Mega Millions jackpot up for grabs: What $500 million can buy

Wendy Carpenter
The Upshot

What would you do with $500 million? A lot of people are probably daydreaming about that this week, after the Mega Millions lottery jackpot grew to an estimated $500 million for the next drawing at 11 p.m. ET on Friday.

The odds of winning the half-billion dollar jackpot were estimated at about 1 in 176 million, according to lottery officials.

But that doesn't stop the fantasizing.

Here are some of the things you could purchase if you come up big Friday:

  • A quarter of the L.A. Dodgers franchise, which is being purchased by a group led by former NBA great Magic Johnson for $2 billion. The sale includes Dodger Stadium.
  • The world's most expensive car, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which goes for $2,600,000. So you could buy about 192 to hand out to your closest friends.
  • About 4,065 shares of the world's most expensive stocks, Berkshire Hathaway, which goes for about 123,000 a share.
  • A 92,000-square foot house in Monaco, the world's most expensive real estate at $5,408 a square foot.
  • Pay for all Harvard's 6,641 undergraduates to go to school for the year -- and have almost $140  million left over.  The cost of undergraduate tuition, room, and board at the prestigious Ivy League school for the 2011-12 academic year is $54,561, according to the "Harvard College Handbook for Students." At that price, you could foot the entire four-year undergraduate bill ($218,244 per student) for 2,290 students or all the freshmen and then some.
  • Buy five $100 million homes in Los Altos Hills, Calif. That was the reported price tag for a lavish, 25,500-square-foot mansion bought by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, a big investor in Facebook, Groupon, and FarmVille game maker Zynga, whose purchase was believed to be one of the largest in U.S. history for a single-family home.
  • Collect about eight of the world's most expensive private jet, the Gulfstream G550, which will set you back $59.9 million, per plane.
  • Purchase tickets for this summer's London Olympic Games, which are the second-most-expensive sporting event ever, with the best seats costing $8,600. Per ticket. Per event. Throw in some popcorn and souvenirs and you're talking serious money.

At that price, you could take your closest friends to the Olympics on your private jet before stopping over at your house in Monaco to relax from the stress of traveling.  Then when you return to your mansion in California, you can drive south in your Bugatti Veyron to catch a Dodgers game, in the owner's box.