15 People Fantasize About $1.23 Billion Jackpot, From Mundane To Lizard Farms

Brett Smiley

reddit lottery thread

At least half of the fun of purchasing a lottery ticket is imagining the freedom a win would have the power to purchase. 

Freedom from toiling away for a soulless corporation and its nitwit euphemism machine micromanagers. Freedom from worry about bill collectors, a medical disaster that may spell ruin, or an unexpected repair (they’re rarely expected) that would deplete already meager savings. The boat is a crowded one that occupies millions of Americans just getting by, hoping for a ticket to financial freedom, even if it’s a 1 in 292 million longshot for the big payoff, which by the way is up to $1.23 billion, good for the fourth largest Powerball jackpot in history and rising.

In the lead up to Saturday’s drawing for this mammoth prize, Lottery Geeks stumbled upon this Reddit thread posing the question, “You just won the lottery for 1.4 billion, what are you doing?” The top answers are alternatingly useful, funny, sad, and, at a minimum, revealing.

Here are our favorites, with subheadings supplied:

Sound advice and/or general truisms

HeadFit2660: “Not telling a single damn person.”

Challendjinn: “Giving half of it to the government.”

Head_Conference_68: “Find that Reddit post that tells me what to do when I win the lottery” (that thread is right here)

Jurassic Park

Justsomelizard30: “I would buy a plot of land and open up a lizard farm with my girlfriend. We both want to breed different kinds of lizards!”


Background-Mirror612: “Quietly hire lawyers and accountants. Begin a slow withdraw from my job, and social media. quietly move, change my numbers, contract someone to wipe out my online footprint, strategize the most private way to claim the prize. try to disappear without anyone saying ‘what happened to..?’ Then spend a year traveling and acclimating to extreme wealth. Once I’m over the woohoo! phase, figure out what I’m still passionate about and then do it to a level previously unimaginable.”

Of_Mice_And_Meese: “Take photo and video evidence of my ticket, put it in a lock box in the bank, and head to NYC to find a partner at a massive firm to handle my shit. I’m intelligent, but I’ve no experience managing this kind of money. I will fuck it up, I need help.”

More of a good thing … ?

West_Appearance_8726: “Buy more lottery tickets. If one ticket gets a load of money, just think how much a load of tickets would get. Pretty solid investment.”

The pragmatists

Bee_vomit: “Aside from the obvious lawyering and accountant-ing up, my whole family is getting dental work. You get braces! You get dentures! You get crowns! No more teeth drama for us. F***ing luxury bones, man.”

The_Real_Scrotus: “Lawyer up and find a loophole to claim the ticket anonymously, then disappear.”

Paying it forward

Evening_Salt9: “I’d let my parents design and build their own home. Literally. My dad builds houses for a living and it’s been his dream to one day build his own.”

Faruheist: “The same thing I’m doing now (writing) with less anxiety and better scenery. I’d keep it a secret while doing random acts of kindness and charity.”

Comfortable_Cut_5927: “Helping other people that need that money more than me, helping sick kids and adults, sharing love to this dark place if I could.”

Wall of sound

Rolotech: “This has been asked many times before but one thing I haven’t seen or answered myself before… I’m paying professionals to install a kick ass sound system in a special music room in the house. Also speakers throughout the house where I can continue listening even if I change rooms. Also get some high end music player, high quality lossless audio files, the whole nine yards. Also pay a DJ to make mixed playlists to fit different moods.”

The relatives are coming

Jaevric: “I’m gonna have to hash out a bunch of stuff with my wife, figure out how to best take care of the people I care about without ending up broke or constantly nagged for money, and prepare for the onslaught of contact attempts from estranged family members I haven’t spoken with in 30 years who hate my guts but love money.”

Dividends and designs

Throwaway92715: “Calling my local representatives to make sure they don’t f*** around with the hundreds of millions of tax dollars they’re about to receive… lol.

“Call a tax attorney and a wealth manager to set up financial plans.

“Invest the majority of the actual net amount in secure assets that produce passive income like dividends or rental properties. Create a few LLCs to manage the assets. Hire an accountant.

“It would probably take the better part of a year to set up a system that protects my new wealth and produces a good amount of income. It would be a really fun project to work on. Once it’s all set up, I’ll probably only ever spend the income. With that amount of money invested strategically, your cash flow from dividends, rental profit etc would be high enough to fund a very nice life. Good house, food, travel, some luxuries like collecting art or whatever.

“The wealth itself would stay in the family. I’d create some kind of trust to ensure that all of my relatives in my extended family had backup funds for medical emergencies, and college tuition support for anyone who needs it. I’d buy my parents a vacation home somewhere special to retire in. If I have kids, I’d make sure they get the absolute best nutrition growing up and the best education, but I wouldn’t give them too much luxury because it’s bad for you if you haven’t grown up first.

“I would likely use a portion of the wealth as my own personal investment fund. I’d become a developer, buy land, and do projects. I’m a landscape architect with an interest in urban planning, so I’d likely focus on making really green, walkable and bikeable, sustainable mixed-use neighborhoods. Brownfield redevelopment… land conservation… that kind of stuff. I’d focus a lot on land. It would be awesome to be my own client and do a lot of the planning and design for my own land… but I’d also hire the best consultants in the industry to advise and assist.”