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What would you do if you hit the $540 million lottery?
March 29th, 2012
03:55 PM ET

What would you do if you hit the $540 million lottery?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

$540 million. That’s the record jackpot in Friday’s Mega Millions lottery drawing.

It tops the previous high of $390 million in 2007, which was split by two winners.

And it's what has people lining up at convenience stores across the country to buy their chance at unimaginable wealth.

Tickets cost $1 each and will be on sale in 42 states plus Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands until just a few minutes before the 11 p.m. ET drawing.

The winner - or winners - will get to choose between annual payments or the cash option. The lump sum would be roughly $389 million.

But back to the $540 million and how a winner might spend that astronomical sum.

Think about it this way: If you earn $100,000 a year, the jackpot would pay your salary for 5,400 years.

Or you could buy more than 1,000 homes worth $500,000 each. Or more than 10,000 cars at $50,000 a pop. You get the idea.

Or if you paid half of your winnings in taxes and invested the remaining roughly $270 million in tax-free municipal bonds earning 3%, you would garner about $8 million a year in interest.

Of course, the odds aren't exactly on your side here. They are 175 million to one against you.

But, hey, you can always dream.

Here’s my question to you: What would you do if you hit the $540 million lottery?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Randall in Red Bank, New Jersey:
Why I'd buy me a couple members of Congress like a real one percenter.

Mark in Houston:
What would I do? Move as far from Texas as is humanly possible.

D.:
I'm buried in debt, but is my life really so bad that I'd deep-six it with a tsunami of cash and fame? All the money out there couldn't replace the anonymity that I have now, for free. The winner will be from a class of people that buy their things in convenience stores, not the class of people that have money. The end result is predestined.

Karen in Idaho:
Hi Jack. I have my lottery ticket already. If I hit the jackpot, the local Humane Society will receive a huge donation. Needy animals are more deserving and appreciative than greedy adults.

Scott:
Mourn the loss of value. I'd have fun, but I'd miss the sweetness of going to my favorite sushi restaurant once every month or two because it's expensive, because I could go anytime I want. I'd miss the simple joy of giving things away that cost me something measurable. Yes, I'd have fun, but I'd miss generosity and value that cost me something, because I would be in want of nothing material. Not so sure I want to buy a ticket.

John in Oregon:
I would buy Greece.

Peter in Tarrytown, New York:
Fill up my tank.

Posted by
Filed under: On Jack's radar
soundoff (354 Responses)
  1. ranch111

    Move away from the United States.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  2. Ed from MD

    Give me $540 million and I'll let you know.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  3. gg

    i,d buy me a lobbist–and get the goverment to give me billions-tax free

    March 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  4. maggie

    I would try to buy an Island , where me and my family would be Free once again. Or send Obama's Reid and Pelosi to it so all of America would be Free Once Again

    March 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  5. david from herndon, va

    invest it in something that kicks out safe income and retire.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  6. Ivan - New York City / Ner Jersey

    Declare War!

    March 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  7. Ralph in Corpus Christi, Texas

    Wave it the face of Newt Gingrich and say, "gee, don't you wish you had this much left for your campaign?"
    Ralph

    March 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  8. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, ny

    I'd give it to Big Oil. They must be close to the profit point where they would stop screwing over America.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  9. dtbronzich

    After my heart attack, I would tithe at church, and invest much of the remainder in monthly paying dividends, 2/3 on drip the remainder on direct payout. I would then be able to use the investments to support orphanages in the Ukraine, most of which are abysmal places.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  10. Pete in Georgia

    Well after the Government took half of it away to support our welfare state I would probably give 90% of what remained to family for their future security.
    Then I'd go out and start tipping waitresses everywhere with $100 bills !! Always wanted to do that.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  11. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Buy the government? Aren't politicians for sale to the highest bidder?

    March 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    First I'd pay my taxes. Then, give half to charity and make sure my family was set for life. I couldn't just sit around so probably open a smaller business and pay my workers above market just to watch Republicans not understand why. Travel.

    If I were Mitt Romney I'd complain.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  13. JD in NH

    I'd follow Mitt Romney's lead. I'd buy myself a multimillion dollar fixer upper and install an elevator for my cars. Maybe I'd buy a company or two just to fire some people . . . Romney seems to enjoy that. If I get bored I can run and run and run and run and run for public office. And, it goes without saying, I'll need a purebred dog for the top of the new SUV.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  14. calaurore9

    Get a driver, a beach house, a loft in the Village. Start a school that pays teachers based on performance. And buy you a big lobster or steak dinner, Jack.

    Carol In Northampton, Ma

    March 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  15. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I would join the Republican Party and vote for Romney because I would be one of them now. They will protect me from paying my fair share in taxes and look out for my interest. I would buy a house with a four car garage that has elevators in it. I also would hire a state lobbyist to make sure I will have no problem getting my house approved.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  16. John from Alabama

    Jack: I am already retired; therefore, I would travel to every place in the USA worth going to see. I would make sure my 3 sisters did not have a mortgage to pay, and I would give United Way, Salvation Army, Disabled American Veterans, Paralzyed American Veterans, Army Emergency Relief, Children's Shiner Hospital, and many others a large donation. I would make sure all my nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and grand nephews educations were pay for to go to college or end there debt. I would get my son his dream of owning his own automobile and repair shop at the best location in Alabama, but at last, Alabama does not take part in the Lotto. Oh well111

    March 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  17. Wilhelm von Nord Bach - Las Vegas

    probably keep flying for the airline until it's all gone, Jack

    March 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  18. jimmy in greenville nc

    Jack, if I won I would have enough money to finally tell my in-laws off. That would be worth every penny.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  19. Jennifer

    i would give a whole bunch to Ron Paul 2012 and buy a lot of guns, ammo, fuel and water.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  20. Ed from California

    We'd be living in Carmel, on the beach. And the usual stuff like, taking care of the family. Perhaps starting some community outreach programs....aimed at kids. What am I thinking, Jack! I'd be considered the 1%. I'd be buying lobbyist's, to make sure that I didn't pay one red cent of tax on my lottery winnings!! See how money changes us!

    March 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  21. James - Alexandria, VA

    What would I do if I won the lottery? I would leave the United States and those worries behind. There are better countries out there than this one. the good ol' USA will imploded soon and I do not want to be here to witness it.....I will watch from afar and laugh......

    March 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  22. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    I would do like anyone else. Find a place to hide, pay off my bills, join the 1% club and look for effective Tax shelters.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  23. Dadee Saye - Banjul, The Gambia

    Huh, since I am from a nation recovering from a civil war – Liberia – I will invest in developments. First, improve the road system in most parts of the country, linking all fifteen counties especially for market women. Next, I will provide electricity for my people who have not had power for over twenty yrs. Finally, I will organize a foundation called "Friend of Students – Liberia " to provide scholarship for Liberians.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  24. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    I'd pay off my debts and give the rest away. I've got enough.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  25. Greg in Arkansas

    Run for President as a "Dark Horse" Independent candidate....
    With all of MY obnoxious un-qualifications, Jack, you would have to work five days to keep up......just kidding....but I would offer to buy your lunch...on your day off......just to talk about anything other than the miserable elected officials we have now.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  26. Dale N.M.

    If I were to win I would buy me an island with fresh water on it, build me a sturdy home with plenty of solar panels stock it with food, and tell the rest of the world to go to you know where.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  27. James in San Diego

    I would try to pay Mitt Romney taxes on it claiming it was a return on a $1 investment, not earned income. Wonder how far I would get with that?

    March 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  28. Tom in Desoto, TX

    I'd have to go to work to pay the taxes.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  29. Pete in Florida

    Give it all to the Newt Gingrinch for President SuperPAC, in exchange for the Ambassadorship tp Crazy-Land.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  30. Gary in San Jose, California

    Easy Jack. Give most of it away. How much to you really need? After funding the retirement portfolio and setting up the kids for a good life you would have hundreds of millions left over. If you don't give it away then the government will take half the money when you die. Wouldn't it be more fun to be a philanthropist?

    March 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  31. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: A nice thought-but if I do--you will be the second one to know.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  32. M Scarpelli

    Watch my 1st 216 million go to the USGOV to be wasted, then take the remaining 324 million and move to the Caymans!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  33. Ed from Texas

    I would build a bigger house right next door to all of Mitt Romney's and park 3 Cadillacs in the driveway.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  34. bonnie from NJ

    Of course I would do the helping out family and friends first but I saw a show a few months back on homeless veterans. I want to help them by buying some apartment buildings and fix them up if necessary and give them homes and provide them with whatever they needed to get back on their feet. The show was one of the saddest things I have ever seen on TV. It would be an honor to help them.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  35. Pat, Twin Falls, Idaho

    Have a heart attack

    March 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  36. Rick, Medina, OH

    Jack,

    I'd hire an estate attorney, a financial adviser, and a real estate broker ... in that order.

    Rick,
    Medina, OH

    March 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  37. kel from south carolina

    After taking care of my whole family,there wouldn't be a food pantry in SC that would ever be bare. St Jude and Shriners hospitals would be able to cover every child and no family would bear the hardship of childrens health. Semper Fi

    March 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  38. John Lake Charles, LA

    I'd have a heart attack.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  39. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    I'd have to buy a ticket first. I know enough math not to. Be that as it may, I would probably leverage the money to start an astrological publishing business. How's that for irony? (I'd sell books to everyone who bought a ticket).

    March 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  40. Deb

    Meet Kathylee and Hoda, Jay Leno, Dave Letterman, and all of the Today show people then hide!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  41. Kaleef McCray

    Walterboro, South Carolina. Secure my 9 year old daughter future, help my family members, improve my community, and travel and enjoy life

    March 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  42. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    First off I'd by a congressman or a senator...or maybe both. Then I'd apply for membership into the 1% club and begin lobbying for lower tax rates. Then I'd buy a lot of air time and make a commercial telling the 'freeloaders' to quit whining about healthcare and jobs and either love the way America is now or leave it. If I had any left over after that I'd pay to have my picture taken wiht Newt gingrich.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  43. Doug Ericson

    I think all that money would just bring trouble to someone like me, so I am passing on buying a ticket. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  44. Bill of New Mexico

    I'd be another dumb winner!

    I would blow it within 5 years.

    I would spend half of it running for Dog Catcher in the Proud Puppy Party.

    I would blow half of it on a reality show about Dumb Lottery Winners.

    I would blow half of it on a green car that burns B.S. and runs on hot political air.

    After blowing it several times over–I would figure a way to still owe Uncle Sam half of it.

    P.S. Could you please pass a law against lotteries, gambling, and the 3 Magic Wishes!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  45. Shirley, Parry Sound, Ontario

    It's unlikely I'd win. Newt Gingrich bought up all the tickets.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  46. Ben from Boston

    Jack,

    I would set up a political foundation or a PAC to get Hillary elected President as soon as possible, and I would try to get Bill Clinton to help figure out the best way to leverage the money and develop appropriate strategies to have Hillary in office as soon as possible. Hillary was the best choice in 2008; she is the best choice now; and I don't see a better choice into the future. Mrs. Thatcher was the iron lady in England, but Hillary is the iron lady of America. Hillary for President!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  47. Lisa in GA

    Jack.... I would build a several non profit food banks and shelter sites in the poorest states to help feed my brothers and sisters. This would also be a resource center to help those finds jobs and the support they need to build a new begginning.There are too many hungry people in the United States, it really saddens me to see people that have so much money only donate when there is a natural disaster or when something bad happens , if we take the time to educate and help others.... we can build a better America.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  48. Ann from Charleston SC

    I'd buy some ocean front property, and save enough money to support the property. I would share with my church and friends, then give the rest to Bill Gates to use in his education initiative.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  49. David in Tampa

    I don't have to worry about it Jack, Florida doesn't have Mega Millions. If I did win though, I would keep about 10-15 million for myself and share the wealth with family and a friend or two, another 15-20 million. The rest I would put into a trust to fund scholarships for children of military families (my father was Army then Air Force for his twenty beginning in WWII). I would also fund scientific research of the briny deep and mother earth. On the business side, I would fund projects that would get us off oil and develop the technologies to make this country energy independent into the future. Habitat for Humanity would get a lot of building materials and equipment. I have ambitions, but no ticket, no win.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  50. Terry in Virginia

    (1) Not tell anyone. (2) Pay off all my debts. (3) Not tell anyone. (4) Okay, I'd tell my cat but I'm not sure he could be trusted to keep my secret so I'd have to bribe him with more food which would make the dog suspicious so I'd have to bribe him, too. (5) Not tell anyone, especially the cat.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  51. Thinkforyourself, OK

    I have my list ready.
    1. Pay off my church's building debt.
    2.Pay off my children's mortgages or buy them a house.
    3. Pay off my closest friend's mortgages.
    4. Fund all my favorite Christian Missionary Ministries.
    5. Fund my favorite Conservative Politicians.
    6. Invest and have fun with the rest.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  52. Mitoosense Ft Lauderdale Florida

    I would not put a nickle in any American Bank

    March 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  53. jk in MN

    Retire when a replacement for my job could be found. I would out my mother financially and Set up a Charitable Foundation and an Sanctuary for hard to place companion animals.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  54. Claudia in Buffalo

    Let's see...so much to chose from...I know, I could buy a presidential candidate!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  55. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, I might just have to become a Republican and demand lower taxes for me and all of my newfound friends of the 1%

    March 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  56. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Hire and Attorney and Financial Advisor first, then I would notify my wife and children. I would then do an exploratory search for real estate in Costa Rica and move to Costa Rica immediately after the public announcement that I won the Mega Million jackpot.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  57. Loren

    Hide. Every one of my relatives and quite a few people who aren't would come calling to remind me of how they did this or that at one time or another that entitles them to a share. In solitude, I could figure out what to do, but you can be sure, I wouldn't be putting together a group to buy the Mets.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  58. MYSTEROIUS

    Help the less fortunate, open lots of no-kill animal shelters, help out churches and family, then live life comfortably. I am not one of those who will "continue to work...."

    March 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  59. Pat in Michigan

    disappear quick.set up a trust to pay for kids who have cancer. Help who I could annonamously.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  60. Steve

    Like all good democrats I'd buy some new underwear, socks, make sure all my family members were set then give the rest to Uncle Sam to help ease the deficit.

    IL

    March 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  61. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    We'd start a small business and hire Veterans and only American workers, pay them a good wage with benefits. We'd make a product that China makes today without making a big profit. Maybe the other wealthy could learn something from this; Be an American. Then we'd start another business once this one is up and running.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  62. Tom-Florida

    I'd buy as many as i could of the 50+ million unsured people in America helth insurance. Because if it's up to the Republican party. They aren't going to get any! Whew...

    March 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  63. Dave - Phx

    I would run for political office so that I could make some more money. Winning this amount would qualify me to be a leader of this country, because that's all you need is money to be smart, just ask republicans.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  64. thom richer

    Spend it. What else? Family first, then community. Too old to let it save it for a rainy day or let the Wall Street crooks play with it. Sure as hell wouldn't give it to any politician. Maybe a buck or two to you, Jack for your outspoken views of the phonies in government and the whackos on FOX News.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    March 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  65. Sean in LA

    Retain a world-class attorney

    March 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  66. PhrozenApe06 Richmond, VA

    I will splurge the first 10 million although I will probably only need to splurge 1 million to do what I always wanted to do but the other 9 million is a safety net and give 15 million to Saint Paul's College Lawrenceville, VA (Alma Mater) who is currently struggling to stay afloat then I would wait about 6 months to a year to gather expertise from financial investors on different investment possibilities because once u have that much your going to want to get more

    March 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  67. Scott Stodden

    I Would Give Some To My Church, A Portion To HIV & AIDS Research Cuz I've Been HIV Positive For 6 Years, I'd Give Some To My Parents And I'd Buy Me A Brand New Car And Take A Vacation To The Bahamas!!!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Illinois)

    March 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  68. Mike in Minneapolis

    I'd buy a couple of Cadillacs and then fire someone and enjoy it.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  69. Mr D

    I would save every penny to pay for future health care costs. However, it might not be enough.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  70. ken, atlantic city, nj

    If I won 540 million I would leave america and never come back. The u.s. is going to fall just like the roman empire.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  71. Kevin, Chester Springs, PA

    Well, I wouldn't spend my time posting comments to the Cafferty File.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  72. Dan in Albuquerque

    Jack, after I took a much-needed shower, I'd think of how many people I know that I could help improve their lives or health dramatically. I might buy a new car and house, but that's about it for myself. The rest would be for education of grandchildren and any bright kids I know personally that need help.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  73. BILL, WI

    Give about 20 mil to my kids with the instructions to use it, lose it or invest it. Equal amount in a trust for my grandkids. And then the rest of for my friends and I to travel to every country in the world for a beer and dinner, and then maybe another beer.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  74. Julia, Fayetteville, NC

    First thing, ask 4 CPAs what I owe the Government. That would take a year to decide. Then I would evaluate how much I had left over and I would find a way to employee people with benefits like I have. Then I would make sure any child who needed help would get help and child would mean 18 and under. I would buy a truck, a simple pickup truck and I would take a trip from here to Maine and across the country to Seattle and down to LaHoya, CA and back to North Carolina. What's left, I would find a good way to spend it on people who have nothing and don't know how to get anything.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  75. Ron

    I would make a lot of people I know wealthy and mortgage free.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  76. Nate NC

    Jack, before I was able to come back to school, I was in the recession. I would really want to help my church build the infrastructure they want to help the homeless and those in need. I would also take care of family such as my Grandmother who always made it a point to give me something, but has not as of late due to being affected herself by the recession. Selfishness at this point will only further screw up society do to the "crabs in a bucket" mentality.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  77. Annie, Atlanta

    Build and furnish a small home, replace our worn out old cars, make sure the local food pantries are stocked for the rest of my life and beyond, purchase heatlh insurance for my sons and me, share with family and friends, and put the rest in a credit union or two.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  78. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,I would establish a huge scolorship trust for kids as much as I could buy in as many colleges' as possible.I would give some to PBS and to my city for parks and some other things I have not thought of yet and keep 5% for myself.
    David

    March 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  79. Michael

    What would I do 540 million Jack? A lot of good. There are some really good charities that need help. But you need to make sure that they are deserving. I think two or three million would be enough for me.

    Michael Largo Florida.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  80. Mark in Houston

    What would I do?

    Move as far from Texas as is humanly possible.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  81. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Buy a ticket on the Richard Branson Orbiter. I want to see Earth as a planet in the Solar System if only for a minute or two!

    March 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  82. Hafeez (New York)

    Half of the winnings I will donate to poor,hungry children around the world and with other half will buy me a big Mansion, a Lamborghini, start my own business and will truly enjoy luxury life.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  83. Paul From Austin Texas

    Move to the Camin Islands and enjoy life.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  84. Max Brooks from Florida

    I would pay for billboards and television ads that point out how marijuana's illegality is completely unjustifiable and they would also include REAL facts about marijuana. Oh, and I'd buy a snowboard too.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  85. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It doesn’t work that way. No one will ever be paid $540 million. They give you some fraction of it if you take a lump sum. If they pay it out in installments, you loose the substantial interest they don’t pay you on what they haven’t paid you yet. And you will never live long enough to collect it all anyway. But I don’t even let myself dream about it. With my brand of luck (bad) it will never happen, so why set myself up for disappointment. Besides, if I ever did win, things would be so bad that it would take $540 million to buy a loaf of bread.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  86. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Buy a house and car on a nice piece of land with a lake, purchase the tech needed to make my house enviromentally friendly and also keep from paying high energy bills, pay back my parents, invest in gold, marry my fiancee, then go on vacation....all in that order.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  87. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    I would buy Fox news, then shut them down.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  88. Annie, Atlanta

    On second thought, seeing as we have an entire political party that thinks it's ok that most of us get trickled on, wanting to turn Medicare into a voucher program (sorry old folks, find your own insurance and good luck with that) and privatize everything from Social Security to schools and prisons, while given tax payer dollars to multi-billion dollar corporations, maybe it's best to high-tail it to a country where the citizenry is treated with respect and common decency. The house just voted on the Ryan Plan, yet again.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  89. Alex in Hope

    Immediately upon collecting it, I'd email everyone I know and tell them exactly what I think of them, beginning with you, Jack. If just once, in your longsuffering mercy, you would deem an answer of mine clever enough to air on CNN, I could retire happily to my ocean-front villa and my stable of Italian sports cars.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  90. Karl in Flint, MI

    I have a daughter-in-law that I would give a suitcase full of money and tell her to disappear. Beyond that. who knows.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  91. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Walk soft and carry a big wallet.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  92. curtis in philadelphia

    I certainly wouldn't tell you about it.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  93. andy Lynn, MA

    First, I'd call the tax lawyers of the top three percent to find out what I had to do to avoid paying taxes. Then, in an act of betrayal, equal to the Republican war on the middle class, I would spend every penny on a President Obama PAC ensuring his re-election. I wouldn't need to falsify any information merely show the Republican record in the last four years.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  94. James - Alexandria, VA

    What would I do if you hit the $540 million lottery? Leave the United States for good seein it will be a third world country in a couple of years. The I shall laugh from afar.......

    March 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  95. Hunter Skeim

    I would take the lump sum and bank it for 8 years hoping for 10%-12% on the portfolio. I would convince some friends and associates to fire up some PACs and Super-Pacs and then in 2020 I would buy the presidency of the United States of America.

    My first act would be to disolve the assembly.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  96. steve c. in miami

    I'd relocate to a country thats not a three ring circus

    March 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  97. Richard Texas

    I would hire you and have you on 5 days a week and a few times each day. We could sell tickets and make millions more. It's only money.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  98. Mark, Nashua NH

    Start my own SuperPAC to get myself elected Mayor/Regulator of Oil and Gas of Wasilla, Alaska.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  99. Greg Turman

    I would put it in a bunch of coffee cans and bury it until after the November election.

    Gregory Turman
    Noonday,Texas

    March 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  100. Leta

    If I win the $540 million:
    I will disappear and change my name!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  101. Ron WPAFB

    I would back Embryonic Stem Cell research, especially into Diabetes! Red Cross, Cancer treatment research, St. Judes Hospital, just to name a few. I would start a Super PAC and fight the GOP and Big Oil with every waking moment!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  102. Gigi Oregon

    I'd try to buy the Vice president ticket for President Obama with it being Ron Paul for my choice. Does that put me in the same day dreaming world of Gingrich and Santorum?

    March 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  103. Joe from Missouri

    Pass out since I haven't bought a ticket.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  104. oldjeep

    Figure 50% or so right off the top for taxes – 250million
    50 million or so for our favorite charities
    Buy a huge house on a lake, new ski boat and a huge house somewhere in Summit county
    Travel – everywhere

    March 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  105. DougR

    I would charter a plane and take a hundred of my friends to New Zealand for breakfast - for two weeks.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  106. Gail

    Fund a college scholarship in my parent's name in my hometown in New Jersey. It would be awarded to a graduating senior and would be based on both academic achievement and financial "need."

    March 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  107. Ben H

    I would take the lump sum, pay off my parent's mortgage, pay off the rest of my brothers' college educations, put the rest away and live off of the interest. Following that, I'd probably donate whatever I don't need to live on every year and travel the world.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  108. Brice Cooper

    Start my own Blackwater company and rule the world.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  109. Paul - North Carolina

    It's a long list. First I would make sure that my wife and I, our adult children and our grand children are financially secure for life. Some would also go towards various projects or needs of our extended family. I would donate to various charities but mostly local organizations which I know try to help those truly in need. Of course there would be new cars, a boat and numerous other items my wife and I have always talked about but couldn't readily afford. We would also travel and see the world. Finally I would fund a Super pac whose sole purpose is to save our nation from the Tea Party.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  110. David G

    Try to pay some of my health care insurance and bills.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  111. D

    Pay off student loans, credit cards, buy a nice home, support my family, and live generously.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  112. Ragu

    Life is once, with that money i would take a ride in a rocket just to visit the outer space and have a look at the earth that we live in... LOL. Told the gas shop owner guy that if i win i will pay him 1M.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  113. Sandstone.

    "Call the Police!!!!! I don't do any Lotteries, so I'de wonder where's the culprit???"

    March 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  114. CRP

    Guess there would be lots to do:
    I would spend 5 Million for a dream house, keep enough money to pay all my house expenses and bills for rest of my life and my childrens life.
    Then start thinking what to do next.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  115. David

    I've been thinking of a possible treatment to fight all forms of cancer which doesn't involve chemo. So I would use a good portion of the money to develop my idea and to see if it can help or cure cancer patients.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  116. Chris from Florida

    I would give most of it to charities which curb world hunger and care for the welfare of animals.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  117. Dorenne Hansen

    First thing would be to buy a new home for my co-worker with fibromyalgia. She has mold problems in the basement of her present home but can't afford to renovate or sell. I feel like some of her problems have to be coming from the house. Then, I'd invest in a mobile medical unit. My daughter is in an ob-gyn residency, my son is a manager for a major corporation, and my youngest son is about to graduate from an engineering program. I think they'd make a great team to help the medically underserved areas of the country along with perhaps a pediatrician. Next on the list we'd buy back my husband's and my grandparent's farms and ask his brother to help us expand our 6 cow-calf herd into a 100 head herd. We'd come up with a plan for part of the rest of the money just not sure what...not that I haven't been thinking about it!!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  118. John from Oregon

    I would buy Greece.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  119. Onalee Williams, Lecanto, Florida

    I'd open a Caymen Islands account, build me a new home in California with an elevator car lift and run for President. That should complete that ego trip. Oops I'd also buy my husband a couple of Cadillacs.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  120. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    After paying my fair share of taxes (unlike many folks who inherited wealth or got it as part of the Ole Boy network), I'd give some money to my relatives then pretty much do whatever I wanted. The whole while keeping a low profile, of course.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  121. John From Carlsbad , CA

    I would just disappear, and resurface in time. Create a foundation and do some good work for folks in need of good solid employment. Help fund franchises and small businesses with no interest loans. With that kind of money, I could put 1000's to work. Not giving back, would be a sin. I am 58 years old, what a great way to spend my final years !!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  122. John K...

    Money never buys happiness but I'd sure rent the hell out of it. Think I'd use part of it to buy my own Politician .... allways wanted one !!!

    Cushing, Ok.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  123. Jon

    I would take a vacation, set up a charity, set the kids and grandchildren up and then go find a place to hide from the people that would come out of the word work looking for a handout.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  124. Ryan, Miami, Florida

    No doubt about it; I'd take at least 2 days off of work.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  125. mridley1013

    I'd take roughly half and try to open up as many viable businesses as possible. The goal wouldn't be to make money (although that's always a plus) but rather to provide as many decent paying jobs as possible. It may not make a dent in the national scheme of things, but it would surely provide a major perk to the local economy. The other half would be spent between investing in items such as gov't bonds, real estate and doing all the things in life everybody dreams about.

    ...Or I could just buy 5% of Apple and live of the newly announced dividends...

    Mike
    Boise, ID

    March 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  126. charleyK

    do the honorable thing... spend it on booze and babes!!! hahaha

    March 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  127. Vick, Orange Park , FL

    Jack I am thinking when I win I will buy and Island somewhere and get away from the partisanship of the current politics in this country!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  128. Earl

    I would build a hospital on the island of Nias in Indonesia. I was there once helping after the tsunami and the hospital was deplorable. The most up to date equipment they had was a blood pressure cuff.
    Maybe whoever does win will help me build the hospital.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  129. RickFromDetroit

    I would probably move into a high rise condo in Manhattan for a couple of years until I ran out of money!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  130. thom

    It would give me one more reason to celebrate the greatest country on earth! My parents were immigrants and came to this country with only the desire to create a better life – and they did. And that is what I have challenged myself with and now my children with – to create a better life through education and hard work. In the end, it doesn't matter who the president is or who controls the congress ... you are in control of your own destiny. So be prepared.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  131. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    Fill up my tank

    March 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  132. Dave in WA

    I would start multiple companies in the United States – and I would hire American workers. All of the things that Reagan promised would happen if you gave tax cuts to the rich. So what's the difference? I grew up poor. I can't imagine the kind of empty person who would waste vast wealth on personal things like mansions or private jets. If I had as much money, that would mean power to change the world and make it better. As far as I'm concerned there is no better use for wealth than that purpose.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  133. timothy

    Oh Jack! If I won that much money I would move to Minnesota and get three jobs.
    Tim in Des Moines, Ia.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  134. Elena

    If I were to win that jackpot. MMMMMMmmmm first thing I would do is buy me my truck, 2ndly I would give 1 million to each of my sisters, I have a total of 4. I would also give 1 million to each of my closet closet friends and cousins who have been with me and have supported me through out my years, and have been there through all my good and bad times. 3rdly I would have someone make my moms dream house. Her and my dad just lost there home about 2 years ago, and I know they are going through so much rough times right now, because of my dads bad health, and my mom really needs a good vacation from having to deal with my dad, brother and step-sister. They all suffer from Diabetes and so this lady has to take care of them all the time. 4thly I would would buy a large land, and build two gigantic apartment complex with maybe about a total of 100 apartments each and a gigantic kitchen and cafeteria for the homeless. I would hire people to cook for all these people that need a place to eat and sleep, of course there would be some type of rules that they would have to comply with. The rest I would enjoy with my 2 adult kids and there spouses, and my grandkids of course.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  135. Michelle, Monroe MI

    I would definitely buy myself, and my family, a home somewhere outside of the U.S!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  136. George Miron

    First of all: the jackpot isn't $540 million... you need to take the cash value (about $389 million) and subtract obligatory taxes. After that, anyone who participated in this should go to the nearest psychiatrist and figure out why...

    March 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  137. Stankyfinger

    I would do nothing and i would do it well and often

    March 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  138. Jason

    I would free Blago from Jail in Colorado!!!!!!!! And maybe buy a couple of things for myself!!! LOL....

    March 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  139. Kimmy SalisbIury NC

    I would pay for my children, nieces and nephews college education. After they complete the education. I would set up a college scholarship fund at our local private college. I would, give, give give and give some more. I would build a bigger house because I am sure all my relatives would want to come and visit me. Like someone else said, I would be sure to tip the waitress' BIG. They work so hard and take so much crap from the public. I would smile a lot more.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  140. Kathryn Brown

    I like your idea of investing it and living off the interest. And, I'd probably have some fun by picking random strangers to pay off their mortgages, or college tuition, or dropping a couple million on a some small, local, hands-on charity groups with small budgets.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  141. Louise of Missouri

    I'd buy Greece, but looking at the planned deficit spending by President Obama, maybe I should send it to him

    March 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  142. DeShaun

    I would give nearly half back to the community, church, form a foundation, create outreach programs for youth, and put money in low income schools with high needs. I'd make sure my family/future family/ close friends are taken care of. As for myself, I'd travel the world, invest for my children, and fulfill all of my dreams!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  143. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I won't know until I win it.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  144. Jim in OKC

    Start with all the "correct things"; Lawyer and CPA put on retainer, set up blind trust to claim the money to avoid parts of the taxes and most of the vultures. Pay all debts and all family members' debts. Donate to a few deserving charities. Invest large portion in interest generating accounts to provide continuous multi-million/year income into the future. Set up trusts, educational trusts and goal trusts for my children. Spend the next 4 years traveling, planning/building "forever" homes for myself and family and playing across the globe. Then in the 2016 campaign, run a full power shot at the presidency, funded entirely by myself so I can tell all the stupid special interest groups of either side to hush. Running as a Independent that supports portions of both sides planks and tossing overboard the stupidity of both sides, I figure I just might have a chance of capturing the majority of America's votes.

    Or I might just open a new Casino in Vegas...

    March 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  145. DAVE IN TEXAS

    I would wear a new pair of underwear everyday for the rest of my life

    March 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  146. Ken - Kingsport, TN

    Jack, I would buy me a Congressman (or two). That is how it works now, right?

    March 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  147. Uncle Chester of Iowa

    Id buy up all the television sets in the US so that nobody in the US would hear all the bias reporting telling us how the other guy is such a jerk

    March 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  148. Bill Jones

    Danville Ky Jack, if they call off my numbers tomorrow night, I'm gonna run down my street knocking on all my neighbors' doors, laugh in there face, call them loser's..and probably be shot and killed before morning for being such an obnoxious winner. Shew, good thing I'm not a lucky guy!!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  149. Tony, Lake Forest CA

    Well, I'd give every single cent to the first Pro Choice, hand gun regulating, non Bible (mis)quoting, EQUAL and fair taxation and President Obama appreciating REPUBLICAN, I meet on the street.........I'm positive I can go ahead with my plans for the mansions, yachts and Rolls without hesitation.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  150. Harry Wortz

    Move to Northern Europe where the living is easy.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  151. RSO 34

    I would pay for a full tank of gas and use the change to buy a cookie.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  152. Brenna

    Give all of it all to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. I know a five year old that deserves better.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  153. DogGuy

    I'm buried in debt, but is my life really so bad that I'd deep-six it with a tsunami of cash and fame? All the money out there couldn't replace the anonymity that I have now, for free. The winner will be from a class of people that buy their things in convenience stores, not the class of people that have money. The end result is predestined.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  154. Randall from Red Bank, NJ

    Why I'd buy me a couple members of Congress like a real one percenter.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  155. Pamela

    If I win the $500M, after Thanking God and then fainting I would walk into work grab my stuff, leave a nice resignation note for the boss. Apportion 10% of it to family and friends, give to my church, bury $2M –literally! Pay off all bills, keep $50M, and give the rest away to charities and foundations, and jump for my dream retirement location and live happily ever after!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  156. Got it figured out

    I'd go on television next to Warren Buffet and tell everyobe that I am rich and unlike Warren I do NOT want to pay more in taxes - because the goivernment just spends it on Dumb things

    March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  157. chris

    I'd buy more lottery tickets!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  158. Name*Samuel

    The kids and grandchildren will never want again. Some charity will be very lucky.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  159. Marc Bazile

    I would try to go to everyplace on this planet and sleep with the hottest chick they have to offer. What women would turn me down, after all I have $540 million freaking dollars!!!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  160. Osama Bin Laden from the grave

    I'd pay those Pakistani Generals more money in the hopes they'd do a better job of keeping my home in Pakistan's West Point a better secret.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  161. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    I would share with 4 other families and use my share to make sure my family was secure the rest of their lives and their children's lives. I would upgrade my airline tickets to first class for my upcoming trip to Norway and upgrade to a suite on the ship. Other than that, I am content with my lot in life as it is and would not make many changes. You see, I don't suffer from class envy.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  162. Rich

    buy me an election!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  163. BRIAN

    I'd marry A.P. so she wouldn't need to work any longer and buy myself an ironing board because I can't currently afford it.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  164. Bill N

    Buy congress and shut down the crappingcanistan adventure.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  165. Gary H. Boyd

    I live in Scottsdale, Arizona and I'd buy the place, It's got 27 golf courses, Arabian Horse events, world class antique car shows, beautiful hotels and resorts, wonderful restaurants, western beauty, and cache',class and aplomb, all of the attributes I've come to admire. I'd then also buy "Nothing", Arizona which actually exists and the name speaks for itself. That way I would have collected jewels from both ends of the spectrum.
    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  166. joey head

    Buy a house on the Amalfi coast and put a new Ferrari in my driveway

    March 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  167. Cadillacjoe

    I would become a Republican, since I would be rich I would not want to see any of my wealth wasted on the needy or infrastructure by paying taxes. Then I would probably go out and buy myself a shiny new Senator.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  168. LiveHereNow

    I would use the money to create a completely self sustained community using solar energy, local farm, local recycling factory, electric cars etc etc whatever current technologies offer, I think it's doable as of today. If the money is used this way, the value of investment doesn't diminish , and it also promotes many people's lives (including mine) in the healthy sustainable community for a long long time, and the best of all, have fun with people in the community without anyone in the community worrying about making ends meet everyday.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  169. KellyinCA

    Sorry, the CA in my handle is not short for California.

    $540 million is not simply rich, Jack; in some hands it is the level of wealth that builds companies and communities and nations. It is an amount that establishes dynasties and, at varying points in history, buys kingdoms. There are royal families with less in personal wealth than this.

    But I'm not "fortunate" enough to move in such circles. Comfort for me and mine, that's a given. My church would get a boost, as would my alma mater. My kid's Scholastic book orders would get much, much larger. A fair-sized annuity to a few good causes, and invest the rest so that all of these and whatever else I can think of can benefit for as long as possible. Otherwise, my conscience would bother me.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  170. Scott Allen

    Mourn the loss of value. I'd have fun, but I'd miss the sweetness of going to my favorite Sushi restaurant once every month or two because it's expensive, because I could go anytime I want. I'd miss the simple joy of giving things away that cost me something measurable. Yes, I'd have fun, but I'd miss generosity and value that cost me something, because I would be in want of nothing material. Not so sure I want to buy a ticket, but I really want to help set a new record.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  171. Eric Hatch (Loveland OH)

    First four steps after winning:

    1. Disconnect my phones and buy a throw-away phone
    2. Call my lawyer and accountant
    3. Hire someone whose entire job is to say "no thank you."
    4. Book first-class round-the-world tickets. Plan to be gone 6 months minimum.

    During the trip, figure out how to give most of it away.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  172. Patrick in North Carolina

    Jack, I would try to be as smart as possible with the money. First, I would pay off all of my student loans so I wouldn't have that burden to bare anymore. Second, I would give money to my family so that they could take care of their financial needs. I would also donate some money to charity, and put the money in a bank account that would mature and earn interest over time. I know the temptations to spend frivolously would be there, and I'd try my best to avoid them. I can't say that I would be successful all of the time, but I would do my best to not end up like one of these people that you hear about winning the lottery. Then they are broke six weeks later because they blew all of the money on pointless stuff.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  173. David in Mississippi

    Spend,Spend,Spend!!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  174. faboge

    you can only live in one house at a time, drive one car at a time, eat once or twice a day, so why not take half and really make the lives of some distressed people more comfortable?

    March 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  175. heidi - TN

    I'd use most of it to provide homes and services to the wounded warriors. Since I won't win the lottery, I am hopeful that the government will use my taxes to the same end.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  176. John C from Long Island

    Simply stated....I'D PISS IT ALL AWAY!!!!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  177. Karen, Idaho

    Hi Jack,
    I have my lottery ticket already. If I hit the jackpot the local Humane Society will receive a huge donation. Needy animals are more deserving and appreciative than greedy adults.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  178. TPF

    I would give have to Jack and then he could retire and enjoy his life. Or he could stay on cable and really say, and I mean really say, what's on his mind and then laugh all the way home. Love ya Jack!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  179. Blue

    I would challange everybody to do something even if don't win. For example, give $10 a month to a charity rather than $1000. Or help a family member with whatever you can afford now.... In other words, you can Sacrifice as much as possible now; you dont have to wait until you are "rich". Sacrifice will bring you other richness that money cannot buy... God Bless.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  180. Cadillacjoe

    See how few of these comments are using their wealth to become "job creators?" That's how the real world works too, which is why keeping their tax rate artificially low is such a great idea.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  181. Duane - St. Pete FLA

    get back into shape....go snow skiing....live...eat and be merry

    March 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  182. dario

    I would immediately trade it in for gold.....before bernanke tells me its monopoly money

    March 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  183. Mikey

    I would have first row tix to all major sporting events-Lakers Courtside; Saints Season Tix; Boxing ringside; US Open -suites

    March 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  184. Mark

    Eliminate my debt, make close relatives really happy, set up a foundation to aid causes where I live, and stop worrying about where the next dollar is coming from! And stay humble, hopefully.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  185. expres12

    Put gas in my car...

    March 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  186. Kyoatey in AZ

    Place $5 million in a "BIMBO FUND" and $10 million in "Legal Fund", the rest in a "FUN FUND" :)

    March 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  187. Jen

    I think I'd use most of it to screw with Republicans. I'd pay my taxes, give some to charity, pay my workers a fair wage – all things that disgust conservatives.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  188. Drew

    Jack, I'd build an oil refinery, and double my money in a year, or less.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  189. wining

    i bought 60 mega million tickets annd i will win :D

    March 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  190. marybeth, massachusetts

    I'm not going to win because Mitt Romney has bought all of the tickets.

    If I won, I'd pay off my debts, plan for my future (make sure I have enough to live on in retirement). Then, I'd help family (parents, brother & his kids) and I have a couple of friends who have worked very hard but struggled their whole lives. I'd help them too. After that, I'd make nice gifts to my two alma maters (one is a community college), to Planned Parenthood so women who don't have health insurance can get birth control, screenings, and other important health care. I'd help local libraries and schools. And I'd travel, something I've always wanted to do but can't afford.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  191. bernard,houston texas

    jack,after taking time to read all the comments. I am lauging myself to tears.
    This is hilarious, jack.
    my best day so far this week just for the laughs.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  192. Henk in Colorado

    540 million? I'll buy myself a submarine and go hide in the Mariana Trench until after the election.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  193. verna

    Take a couple of college courses on money management so i could properly supervise the Accountants & Attorneys I have to hire. I'll be darned if THEY would end up with my money and put me right back in the poor house. Then I would share it – share with maids, housekeepers, chef, personal trainer, chauffeur, pool guy, all in a large comfortable house on the coast of Maine somewhere with 50 forested acres with electrified chain link fence all around. Told you I would share!!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  194. Sam

    I've had rheumatoid arthritis for many years that has caused numerous deformities in most of my joints that I cannot afford to fix. That's the first thing I'm going to do, get my deformed joints repaired, starting with my hands!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  195. ET

    At least 10 percent to God and the rest, a nice home for everyone in my family, start a foundation to support our veterans who are NOT getting support from the VA, and then I would travel the world and just live on the interest...I'm pretty sure I could do that!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  196. Chuck Norris III

    I would spend it all on viagra, hookers and booze. LOL. No, I'd give it all away. My life is pretty perfect as it is. Give it to fund schools for our next generation and to find a cure for Lupus.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  197. denny

    Invest, buy some nice flip flops and get really drunk!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  198. anonymous

    I'd do what every self-respecting multi-millionaire does. Run for President.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  199. Aztec Phil

    I would go the investment route you suggest. Then with the $8million/year interest, I would buy a nice house on Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi, pay off my family's debts, set up some home security for my mother, buy all my friends the new car of their choice, hire lawyers to go after my enemies, make some donations to charities and to a few national parks, and travel the world a lot with my girlfriend. Oh, yes! I would also make a sizable contribution to the Obama campaign.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  200. Pam from Texas

    After I got over my heart attack/stroke I would just take a deep breath and ENJOY the moment. I would not tell anyone besides my husband and son and then pray for a good lawyer. HA! And then I would help my mother-in-law with all her dreams/wishes. I would finally be able to give to all the charities that deserve so much help. And lastly my husband, son and I would enjoy all of our dreams. I know it sounds like "Pollyanna" but it is what I've dreamed. Just to share a lot of what's been given.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  201. Fishers-of-Men

    I will start a ministry that uses all media to reach every living soul in all corners of the world and inform them who God is, why we all need to repent. Then I will raise an army of believers going door to door to knock and doors and share the good news in all corners of the world!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  202. kevin

    I'd move AWAY from Illinois.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  203. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills

    Frankly, I would rather win a 7 million Super Lotto. I can understand, control and spend 7 million better than 1/2 a billion. I will continue to work for yet another year, but be debt free for life.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  204. Ronald David Morris

    I would buy several islands, a British Channel Isles WWII fort. an island in the Caribbean and the South Pacific and an island in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Then I would convert them into survuvalist homes. I doubt if anything is going to really happen, but then again I never thought I would win the lottery either.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  205. Paul - Colorado Springs, CO

    actually discussed with my daughter yesterday and being a cancer survivor would give over 10,000,000 dollars to cancer research... would set up a fund for my daughter and son and their families. finally I would buy a custom motorhome an travel the USA with my beautiful wife

    March 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  206. Norm

    I would marry a large round woman and move to Montana

    March 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  207. RogerE

    Change the world! Advocate for the only real solution to our current stupidity that economic growth will solve all of our problems. It's called a steady state economy where we all still live a great lifestyle but with more time! It's just that I would have more time than the rest.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  208. JC in SC

    These comments are fantastic! I would pay off my son's and daughter's education loans, and have a teeny bit left for savings.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  209. Rick of BG KY

    I would buy me Rand Paul and Senator mitch and I bet for 10% of winnings I could live like them for the rest of my life and I am only 65

    March 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  210. Mike F

    I will opt for the lump sum in cash, throw it all in my fireplace, sit back, and watch it all burn. It's only paper folks!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  211. neverrude

    I’d pay my New Jersey property tax’s and should have enough left over to paint my 95 Camary.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  212. Denker

    I would buy Rick Santorum and beat him with a garden hose.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  213. Pete/Ark

    OK Jack...after the plastic surgery,name changed under a court ordered seal, and 12 mean dogs , I'd buy a couple of politicians and then see if they could get me a tax-break for spending money foolishly.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  214. Mike S., New Orleans

    If I won that much money, I would be able to challenge Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  215. Dan

    I would buy property and homes all throughout the world and not stop travelling.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  216. adam in va

    I'd buy part of the Mets! They need real leadership.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  217. Jan Meyers

    What wouldn't I do??? :)

    March 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  218. KindaSorta in Nashville, TN

    One thing I would do is payoff and fix up my current home and then give it to a single mom who is struggling.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  219. Bob Klepak - Conyers, GA

    Buy my wife 3 Cadillacs and run for President

    March 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  220. RD Atchison

    Pay off my bills and save the rest for gas money!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  221. Gary in IL

    Form my own Country with a balanced budget and form my own competent Congress and elect a competent president who at least knows when I microphone is on . . . ah, who am I kidding, I would spend it all on a date with Elisha Cutbert . . .

    March 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  222. Bill in Los Angeles

    Move out of Los Angeles, pay off all debt for me and my entire family. Buy a new car. Buy houses for my two nephews. Travel the world. Buy a home in San Francisco with a country house in the Northern California wine country. Buy a house or three somewhere in Europe and one in New Zealand. Set up scholarships at all my alma maters. Help animals and poor people.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  223. Abdirashid Samantar

    I would buy homes for our homeless Veterans. Our veterans deserve everything we can afford to give them.
    God bless our Veterans and their families.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  224. Larry DuBois

    Jack, I would first hire a phychiatrist, then a lawyer, & lastly an accountant!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  225. ALEX

    I would go to each and every state and give tithes and the rest blow it all in one DAY

    March 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  226. Jauno

    Beside helping family and friends, I'd help children and dogs because that's how I roll :-)

    March 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  227. rosie

    I would finally retire.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  228. Anthony Walk

    This is easy. My list goes as follows:

    1. Start deep sea exploring with James Cameron and Jeff Bezos. (We would probably build an underground city)

    2. Build roads to nowhere all over the place.

    3. Get my face carved in a mountain in Patagonia.

    4. Buy 1978 Mercedes 300TD station wagon

    5. Mail my friends $hitty presents.

    6. Burn any leftover money in front of my new oil rig.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  229. Chris

    I would travel the US playing in touraments for a card game that I enjoy. Make sure my fiance followed her dreams to be a personal trainer and pay off any debt for my entire family.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  230. Mark

    why is the main thing everyone cares about is politicians... seriously if i wont the money i would do what i want, take care of my family. my only involvement with the government would be paying tax's other then that i probably wouldn't even vote, i would travel the world. i would quit my current job and become a helicopter pilot. i would buy my own helicopter, and buy a seat on the first commercial space flight.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  231. Jonathan

    I'd become governor of Massachusetts and then run for President a couple of times. That's what other rich people do, right?

    March 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  232. Toni

    Easy to answer. I would build thousands of wells for water in Africa.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  233. AJ

    Jack, you may be a bit senior for this reference, but I'd make it rain......

    March 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  234. Nate Dukes

    Id spend every penny lobbying for an agency to be put in place to stop the terrifying corruption that has infected the united states democratic system.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  235. Donna

    I would help everyone!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  236. Denise

    I know what I would NOT do: let Newt Gingrich advise me on a penny of it.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  237. Mark

    Jack, I'd spend $10M on each candidate running for President if they would look into the camera and say, "I'm a yammering idiot. Don't vote for me!" Your tax free Muni advice sounds pretty good for the rest.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  238. Lulu

    First, seek out an attorney to help me claim it w/out being splashed all over the news pages. Then quit my job & invest. Put the returns into scholarships, good works for my community, charitable donations, helping out friends and relatives who deserve it, travel ... Anything I wanted.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  239. . Sandra Howery

    I would run for President – I'd have to do better than what we have

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  240. Bernadette

    Pay off my student loans then buy my parents the beach house they've always wanted.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  241. Melvin Al Farris

    Retire! Make $10,000.00 bets. Live life like I was a millionaire.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  242. Joey Lynchburg, VA

    I would run for President, and be a better option...

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  243. Adrian

    I would like to open a business or invest it, so I had income coming in still. I would also register as a Republican, so I wouldn't have to feel guilty about being greedy.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  244. Amir Fuller

    I will buy newt gingrich a house with a view of reality and might have enough left over to get him some common sense.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  245. toby holzer

    Jack,
    I would donate it all towards the betterment of political campaigns–right!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  246. brett

    I would buy oil futures. It seems to me that it's just going to keep going up and up and up. That and foreclosed houses in college towns. Then rent them out. And Las Vegas.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  247. Undocumented Asians Americans & a path to legalization

    Hire a production company to document my life and put those silly Kardashians out of business. Then, I'd buy a nice BMW.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  248. melcorps@ptd.net

    A custom 4-cylinder 1984 stretch Buick Skylark Limousine painted 'onion color', a blimp, and live in a salt mine.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  249. Mike Vincent

    Jack, because you won't buy a ticket. I would give it all to you so you could quit and stop all these silly questions.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  250. Charlie Sheen

    Blow it all on booze, drugs and hookers.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  251. Oliver Frazier

    I would set up a foundation to assist the citizens of America through natural catastrophes...

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  252. Pamela

    I'd buy health insurance.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  253. Rusty in NY

    I would start a company with the primary directive to raise enough international capital to build a permanent moon base.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  254. naheed Dareshuri

    Will fly first class around the world ,go to spa every week ,give to my children,then will open a hospital ,for people who don,t have health insurance,put my name on it.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  255. Greg from NY

    Unlike most people, before I spend a dime I would get a lawyer and a financial advisor.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  256. Kurt Amundsen

    Adios Amigo!!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  257. Julie

    Take care of my immediate family, tell them that is all they get and then I would move to a small town, ride a bike every day and live like I didn't have any money. I would look like the towns bag lady. Of course I would help out certain charities and my church.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  258. Priscilla in Wisconsin

    I wouldn't quit my job. But I'd call in "sick" every day for the rest of my life !!!!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  259. jeff wehmeyer

    I would pay off bills, build a new house. take wife of 24 years on the honeymoon we could never afford. give a donation to a childrens hospital. But first i would thank god then cry

    March 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  260. Pete

    If I won the Lottery, I would take half & move as far away as possible from & Democrats & Republicans as I possibly could,

    March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  261. Madhu

    I would adopta town in the country and be an entrepreneur with a goal to make the town amodel town of 21st century. With my strategy experience, love for tjis country and people.. I hope to succeed with a noble before I die.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  262. Glenn D

    I will turn off the lights and dance crazy to "One More Time" by Daft Punk

    March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  263. Tyrone Stevenson - NYC

    I would run for president, seems like money is all you really need to be taken seriously (LOL)

    March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  264. Mike M., Voorhees, NJ

    If I won I'd offer Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul a piece of it to "Drop Out" of the race. Hey let's face it, I have a better chance at 175 million – 1 that any of these guys will be elected.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  265. Adrian

    Jack, You will never win, if you don't play.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  266. don fowler

    If I won $540 million? I would run for President and buy my votes from the out of work voters. Just like our current crop of GOP'ers seemed to be trying to do. With $540 mil, who needs a SuperPac?

    March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  267. Larry from Minnesota

    I would buy one of those politicians that everyone is raving about.:)

    March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  268. Sue-z

    I don't think we're calculating the odds of winning the lottery correctly. We're not playing against the other people that buy a ticket. We're playing the odds that the numbers we pick will be drawn. I think the odds should be calculated based upon how many numbers are in listed on the ticket and the numbers included. Aren't they 1 – 56? I don't know math...but it always sounds wrong to me when they list the odds of winning.

    When I win I will get a math tutor. Or move to La Jolla. Yah...La Jolla.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  269. brian

    Jack, first thing I would do is hire Mitt Romneys tax attorney and then move my money into overseas accounts.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  270. Catherine - San Diego, CA

    First, I think that kind of money is too much for one person to win so I would rather win with my group of coworkers. Second, aside from doing the normal pay off college loans, credit card debt, parents and siblings houses, I would of course spend some of the money on luxury items. I would invest the majority of the money in low risk areas (I would need a team of financial advisors for this of course). After all of that, my biggest dream has been to start a non-profit organization that would build schools all across the US and throughout the world AND pay quality teachers what they deserve and give them the tools they need to be a successful teacher. Education is the solution to almost every socio-economic problem we have in this country and throughout the world. Do I have the first idea how I would get something like this started? No way, but one of my first calls might be to Oprah. I'm pretty sure she could give me some advice. :)

    March 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  271. Doris

    I would build a Church of Christ/Iglesia Ni Cristo church in every state for about 3 million dollars per church. Build my dream home in Chandler, AZ and give money to some school districts that are in underprivileged communities. Take care of homeless dogs and homeless children and invest the rest in tax free municipal bonds. How about that Jack!!!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  272. travelinman4

    Jack,
    I am very tired of seeing the poor and sick in danger. I would keep a few million for myself and my family, and then set-up an endowment to take care of those in deepest need. A few weeks ago here in Binghamton, NY I saw one of several families standing outside in the cold, after their apartment house was engulfed with a fire. I watched one small 11 year-old girl crying from the shock the the incident. I am not in a position to help very many beyond myself, as today, I am unemployed; however, I believe I will feel better to give, than to receive, so I would like to believe the endowment I would set-up would take care of those less fortunate. I believe we live in a civilized society, in which it is my job to help take care of others. What about you Jack, will you help me, if I win the big prize?
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    March 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  273. Jerry in CA

    Too old for it to do me much good, but boy, would my kids, grandkids and great grandkids love it. Bet I'd qualify as Dad, Granddad of the year in their eyes!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  274. Jim from Cheyenne

    Fix my truck.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  275. Ronnie

    Donate most of it, nobody needs that much money

    March 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  276. Michael C. Harrod

    First I would faint and hope I wake up without looking at Pearle Gates!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  277. tim TX

    i would tell my landlord adios and buy a home and a car. and pay cash for both.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  278. Flyingwolf from Manchester, NH

    After paying my bills (including my R.E. taxes) I would hellp animals and the Earth Mother herself. Humans are ridiculous. And that's my opinion.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  279. Carol

    First I'd be taking a lump sum. After paying off the bills, the house and taking care of the kids and family, I'd make a donation to our disable Veterans and to our Veterans Hospitals. I feel we don't do enough for either. I'd like to give something to all those who have given so much to us.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  280. Shaan

    If I won the $540 million dollar lottery, I'd buy Newt Gingrich a one way ticket to Las Vegas to live one-bedroom flat near a Motel 6; promising to get out of the race.....first order of business after I win.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  281. himmelreich

    I would build a highway to heaven, but only oneway.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  282. Mike

    Are you kidding? I'd give some to charity ,take care of all my family members including the ones I never knew I had buy new cars and things I never needed before I won, get involved in drugs and be broke in 2 years.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  283. Samantha

    I would pay all of my family, and close relatives debt, build us a community but never change who we are still shop at walmart and buy Scott single ply!!! But we would never have to worry again. From then help many many others. (And than the cherry i would finally be able to tell my kids Everything will be ok, and know that i am not lying!!!)

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  284. Jerrell from FL

    I'd donate half to charities, go to school for real estate, take care of my loved ones and close friends, make investments, and travel the world with the love of my life. Retirement before 25 I think so.

    #CNN

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  285. heyheyhey

    Would help my family pay off their farming debt and turn it into a wetland never to be developed. Sit on the back porch with my granny and family watching the doggies run around and eagles fly through the air.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  286. stephanie

    Get my life back on track...invest and donate.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  287. Doug (in Ohio)

    Unfortunately, nothing! I'd be barely alive looking up in the sky at the approaching asteroid after being struck by lightning while suffering from being bitten by a shark.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  288. Tom K. From Beverly Hills

    Jack,
    I would do a lot more to help people than those do nothing politiians in Washington DC.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  289. Allena

    Pay off ALL our BILLS, buy each one of my children a home, take a trip with my husband, invest for our future. Donate to several charities and most importantly Thank God.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  290. Fabian

    I would give away at least 50 to Charities, God knows they need it more than i at that point., I would set up scholarships for minorities, live comfortably and enjoy life

    March 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  291. Ed

    Keep 2 million for myself, give the rest to my children, and grandchildren.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  292. Shaan

    If I won the $540 million dollar lottery, I'd buy Newt Gingrich a one way ticket to Las Vegas to live in a one-bedroom flat near a Motel 6; promising to get out of the race.....first order of business after I win.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  293. robert

    Already got it figured out...lump sum, 40% tax, tithe to the church, set up a foundation to keep genreating money to give away, trusts for the kids, a million to each immediate family member, invest the rest and live on interest.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  294. Carol - Chattanooga, Tn.

    I would give 10 million to Obama's super pac and split the rest with my four children. I might be able to convince the state that the kids helped buy the winning ticket, thus saving later estate taxes when my children inherit my great wealth. By splitting it with the kids, I don't have to worry about incessant calls from them wanting to borrow a million or so and it definitly takes me off everybody's hit list. Oh, and I would probably fund the animal shelters in my town so that innocent animals are not put down for lack of a caring owner.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  295. jaz1993

    Jack, i'd buy me a few politicians..all 535 of them.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  296. George Bell

    Jack, I know exactly what I would do if I won that $540 million dollars. I'm a 72 year old retiree – half of it I would spend on wine and women, the other half I'll just piss away!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  297. Jenna Roseville CA

    What would you do if you hit the $540 million lottery?

    Easy, I would take care of my fmaily, friends, and favorite charities. Then..

    I'd buy a bunch of local radio stations and make them all PROGRESSIVE.

    Then I would finacially support a move to get real reform in government like:

    TERM LIMITS FOR ALL INCLUDING THE SUPREME COURT (JOB FOR LIFE AS IF) –
    REVERSEAL OF CITIZENS UNITED –
    PUBLIC FINANCING ONLY OF CANDIDATES –
    VOTE BY MAIL WITH NO INSTANT RESULTS –
    TRUTH IN BROADCASTING – A NEW AN IMPROVED FAIRNESS DOCTRINE, ETC.

    That should keep me pretty busy for awhile..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    March 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  298. Andrew from Michigan

    I'd split it between the school district I went to, the church I attend, my friends, family, and local charities. I couldn't spend 540 million dollars even if I had 10 lifetimes to work with.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  299. Bob

    Call my lawyer, accountant and set up a trust. I would not allow my ID be known at all and would be set for life. Give money to family but they will sign a document that the amount is a one time deal. Give some to charity, and my lazy butt would be at the beach for a long time.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  300. Yuri from florida

    Jack, investing your money comes with a risk. Placing your money into someone else's hands only encourages banks and corporations to take huge risks with your money. (IMF comes to mind).

    If I had that kind of cash I would go ahead and buy myself a big island. I would move there and bring over a group of people willing to work there taking care of garden, cooking food et cetera. I would then buy a yacht (a big one) and spend most of my life traveling on land and over water returning to my very own island for psychological retreat and relaxation. Portion of my money would be invested into stable funds and even if it generates much lower profit... the money would be safe(r). Remainder of my money would be partially donated to medical research and other innovations. I WOULD NOT give money to charity. Do not ask me why...

    March 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  301. Mike from Winnipeg

    I would do something that REALLY made a difference in the world.. I'd loan it .. no GIVE IT.. to Greece.. or the whole E.U... unfortunately they don't sell tickets up here : -)

    March 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  302. Sandstone.

    "If I thought it would ever interest you, Jack.. 'Is there such a thing as Buying Peace??? Whatever it takes, I think that is the thing so out of reach!"

    March 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  303. frank - south bend indiana

    Jack - I'd invest in a Las Vegas Casino and buy my own personal presidential candidate.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  304. Josh Anthony

    learn from Mitt Romney and run for president

    March 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  305. Terry Paul

    One thing to keep in mind, it is not $540 mill. If you take a lump sum and then after taxes it is about $180 mill, approx. 33% of the initial. So don't buy a $181 milllion dollard island or you will be automatically bankrupt and in debt.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  306. Mark S Tylosky

    Of course I'd do the normal things; get a new car, buy a house for my wife and I and our 2 daughters, get them new cars as well.. I'd also pay off my wife's sister's condo and get her brother (who just recently had heart surgery and found out he's in dire straits. But the main thing I would do is establish my vision from 1990. "Mark.I want you to wrench money from the hands of evil men. Put it to use for good: Help the homeless and hungry, rehabilitate prostitutes and drug addicts and provide free medical care for the poor and elderly. Eclipse-gs is the name of the vision. The 1st thing I would do is buy a hotel near the water around Athens, Greece and from it bring forth the vision. It would 1st go to Africa and then to the rest of the world.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  307. Abdi Atlanta GA

    I will hire the best reporters in CNN like Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and John King

    March 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  308. Joe

    A charitable or patriotic person would hire a very smart lawyer and draw up a document that arranged for each US citizen to have $1 million allotted to their healthcare; that money could not be used for anything other than medical treatment for that person; doctors, nurses, and hospitals could not overcharge for services, knowing that each citizen had what should be a lifetime's worth of healthcare coverage. Some of the remaining $200 could be used to encourage Americans to pressure lawmakers to protect the health of Americans by making price gouging for health services illegal and to end the stranglehold insurance companies have on this nation. In a perfect world….

    March 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  309. Joe

    Buy Health Insurance.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  310. Samantha

    I would be able to tell my kids everything will be ok, and go to sleep knowing that is true!!! Help many others and pay off all close relatives houses and cars. Than give the rest to the woman who let me and my kids have her home when we had nothing.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  311. Jerry from Califronia

    I would give to my family and friends to make sure they are taken care of as well as travel the world.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  312. Mark

    I'd lease planes, and make free transport available from Afghanistan back to the US for troops stationed there. 70K troops x $2000 plane ride = $140M, and I'd have enough left for your tax free muni strategy, Jack. I'll also give you $1M if you'll record your voice on my answering machine.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  313. Ken Lehto

    First – no announcement.

    Next announce it at the last moment.

    Spend months thinking about it – I really have no idea. I'm an accountant and have dealt with one billion dollars, but not my billion dollars.

    I have not the foggiest idea.

    Thanks for asking.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  314. Sheena St. Paul

    Give people (not just young people) from less-than-privileged backgrounds enough money to get a 4 year college degree. Maybe by an essay contest on my blog. I always wished I had support in this area and I know how difficult it is to pay back student loans. That would only be the first thing I'd do...

    March 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  315. BubbaDuncan

    buy me a full time Obama impersonator and slap him daily.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  316. Derick

    I will be so scared for my life i would have to return the money - too much for me Jack!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  317. Kevin from Orlando/Detroit

    First thing I would do is take your advice and invest in tax free municipal bonds. Next I would stop working and start donating/investing in things that matter; poverity, childhood obesity, etc

    March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  318. Dean

    Wounded Warriers, St. Jude's Hospital and a new Aston Martin Vantage S Roadster and an Island Packet 485 for me.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  319. Lorne

    I'd help out the homeless getting them a job, and a home. Buy empty abandon lots turning them in green spaces giving back to nature. Or adopting a child from Africa by sending money over so they can go to school getting education and paying for food enough for themselves and there families.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  320. Peter in VT

    Back in the '60"s a person won big at the track and asked this old guy to pick up the winnings , low tax hit for seniors. The old guy died at the window and the winner lost it all. As a senior I hope that doesan't happen to me. Watch the news Jack.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  321. Cody Karlsen

    I'd set up an association to provide Therapy/Service dogs to all disabled veterans and provide for expenses for the dogs Veterinarian care and training and nutritional needs. These dogs would be provide to ALL veterans who need assistance. Currently the VA only supplies seeing eye service dogs and the waiting list in some cases is years. The VA is suposed to supply dogs to all veterans who need them but currently does not, even though it is mandated by federal law as of 2002. I'm a DAV myself and have purchased and have in training at my expense my own Shiloh Shepher dog.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  322. baresark

    Jack. if I won the lotto I'd pay off my VISA... and the rest would have to wait!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  323. Barry

    I would develop several inventions – a kitchen appliance and two plastics products – that I've been working on for years but never had the spare money to pursue to the point of working, patentable protoypes. And I would manufacture them in AMERICA.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  324. samuel doll

    if i won i would pay all my bills buy all of my family a house and open a law firm for children of divorce

    March 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  325. Ron

    Jack,I'll have my wife quit her job and move somewhere in the tropics and live happy ever after.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  326. Prairie Health Blog

    A new truck seriously ! you don't deserve to win.

    Have the money transferred to Lloyds Bank. Fly to Ireland and pick up parents in a Gulfstream G4. Head to Monte Carlo, buy my new convertible Bentley and make sure that Farran Adria was making dinner...That's how you spend money...Oh and keep your mouth shut...very important.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  327. Bunny47

    Pay off all my debt then leave the United States and hope I never see a republican again.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  328. JB, Soldotna, AK

    Jack with the way Obama is dragging the USA down & the rising cost of Medical, i would buy me & 70 family members insurance, maybe, that is if i have enough money to do that.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  329. Anita Work

    Every relative would come out of the woodwork, So, I would MOVE.
    Id Thank God, giving him his 10%, donate to a children’s cancer hospital and live on the interest.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  330. Derick - Atlanta GA

    Jack, that's too much for one person, except you belong to the folks who bet with $10,000 and don't care about the very poor.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  331. Joel

    The first thing I would do is run down to the elections office and switch from Democrat to Republican. You know Jack, WE rich people pay too much in taxes.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  332. Karl from Tulsa, OK

    In or near every major population center I would open a world wide chain of volunteers and farming co-ops that
    would produce crops and livestock locally in order to provide jobs, and supply local low cost food kitchens and restaurants in order to create a sustainable local resource for food and water the worlds hungry and inner city poor.
    That, and travel a lot.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  333. Jeremy

    Pay off all my family's debts then convert my cash it into foreign currency and move abroad. That way, when the American economy collapses under the increasing debt being run up by Obama and company, my money will still have value. You know, it's funny how the liberals bashed on Bush for the budget deficit and national debt in 2008 but in just three years, those same liberals have managed to more than triple the annual budget deficit and double the total national debt that was accumulated by every previous president and congress combined.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  334. MadJerry

    Buy my own platform out in the ocean and be free from the laws of all countries...

    March 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  335. Brittany

    I would Finally stay in college until i reach a masters degree then open my own business. I would give each member of my immediate family lump sum of money and live my live very modestly and humbly.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  336. Cliff Glass - East Rockaway, NY

    Jack, we'll meet at the Second Ave Deli – your pastrami and rye with cole slaw – my treat

    March 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  337. jerrysthougts

    I am basically happy with my life as it is. If I won the $540,000,000 lottery, I would pay my mortgage, put new siding on my house, rebuild the engine in my car, establish college funds for the children of some friends, open Operation Smile clinics in every country, dig wells for fresh water where ever the lack of is a problem, build clean safe housing for the homeless, and if anything is left take a Nile cruise, see Petra and take a 2 month tour of America.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  338. Jim

    Jack,

    I think I'd hire James Cameron and produce a really cool science fiction movie, maybe based on one of John Varley's novels.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    March 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  339. don smotzer

    Buy Jack a smile.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  340. lineman

    If the GOP gets their way that $390 million cash option jackpot wuld be all yours if you won. No income taxes on anyone making that much money. That is why American billionairs are so anxious for the Republicans to win.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  341. Ferdi

    First, I would buy one small bank to boost lending for small businesses in some midwest town.
    Next, I would build tornado proof facilities so that no more lives would be taken by the unfortunate mother nature.
    Then, I would build many schools to countries who need the most education. (Noble choices huh) True.. I am dreaming to make it happen if i have that kind of money.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  342. susan

    Well, with my luck I'll get hit by a train the following day :(

    March 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  343. MikeH

    After giving each of my immediate family members a few million so they could retire if they want, I'd buy myself a modest house and a new car. Then I 'd sink every remaining penny into an endowment for an interested university with money for a coastal archaeology program. Money would cover land-based classroom, laboratory, and curation facilities, as well as funds for faculty positions, including a rotating visiting professorship, and perpetual scholarships for several students. Also would endow an ocean-going research vessel with full scientific research staff and facilities. We'd pursue coastal research in the style of Jacques Cousteau, filming the whole process and using it to educate the public. Research would be specifically archaeological, but other related fields would be encouraged to collaborate as well (e.g. climatologists, zoologists, geologists).

    March 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  344. Wil in L.A., CA

    Buy a small country and declare myself Emperor.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  345. Dale,, Ia.

    Help a lot of people, just how many zero's does a person need in a bank acct.?

    March 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  346. vancouverron

    I'd pay off my bills as far as it would go.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  347. Fernando from dallas tx

    Rub it in mit romney's face.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  348. Scott

    Pay off my bills, my parents bills, my siblings bills. Finish college, setup a trust fund for my neices and nephews, and start a business of some type.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  349. Sarah Sutton

    I would start a foundation and spend the money on conservation efforts for elephants, gorillias, chimps and in the human realm I would help the Save Tibet Organization. The material world doesn't interest me, helping with social and environmental justice does. Here's hoping.

    Dubuque Iowa

    March 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  350. SRogers

    Never work another day of my life. Tell my beautiful, smoking hot girl to quit her job, pack her bags, and travel the world with her until we're both ready to settle on one or two places in the world. Oh yeah, I wouldn't give "the church" a single DIME.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  351. Ron Reno,NV

    Jack, bring my inlaws to the united states and live with us.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  352. Daniel McDonough

    I would finance a super pac that would speak the honest truth to the people. There would be no partisanship involved, just uninhibited truth, and only concentrate on how our political system is not working for the people. Optimistically, this would educate the people that vote based solely on the partisan media and misguided information. Maybe then people will realize that there is a need for a new party for the majority of us in the middle.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  353. Bob in Elkton, MD

    I'd pay off my debts, quit my job, and donate most of the rest to the Democratic Party.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  354. Michael

    Pay off student loans, my bills, parents bills, siblings families' bills, take 10 million and split it up among eight nieces and nephews for college, buy a house, buy a car, move to NYC and produce a broadway play (that I wrote), donate AT LEAST 15% to charities like the Trevor Project, Susan G. Komen, AIDS research, and buy a bunch of houses for people who need them, and set up a new charity that feeds, clothes, and shelters the homeless...you know...GOOD things, instead of what most people do with money...STUPID things.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm |