UPDATE to this post.
The jackpot was won by 2 winners in partnership who agreed before they bought the tickets that they would split the money. They've chosen the lump sum of 780 million dollars.
In Illinois, where they purchased the ticket, you are not required to come forward on camera and reveal who you are. So, we'll never see who they are as they've chosen to stay private.
Happy spending, whoever you are! Send a little bit of your good luck my way.
As I write this post, tonight's Mega Millions jackpot has surpassed 1.2 BILLION dollars! That's a lot of "cabbage," "moola," "greenbacks," "cash," "Benjamins," "money." It's the second largest Mega jackpot in its history. As you may know, if you play the lottery, Mega Millions numbers are drawn twice a week---Tuesdays and Fridays. The odds of hitting the jackpot are extremely high, but you've got to buy a ticket to win it. I bought a few and put the tickets in my living room by my "waving arm lucky cat" I bought in San Francisco on a Saturday walk through Chinatown. It's been waving for some weeks now, non-stop, off the same AA batteries that power it. I also have a gold lucky coin at the feet of the cat. Hey, why not? It can't hurt, right?
The founder and CEO of fast food chain Raising Cane chicken fingers, Todd Graves, bought 100,000 Mega lottery tickets for his employees. A nice gesture for sure, but a bit of a publicity stunt, I think. At $2 a ticket, that's $200,000 in lottery tickets. Definitely NOT recommended for the average Joe's pocket book. Buy 100,000 lottery tickets, if you could, and your friends might think you've lost it.
Of course, part of the fun of playing is from the moment you bought ticket(s) until when reality hits and the numbers are drawn; thoughts would be racing through your head as to what you would buy or do with all that money. I'm sure I'd go with some new studio "toys" where I record voice overs. A deluxe voice over booth plus a new Neumann U 87 microphone for around $3,200. (As fans of the microphone will tell you, it's worth every penny). And, I'd buy a new Avalon preamp to add that extra sheen to my voice over recordings. OK, that's just for starters. If you're an audio gearhead, I'm sure you'd have your own list of must haves.
I'm not a big shopper and a "things" person. So I wouldn't be going on any crazy shopping sprees. I WOULD be doing some fine dining in San Francisco's best ("House of Prime Rib" comes to mind). I've taken friends there 3 times in a limo and the food and fun was outstanding. Parking in the city can be a challenge, so the limo works great. And it's not as expensive as you would think to book it for 4 or 5 hours. You'd have plenty of time to sightsee after dinner.
I'm sure I'd also give some of my winnings to organizations or causes I believe in; pets and children's charities up front and center. I lived in Florida and was on the radio back in the 80's when Sheelah Ryan won a massive 55 million dollar jackpot and gave much of her new found wealth to cat causes and single Mothers struggling to pay rent. A fine lady indeed. She passed away in her late 60's.
Of course, I'd give a slice of the lottery jackpot pie to my siblings. I have 8 brothers and sisters that have all done well in their chosen businesses. Like any family, we've had our squabbles, but overall, I'm lucky to have the brothers and sisters I do, so giving away money would be a noble deed for sure. Besides, I'm sure they'd do the same thing for me if they won the big one, right? (Insert nervous cough here). I said...I'm SURE they'd do the same thing for ME...right?
Some travelling would be on my bucket list too. There are so many places I would visit. Hold the extra long vacations though. I bore easily. I once took a 5 day trip to Hawaii. That was plenty for me. And these days, with flying being a sort of torture treatment, I think I'd wait a while to travel anywhere.
Well, I hope whoever wins the jackpot spends it wisely and has the time of their life. You always hear sad stories about jackpot winners who blow it all within a number of years and end up bankrupt. Enjoy your wealthy blessing. Hire a shrewd financial adviser, get a new phone number, disappear, and don't brag. Be humble, if you can. I'm thinking with all that money, it would be no easy task.
That's enough lottery dreaming for this Friday afternoon ... just hours before the big Mega Millions drawing. "May the luck of the Irish...." And if you know me as a friend, family, or an acquaintance, and you hit the big one, know that I think you're just an extraordinary human being and beyond wonderfully talented, good looking and charming, to boot.