Megamillions $1.28B spending/sharing plans


DS - USAFA c/o 2025
Jan 13, 2020
Okay SAF family, last night's recent 1.28 billion dollar prize was drawn, with a single winner for a ticket sold in Illinois, the cash option for this mega jackpot was $747 million. I'm no accountant, but it's fair to say the cash option after taxes would yield about $400 million.

I'm sure everyone who bought a ticket has a "what if" dream of how they would spend or share the prize. For the multitudes on here who took their $2 chance and contributed to the big prize, here's a place to share their dreams of they would spend, share their winnings.
First items on the list? After, of course, creating several LLC's that would ensure anonymity?
1. Endow the USS Olympia to ensure her survival into the 22nd century
2. Ditto the USS Pampanito
3. Ditto the USS Bowfin
4. Endow the Pima Air & Space Museum to ensure the outdoor aircraft are preserved properly; build some covers/indoor enclosures
5. Endow the HMS Victory preservation fund
6. If you read this far, YES, I'm an AIR FORCE guy
7. Endow both CinC House's Alma Mater, as well as mine
8. Endow USS Texas to ensure her survival into the 22nd century
9. Drop some coin on the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Museum, specifically to restore "Flak Bait" (famous WWII B-26)
10. Endow the CAF to help keep the birds of WWII flying

Okay...those the first things off the top of my head...
I’ve had fun thinking about these over the years.

First, I would tell no one. Even family. Money changes things. We would do one of those anonymous things. And keep our mouths shut.

Second, we would do some creative things to benefit family members without their knowledge in the current day.

Third, similar to @flieger83 we would carefully think through gifts to non-profit institutions and causes. Anonymous. I know I would add to the chunk I have already committed to the Yellow Ribbon Fund at my alma mater, to enable veterans to make up the tuition difference between GI Bill tuition benefit cap and private college tuition. DH would probably write a big check to USNA Music Dept earmarked for Glee Clubs.

Fourth, we wouldn’t move or suddenly start acquiring things. We would do some house renovations or replacements that have needed doing but weren’t critical.

Fifth, we have always liked to travel with a certain level of comfort. Just a bit more of that. Dedicated car service to the airport, no self-driving to long-term car park at dawn. Maybe rent nice villas with private pools in places we want to go. Nothing too over the top.

Sixth, update all estate plans so the money works hard for good causes after we are gone.

No urges to buy big high-ticket things. Experiences, maybe.
Keep 10% (invest 95% of that long term - live off of the remaining 5% by investing and pulling 5% annually, which means the initial 5% should continue to grow by roughly 5% annually based on historic index fund rate of return and property appreciation. In this scenario, that means living off of our existing assets, plus roughly an additional $200,000 annually, which is enough for us. If the sh*t hits the fan, the 36,000,000 long term investment is still available.

Donate 90% - targets to be determined, but endowments to USNA, USCGA, SPCA, local school district, are highly likely.

Family on an as needed basis, to be dealt with from the majority split from first paragraph. Thankfully, everyone in our families are pretty financially stable. Tossing ridiculous sums to folks often has adverse consequences.
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Don’t forget animal welfare organizations. What about all those beagles?
Agree with the anonymity - a billionaire in my hometown would donate generously, like he outfitted the entire HS team with NFL level pads / helmets when his son played. I'd always SMH when people would be like "What - that's all he gave? He has billions - he should have...". Conversely and if no one knew and you donated 10k, they would have a parade and put you on their shoulders....

I'd tell no one for as long as possible. I like the idea of everyone in my family getting a notice that their mortgage has been paid off, but playing baffled when they call. Just listening and stating " Dude, that is crazy" and suggest the oddest of suspects who might've done it - Didn't you send a fan letter to those guys who played Luke Duke and Cooter when you were seven? I bet one of them never forgot that, Or, I bet it was your HS sweetheart, and this is their way of thanking you for the greatest pleasure they have ever known - that type of absurd whimsy.
Seriously thought about this. Tons of anonymous donations, endowments and scholarships. New cars, a cabin and boat in a lake, lots of traveling and a move to a acreage where there are no neighbors around.

Question for those with kids, adult or otherwise: how would you address your winnings with them? I find this to be an interesting question. Of course I would want to give them money. But, I also want them to have to work hard for it, like we did. Develops character. A work ethic. Skin in the game.

Unfortunately I *believe* it’s a state law that our names are released. Or maybe that’s only if it’s our own state jackpot. Not sure.
Buy a new beach house water front of course! I will then reserve all future spending to be pondered on my deck at the new house while enjoying an adult beverage with the wife.
That girl has been through it all with me good and bad! Been friends since we were 16 wouldn't even think of it any other way. I just hope she feels the same should the BIG BUCKS ever come our way. 😉
Any big lotto: give away half immediately (10% to the church, 40% among family and friends), buy some land and have a house built, invest 40% to live off of, and get a plane and or boat if there's still more left over.
We are limiting our take to 50mil. If our half of the after tax amount is still over that, we give away the rest to more friends and charities. So for this: invest 40mil--3% annual withdrawal, 7mil for property and house, 1 mil for aviation, 2mil for an explorer yacht for vacations.
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Lump sum. Get the taxes out of the way. I know how to put it to work, spread the risks, use fiduciary resources, etc. I won’t run around like a spending maniac and fritter it all away. I still use coupons, buy on sale, adhere to a budget, know the difference between needs and wants, and have been reasonably disciplined since 14 and my first paying job, and I am more comfortable than I ever dreamed. I don’t think I’d run right to Tiffany’s or the Lamborghini dealer. Maybe walk…🤣

I think age makes a difference too. I would also have to think about the value of dollars today vs. future dollars. DH and I would come up with a financially sound strategic plan in collaboration with the appropriate tax and wealth management advisors and execute it.

I heard someone won the big bucks?
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Knowing it's really not the smartest thing to do, for that amount, I would still consider taking the annuity option. It would be like Groundhog Day. Make a bad investment??? BAM!! Here's another 20 mil to try out next year. Although there may be worse tax consequnces in following years depending on future laws.
Knowing it's really not the smartest thing to do, for that amount, I would still consider taking the annuity option. It would be like Groundhog Day. Make a bad investment??? BAM!! Here's another 20 mil to try out next year. Although there may be worse tax consequnces in following years depending on future laws.
….said no one ever. Literally.