational country to the rest of the world, then we'll end up doing good for people outside the US as well.

Should be fun. Wish us luck.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:30 AM on January 17, 2016


Playgrounds.
Frequently cleaned public bathrooms.
Standard college level textbooks for basic math and science courses that are sold at cost.
Stocked and cleaned coffee/tea area with healthy snacks for research scientists in places where there are no easily accessible places to get things like that without leaving the area.
Buy and donate land for conservation.
Rails to Trails initiatives.
Choose a community to give subsidized childcare to.
Probably something involving subsidizing a full time gardener position at an underfunded garden.
Solar panels installed on parking lots.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:30 AM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fix Philly public schools, finance guaranteed minimum income in the city, buy a health network and a newspaper. Take Amtrak whenever I want.
posted by The White Hat at 6:59 AM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would buy wuv. True wuv.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:06 AM on January 17, 2016


1. Hot tub gazebo, stat
2. All the responsible personal finance initiatives mentioned above
3. Charitable foundation to support kids aging out of foster care, especially those who are turned out on their 18th birthday even if they're still in high school because sorry, the subsidy is gone, off you go. College scholarships and year-round dorms, job training and stipends so they can afford to take unpaid internships, huge cakes for every birthday, and whatever else actual social-work/adolescent-psychology experts think would help.
4. Education think tank to develop middle schools that aren't just three-year holding pens to get the kids through puberty so they can start learning again in grade 9.
5. Snack butler
posted by Flannery Culp at 8:30 AM on January 17, 2016


I would finance Season 4 of Hannibal. You're welcome.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:05 PM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I will employ people to follow me around with a basket of puppies everywhere I go for impromptu cuddles.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:38 PM on January 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Madagascar, a country of 22m where 90% live on less than $2 a day, could do with some help feeding and educating the populace as well as protecting the unique flora and fauna. A pet project for someone with a billion going spare.
posted by asok at 3:49 AM on January 18, 2016


I figure I'd start out by carving out living funds: one for me, one for my wife, one for my daughter, one each for my parents and my in-laws. Somewhere in the realm of $20M each, so that living on 5% per year is easy. Then I give everybody who was in our wedding party gifts around $500K each, and everybody else who was at the wedding (an easy way to do it for most of the family) $10K, and an additional $10K if they have a kid who hasn't gone to college.

Then I go on a trip to all the places I want to go but haven't. Starting with Rome and the village in the hills where my grandfather's family comes from. I figure I do some travelling for a while.

After that, I'd come back to my home area (near Philly) and buy a house. There'd be vacation houses too but the main one would probably be just a mile or two from where I am. I'd dig in and start funding the things I want. I'd buy a theatre in Philadelphia, and the first show mounted would be Chess. From then on I'd endow it and sponsor it. The main preoccupation would be spring and fall musicals, mostly things I want to see done better, mixed with straight plays from regional voices, particularly nonwhite ones. But there would be annual productions including short play festivals and mountings of ancient Greek plays. Mostly for the sake of Aristophanes.

Not too far from the theatre, I'd buy a building in center city Philly and turn it into a radical center, something like what the Brecht Forum was in NYC when it existed, but larger and better. An auditorium, meeting rooms, offices, an extensive library, a couple of full time staff, and free space for approved groups. Accessible from mass transit and probably holding regular events on its own. I'd also consider helping to set up a few like it in other cities.

With those done, I'd make a serious play at buying Dungeons & Dragons from Hasbro. Like, all of it, down to the trademarks and names, in the kind of offer that the shareholders can't say no to. I'd reform a company called TSR, Inc and work with some of the best names in RPGing on crafting the line the way I'd like it to go. I'd probably settle with the rules as they are, but I'd totally change the way things are licensed (replacing the Open Game License with Creative Commons licenses). I'd also offer Gary Gygax's widow a very significant sum of money for the rights to his papers. Aside from even more reprints, I'd probably keep the Forgotten Realms around as a line for people who like that kind of stuff, as well as publishing things from some of the more fringe creative types in the OSR, but with unlimited resources. And there would definitely be a project where I told Tony DiTerlizzi to come up with art and we'd come up with a product for it. Finally, I'd put hobbits and balrogs back into the game. The goal would be for it to become self-funding, of course.

Once that was done, I'd take $20M and give it to my college (The College of New Jersey) and get a building named after me. Then I'd divvy up the rest into bundles and go around finding causes to give it to: environmental, workers' rights, civil rights, left-wing groups and magazines, charities, etc. (Metafilter would fit in here.) Basically until I used up what was left.
posted by graymouser at 6:25 AM on January 18, 2016


Finally, I'd put hobbits and balrogs back into the game.

I don't think there is enough money in the world to get Christopher Tolkien to okay that.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:52 AM on January 18, 2016


1) Pay off debt and set up trusts for my family, obviously. It'll come out around $5 million, a mere bagatelle
2) Buy an apartment on both coasts and either a) keep my job here and buy basic computer lessons for everyone in Queens so I never have to show someone how to use the mouse again or b) go back to my old job and spoil the hell out of the school's library for the rest of my life. I haven't decided which yet
3) Build a museum of fakes, forgeries, and tricks
4) Hire a driver so I don't have to care about transit
5) Set up a foundation that does whatever it takes to get ID for people sorted and sets up shuttles to and from the voting polls for every election in the country
6) Give the Trans Law Center an endowment "Thanks for helping me with my name change, buy yourselves something nice")
7) Set up a foundation that choppers people to an abortion clinic across state lines if that's what it takes to ensure access when they need it.
8) Buy a bunch of buildings in San Francisco and rent them to poor people and homeless veterans and kids aging out of foster care, and pay some people to organize for better rent control
9) Take the David Bowie Is exhibit on tour for a couple years nationally
10) Fund an Academic Decathlon team that BEATS OUR RIVAL, for lo these many years I have nursed a grudge against this team for beating us out of regionals
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:14 AM on January 18, 2016


I'll be purchasing the buildings adjacent to all of the shitty jobs I've ever worked in my life, within which I will open identical businesses, selling identical products/services for 1/3 the price. But only for as long as it takes to destroy them all.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:54 AM on January 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Greg Nog, we play jarts every year at Derby. Aren't you local now? Consider this your invite.
posted by pecanpies at 12:24 PM on January 18, 2016


I'd throw in some wings, too.
posted by jonmc at 1:27 PM on January 18, 2016


Realistically, I'd probably buy some land up in rural Canada, build a cabin, go crazy when everything I ever wanted wasn't what I expected it to be, and be committed to one of those rich-guy mental institutions where it's sort of like a spa every day.
posted by teponaztli at 7:09 PM on January 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Actually, getting committed to one of those is probably the best outcome. I'd just put together puzzles all day and be the weird uncle no one in the family talks about.
posted by teponaztli at 7:10 PM on January 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


hire the same team as did the previous one to make Portal 3 with lots of the fun bits where you bust out of the test chambers and run around exploring the facility
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:01 PM on January 18, 2016


If we're spending crazy money to make Erik Wolpaw dance for our entertainment, Portal 3 takes a back seat to resurrecting Old Man Murray.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:34 PM on January 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here is a itty bitty chameleon, just in case you need some help making that funding decision for Madagascar, billionaires.
posted by asok at 4:03 AM on January 19, 2016


Oh, and endow a chair in HIV for my boss because he's a pretty great guy and does not deserve the stress that he is under.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:16 AM on January 19, 2016 [1 favorite]



1. Figure out how to not destroy my immediate and extended family relationships with the influx of money
2. Fund my super top secret text-only, distributed, ad-free, email-connected social media app that only lets you follow ten friends. It will be called "Tenderness" because that is what is playing on Spotify right now.
3. Bring back RSS/Atom. Try to create a free and open web with text-based, fast pages.
4. Create some sort of anti-corruption league and put Lawrence Lessig in charge. He may or may not have powered, flying armor.
5. Live my life in such a way that the huddled masses will say, "Finally--a wealthy person with creativity, imagination and humor." I say this because the houses on the mountain side three miles from my home all look like neo-Tudor mansions or office buildings.
6. Fly in my private jet to the Mayo clinic once a week until I have fixed all of my annoying health problems. (The problem is that you are old, sir.)
7. Put secret rooms and tunnels in my houses
8. I will not learn to fly a helicopter or ever get in a small plane.
9. I would buy Metafilter.
10. Experiment with large format photography
11. Smuggle trapped workers out of Qatar.
12. Scholarships at our school.
13. Buy the Utah legislature.

Now the task is to go through this list and see what can be accomplished without lottery winnings.
posted by mecran01 at 9:34 AM on January 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Stuffed crust in all my pizzas FOREVER.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:21 PM on January 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


  1. Divide 10% equally to immediate family.
  2. Buy several sections of land in scattered quarters surrounded by protected areas and stop grazing those areas.
  3. Choose one of those quarters and build a new house and shop.
  4. Put the rest of the money to work building environmentally friendly disadvantaged housing in assorted flavours. First up, mixed income, co-op, earth sheltered town homes. I've got much of the initial architectural work done, just needs capital.
  5. Give Josh a budget to bring about sequels to Dr. Horrible and Firefly.

posted by Mitheral at 9:32 PM on January 21, 2016


A discussion about this among friends lead to the following thought:

I would tell my family and friends I'd won a lot of money. I would not be truthful about the amount of money for a while. Maybe I would say a million, and I'm investing this much of it in a house, and this much for school and expenses, and everybody is getting the rest divided up. And that would be it.

The rest sits, and probably goes to investing in things I know people locally use. This way I can benefit family/friends without actually being involved.

Later on I'd come clean about the real money. But not for quite a while.
posted by solarion at 5:43 PM on January 26, 2016


Six words:
The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonsai 2:
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:52 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


« Older Remove voting from MeFi Projects   |   Looking for a Bowie quote from the memorial thread Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments