If I won the 290 million dollar Lottery....

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Oct 22, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
You just won 290 million dollars, what now?

Right now the "mega million" lottery is at a total jackpot of an estimated 290 million dollars. I was pondering how much would be spent on firearms, and shooting sports if I won. How many firearms would you buy? Maybe buy a range? Would you open your own gun store? Would you invest in a shooters' dream house? Would you buy a $70,000 colt?
I'd build a house with a vault, reloading bench, and 25 yard range in the basement, and a 1000 yard range in the backyard. Then I'd fill the vault. ;)

Wishful thinking anyway. I've never purchased a lottery ticket.

IncredibleGord said:
How many firearms would you buy?
How many firearm companies would I buy?

I definitely would be donating to pro-2A groups.

Shooter's dream house? Pass.

$70,000 Colt? Why such a low number? With $290,000,000 you can commission Colt to make whatever you want (which will also be a "one-off").
Since you wouldn't get that much you'll need to limit the ambition just a tad, say $100,000,000.;)

I can think of a few things I'd do that was just firearms related, like a huge donation to the gun-owner rights org of my choice (can't enjoy what you're denied the right to have).

Considering I have a pistol range off my back porch and a "danger room" to play with guns/blades I won't need a new house, but overpaying for some adjacent property for a 1,000 ft. range would be in the plan.

I have a wish list of odd milsurps (Finnish) and NFA becomes personally "affordable".
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I'd buy so much land you wouldn't be able to get close enough to hear me popping off my .50.

Just like Disney I could be my own township or maybe a county.
Buy land and build a house with some custom features catering to several of my hobbies, set up my family, invest in a broad spectrum of stocks and securities and decide which charitable organizations I would spend my time volunteering for.
If you win the lottery you do not actually get the total amount.
You either get a cash value worth about half or an annuity paid over many years. In California it is paid over 26 years, meaning you get 1/26th of the value each year.
The annuity can be better than what you could actually expect in reasonable interest if you took the cash and deposited it, but it also means you don't have that money available to you, and who knows what taxes or other new legislative punishments may exist in the future. Or if the payer will be around, file bankruptcy etc There is a lot of unknowns over 26 years.

Whether you take a lump payment or the annuity you lose even more.
Out of what you actually get nearly half of that goes to taxes.
The winnings typically put you into both the highest federal and state income tax brackets.
If and when the Bush tax cuts expire the percentage will be even higher.

So if you get about half of the winnings in a lump sum, and then half of that after income taxes.
This means you would actually end up with closer to 70 million if you won the 290 million jackpot all by yourself.
Now 70 million is certainly great, but that is only if there is one winner, multiple winners result in it being divided more.

On top of that most of the relatives and friends you have ever had will feel entitled to some of what you have won.
Whether in the form of cash, gifts, helping them with bills or financial hardships, etc
If you have been divorced ex's will come out trying to get a piece in lawsuits.

In fact lawyers will be behind anyone who has ever had a problem with you just trying to take a piece.
If you bump into someone, get in a fender bender, or have someone trip on your property, you have a lot to take and everyone wants a piece.
You will never get a good deal again anyplace where someone recognizes who you are. So it will cost more to actually buy some things as well.

Lawyers and others will trying to manage your winnings and do all they can to take a piece of them in the process.
You may need to pay for some employees as a high profile individual which quickly adds up, especially reliable ones you give a decent salary.

If you buy some big ticket items initially like expensive homes the property taxes may be more than you can afford in a decade, and continue to eat into what you have remaining. You make think a 5-10 million dollar house is affordable, and find the taxes unaffordable in your future and risk losing it all.
Buying things like expensive automobiles or a yacht that depreciate significantly in value also turns into vanishing money.

Everyone will consider you selfish or greedy if you determine and operate on a budget that will last your lifetime or beyond.

Real future friends, spouses, etc become more difficult to attract, because you will never know how many like you primarily for your money, and you will attract a lot of gold diggers.

You are on public record as winning a large sum of money, this may cause you to desire extra security precautions. Not only you, but family can become more vulnerable to kidnapping for ransom if people realize the connection, especially when traveling abroad.
These extra security precautions will add significant costs to the same things that are much less expensive for you to do now.

With all of this in mind, how many years do you plan to live? Divided by your future lifespan how much can you spend per year? Keep in mind inflation means that money will buy less and less every year not invested, and invested there is risk for serious loss.
Do you want any to remain for descendants, in the creation or maintaining of something that extends beyond your lifetime? That would of course decrease what you can spend per year.
If you put sizable amounts towards creating various things, business ideas, charities, etc even less will be available to spend for your yearly budget and needs to be taken into account.

