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What I'd REALLY do

As I write this, Mega Millions has been bumped up to $640 million. If you take the 26 annual payments rather than the lump sum (which I plan on doing) it's roughly $38,500 per year--before taxes--for each million in the jackpot. In this case, you can expect a deposit of $24,640,000 every 12 months.

Today has been full of blue sky, crazy thoughts about what you should do with it. Get a lawyer and a really good accountant.Then there's what people want to do with it. A sports car and plastic surgery.

So I thought it'd be fun to do a post about what I really, actually would seriously do with it if I win.

Let's assume the government is going to take half. It's actually less than that. But we'll make it an even $12 million for easy math.

I'd give half of that away to charity. I debated in my head if this was fair. Far more than many people would give, I ended up telling myself. Again, for easy math let's not talk about investment or interest. Let's just assume a flat $6 million I'll be giving away to my favorite causes annually. Greyhound rescue. March of Dimes. Maybe buy the hospital my daughter was born at a new NICU. Save a few coffee farmers in developing nations. NPR. PBS. Museums. Maybe fund a scholarship or two. The food bank.

That still leaves me $6 million every year to play with. Of course, I will have paid off the mortgage, credit cards, student loans. Does a million to each kid sound fair? Get our families setup.

Then what? That's still a hell of a lot of money to literally throw at something.

A coffee farm in Hawaii? Bison ranch in the West? My own island? Roughly $8.5 million is the average amount spent to win a US Senate seat. Perhaps I'd like to go to space? If I win, feel free to throw ideas at me. I'm sure I'll be looking for company. Oh, and I'll also be in the market for a personal assistant.

Most people take the lump sum and blow through their winnings in 5 years. I actually see a time in Year 25 when I'm bored. Money can make life easier. But there is a point of diminishing returns. Case in point: The $18 million headache

Money can't buy happiness. Just lots and lots of really overpriced luxury goods.