Readers share their wish lists for Mega Millions $1 billion jackpot

What would you do with Mega Millions' $1 billion jackpot?

The next chance to win Mega Millions' $1 billion jackpot is almost at hand. The drawing, set for 11 p.m. Friday, has one question on everyone's mind regardless of if they've bought a ticket: What would I do with that much money?

More money, more Swensons: From blimps to Galley Boys for life: What can you buy with $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot?

The Beacon Journal asked that same question in a recent story breaking down the taxes that Ohioans would owe after hitting the big win. What follows are some of the email responses we received from readers about their multimillion-dollar wish lists.

Happiness is...

Jim Meekin writes: "I would buy happiness and a lot of land, build a cabin in the middle of a large plot and live out my life with my family."

Tim Moto's plan: "I will live it up and enjoy spending it with my family and friends. After all, success is nothing if you cannot share it with your loved ones."

Debbie Moreno says if she wins, "I would buy a house and two cars — because me, my wife and our two chihuahuas are homeless."

Paging Shania Twain and other musical acts

Amber Shahan has just one thing in mind: "The first thing I'd buy with my mega millions winnings is a private Shania Twain concert! My life will then be complete!"

And then there's Thomas Lovelace, who says he is 61 and has spent 40 years as a respiratory therapist. He'd retire, pay off his bills (and his family's, too), travel internationally and donate to causes of his choice, but also "have a huge party hiring a few famous and local bands (that would) maybe they let me play drums. (I've been a) drummer since I was 14-years-old."

The sign on the counter at Troy Road Market in Ashland shows the new jackpot Mega Millions of $1.02 billion Wednesday.
The sign on the counter at Troy Road Market in Ashland shows the new jackpot Mega Millions of $1.02 billion Wednesday.

Hearts set on helping others

Debbie Bolls says: "I'd set up a nonprofit foundation, hire a staff including an administrator, an accountant and an attorney and give most of the money away."

One reader, Dr. S-A-H, wrote a poem.

POEM: If Win It Big...

If win it big, I'm leaving spouse,

And family, friends,

And town and house;

And heading to the highest mount...

To jump and scream,

And winnings count!


And while up there...

I'll text from phone:

I've won it big. Not coming home!

And if you try to hit reply,

Don't waste your time (don't even try).

Your number's blocked. Heck, it's erased:

And I'm long gone, have left this place.

And do not try my media accounts;

You'll find the same as phone from mount:

They're down right now; have blocked your name.

Yes, I'm that wrong. You're right, "a shame"!

No Facebook posts; no chats (WhatsApp).

Not find me there, if try to tap!

No tweeting bird, I'm staying mum.

Don't look for posts - - not making none!

No cash through mail, nor bank with check:

"The winning's mine, not y'alls to tek!"

No chance to beg, or plea for cash;

I've shut all down; left quick (a dash)!

And by the time you track me down:

On island beach; in shopping town,

Just be forewarned I've made a dent...

And lived it up and money spent!

Joking aside, Dr. S-A-H said they would also focus on philanthropy, but carve a sum out for personal comfort as well: "I would give money to my family and close friends (P.S.: 'don't call me, I'll call you!'); give to people in need and to charities; create a company where all the profit would go to people in need and go to charities; buy a two or three-bedroom cottage or cabin in the country by a lake or river with a meadow and garden and gazebo, or a two or three-bedroom house on the beach with a lot of palm trees and a hammock; buy a new (non-flashy) car, and a small R.V.; invest, and save for a rainy day and retirement. And spend all my days volunteering, going on mission trips, and doing charity work; actively protesting for causes; traveling, RVing, cruising and trekking across the country and world to see and experience everything; drawing and painting; cooking and baking (trying tons of recipes); and relaxing and reading my Bible and all the classics and writing poetry!"

Big win mean big tax in Mega Million: How much tax would be owed on Mega Millions' $1 billion ticket?

Somebody's given this a little bit of thought

Joe Hartwick, who says he is already retired on disability, lays out quite the plan: "The very first thing would be my wife retiring from work. ...I'd leave the Poconos where we currently live in a double wide modular furnished with hand-me-down furniture, located in a crappy subdivision with unfinished dirt roads. I'd buy a really nice condo in Hawaii, a modest house north of Youngstown where I could be near some of my relatives and a home in the northern island of Luzon in the Philippines so my wife can be near her family when she wants to travel there. We are pretty happy with our current car and truck. I have no desire to have a boat or airplane. I can see a future of us traveling around the world at a leisurely pace, maybe a long cruise every year. I'd set my brother up for his retirement. I would help out some family members with nest eggs for various kids' educations. And there are a couple of charities that I'd like to donate to.

"Things I would not do, would be buying exotic sports cars, rare paintings, antique furniture or investing in sports teams, restaurants or other risky ventures. I would definitely be keeping as much of a low profile as possible. I hate to think that I might have to hire a security team to protect us."

Somebody's been doing some serious calculations

Mike Andrus has it all figured out: "Simple. I would invest all of it in the safest investment I could find. A guaranteed return of 3% would net about $12,875 million per year. I would take the first check and buy gold and platinum with half of it. With $6.4 million left, I would be like Santa with most of it. I would probably visit with some veterans and decide which ones could really use a helping hand. I’d give out cash daily at a pharmacy to help old people struggling to pay for medicine. (I'd give them) cash so there is no trail and no taxes or benefit reductions for them. I’d pay off some mortgages for people I find who need some luck and I’d probably play golf every day."

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Don't pooh-pooh this 100-acre plan

Stewart Bakalchuck says he'd "create a compound on a hundred acres or so and put houses for my wife and I as well as our four adult children, nothing opulent but very nice and comfortable. (We) need no more that 2,000 square feet, as to the kids they could have only up to 4,000 square feet so all this stuff doesn't go to their heads. Next a trust would be set up for our four adult kids and grandkids so they never have to worry about having to pay bills.

"Next I would set up a nonprofit charity that family members have to work at so they don't become lazy. It could be funded with at least $100 million to do (good) in the world. After that the only toys I want is a Corvette, a play room with a pool table and several pinball machines. Being 70 and having cancer and recently a heart attack travel would be difficult, so I guess that's about it for me. Knowing that my family for generations to come will never have to worry about money is the best legacy I could ever have as well as giving back to society to people that need help. Its a nice dream."

In God (and financial advisers) he trusts

Harry Buehne says he would do some tithing, and then some: "10% would go to my church because, without God's help, I would never have won this large of a jackpot. Then, I would look at other organizations to contribute to with emphasis on animal and children's organizations. I would get a new home (less than $800,000 and a new car, probably a Hyundai or some other medium sized car). I would help my sister with her needs and two friends. I would not put up with people and family that I do not know now. Other than a few miscellaneous items and everyday things such as clothing, the balance would go to my financial manager, whom I already have faith in."

Contact Beacon Journal reporter Tawney Beans at and on Twitter @TawneyBeans.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Here's how readers would spend Mega Millions $1 billion jackpot