Even if you were living on a million dollars a year a gun costing $70,000 would be a whopping 7% of your yearly budget. Certainly a big chunk of change for a single item for any budget. You don't get to make many 10% of your yearly income purchases.
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I'd build a CNC shop, and make interesting guns for fun.
With 1 million I could set myself up to live like a king, at least by my humble standards.

Definitely a big hunting trip every year.

Probably a new gun every month or so.

Ammo, lots of ammo.
It is pretty easy to spend a million these days. Wish I had one to spend. I'd pay some bills and then think about what to do with the rest.
Congressmen, senators, governors are not really all that expensive these days and I've always wanted to get a couple.
If I ever won any lottery money, I'd use the the first check to move out of IL and back to the USA. :D

Then, lots of land, a decent house with a basement, a multiple car garage/shop, and of course more guns and ammo.

I have many interests besides guns, and those would be indulged.

I would of course help my immediate family, and several close friends. Possibly to charity if I could find one worth helping, without limo riding execs.

I would move, though, first thing.
"...what now?..." You call your brother, collect(assuming he still lives where the phone number you have matters and to be a rectal orifice), from some place exotic, and tell him to build the no expense matters house he wants on the property he bought.
"...you do not actually get the total amount..." Certainly not Stateside. No taxes on lottery winnings up here. Need to check my numbers on the $50 million Cdn lottery from this past Friday.
As post #2 says...buy a nice house with a vault and some land. Land to hunt, land to shoot.

Then I would go nuts. I am already drooling over the Model 1892s and Model 1886s that just appeared on Winchester's website. Not to mention all the bolt guns I would buy and all the reloading dies I would need to buy.
Oh boy if I had that much......
I think I would start by paying people to research in depth, obtain detailed information, and have an accurate up to date value on all of my guns. Literally an essay for each one. Then of course I would buy more guns, and use the same team of researchers to scope out the best deal on the gun I want. A huge chunk would go towards ammo to feed my shooting needs. I would also be sure every close family member had at least 1 gun and the proper training of how to use it.

The sorta non-gun stuff:
Move out of Illinois and purchase land in the country.
Buy about 50 classic cars and new house/place.
New outdoor gun range out to 1000 yards and indoor at 25 yards.
Donate some to the NRA and other organizations in support of the RKBA.
Finance or help finance a STRONG pro-2nd ammendment candidate's campaign.

Could dream up alot more but thats what I got for now.
If its like someone said, and I only got 70 million, the first thing I would do is retire. Then I would spend about 20 million on land, land and more land. Then build a decent house (not huge, just your average house) powered by alternative energy, and just learn to be self sufficient and live a nice simple life... Oh how I can dream, but its hard to win the lottery when I dont play.
I'd almost rather be one of 100 winners if it is Mega Millions. Mostly as there'd have to be some sort of formal organization at that point for the disbursal.

Plain ol' Texas Lotto? Give me 25 annual payments over "cash value" every time. A Trust will own and present the winning ticket. Then the trust can employ me as caretaker. And, yes, you'd better cipher carrying costs, and post annuity costs, too.

So, Lotto was $10 million tonight. They take 20% for taxes, so that would be 25 payments of about $320,000 per year. You'd probably want to assume you'll need another 25% for imbedded taxes. That's down to $240,000 per year. You ought be putting $60,000 to your retirement, which means you are suffering along at a paltry $180,000 per year.

Pay yourself oh, $50K, that leaves a dime or two free for the trust to buy land at $3500/acre; house at $200/sf and have some left over.

Back in the heady days when I made $50K/yr, I had a pretty good "toy" budget. I might could find a way to make such things work.

And, after all, probability of a win is only about that of being hit by lightning. Twice.

Still fun to think about.

If you force me to answer with the $290M; then I'd have to say I'd "Howard Hughes" as much as I could.
I have enough guns (well, not really...) so I would use that $290 million to buy 10,000-20,000 acres of land somewhere in WY, MT, or ID.

Somewhere to enjoy the guns I already have...
Lev used the number $20M in land; here in central Texas, that'd be about 4-5000 acres. Which is going to be a tax bill around $10K/yr with most of it under "ag use."

But, the real killer is that you'd need 200-300,000' of fencing for that much land. And the sad truth is some body has to ride the length of it to keep it in repair. I've ridden fence before, it can be hard work.

Dang it, I've rained on the parade again; sorry.
Fifty million to Wounded Warrior Project.
Fifty million to Operation Homefront
Fifty million to parents.
Fifty million to brother.
Invest and save the remaining ninety.

Oh. Every single gun Beretta has ever produced.
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