Shopping list

A shopping list for someone with $554 million

I had a hunch that I wasn’t going to win that $1.337 billion in the Mega Millions lottery last week since I didn’t buy any numbers, which makes my odds of winning infinitely smaller than those of some of my friends who did.

But I was disappointed for them, knowing that if a friend or family member won, I would benefit, even if it only meant that person took the lunch tab.

Someone in Illinois won, but that person hasn’t claimed it yet, so we don’t know if that person is a he, a she, or even a they. What I wonder is if this person in a few years will be happy to have earned the money. The odds of an unhappy ending are much better than the 303 million odds of picking the winning numbers, which was 13-36-45-57-67.

You won’t believe this, but 13 is my favorite number, 36 was my waistline, 45 is the number my favorite UNC basketball, Tommy LaGarde, wore, 1957 is the year I was born, and 67 is the score . I shot the first time I broke 70. So a good chance I would have split the prize.

The winner has the option of winning the jackpot in a discounted lump sum, which most do, or a fortune at a time but in annual installments. In this case, the lump sum would be $780.5 million, which would be the paltry sum of around $554 million and some change after Uncle Sam got his. Most opt ​​for plan A, a no-brainer for someone my age.

The sheer size of the prize – by the way, the top lottery prize was $1.537 billion – made me wonder what exactly could be bought with $1.337 billion, or 1,337 times 1 million dollars for those of you who struggle with math. That’s more than the LIV Tour offered Tiger Woods.

Using the after-tax amount of $554 million, if the winner lives in Woodland, Illinois, that person has enough coins to give each townsman $1 million each. If the winner came from Robeson County and decided to spread the joy, each county resident would receive a check for $4,361. There would be $1.75 for every person in the United States.

What else can $554 million buy?

—About 130 Rolls-Royce Phantoms, dubbed the most expensive car in the world.

– Just enough to make a hefty down payment on the $1.4 billion Allure of the Seas, the world’s most expensive cruise ship. You would have to fund the balance of $650 million.

-Dinner for 277,000 at Sublimotion in Ibiza, Spain, billed as the most expensive restaurant in the world, although seating them all would be a hassle.

—You don’t have enough money to buy the Atlanta Braves franchise, which is valued at $2.1 billion, but you could form a group and be the majority owner. If you wanted to buy the Dallas Cowboys, the… well, why would you want to buy the Cowboys?

—A single bottle of D’Amalfi Limoncello Supreme, the world’s most expensive liquor at $44 million a bottle. Why not 14 bottles? Only one exists.

—For beer lovers, you could get 27,700 bottles – not cases – of Brewdog’s End of History beer, but be warned, the alcohol content is 55%. I’d go for 1.387 million cases of Bud Light and an equal number of large five-topping pizzas, double cheese and a few fiery chicken wings.

The safe game here would be to invest the money and, of course, to diversify. Assuming a modest return of 8% per year, this would produce $44 million per year in new revenue, or just over $121,000 per day. While not particularly sexy, that should be enough to get by.

Donnie Douglas is the former editor of The Robesonian.