The Mega Millions jackpot has climbed to $1.6 billion, making it the largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history. While your chances of winning are slim — one in 302.6 million, to be exact — it's fun to daydream, right?
So, let's say you win. Lottery winners can choose to receive the money in an annuity — annual allotments over 30 years — or a smaller lump sum. The lump sum on the $1.6 billion jackpot would be $904.9 million according to USAMega.com, and if it goes to a single winner, the federal tax withholding would be nearly $217.2 million (24 percent). That's about $687.7 million. (In reality, you can expect to owe the difference between that amount and the top federal income tax rate of 37 percent too, plus there could be state taxes — which vary from zero to 8.82 percent — and other taxes may apply.)
Stumped on how you should spend over half-a-billion dollars? Here are a few ideas, based on $687.7 million.