Cashing in on the Mega Millions Lottery

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

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Even with a wife and daughter who were born to shop, I’m at a loss when trying to decide on how to spend my winnings from last Friday’s (July 29) Mega Millions Lottery.

Even with my wedding anniversary and my wife’s birthday both on the calendar this week, what do I so now that I’m flush with cash? Do I buy Deborah something really nice, or do I use my winnings on myself? After all, I was the one who invested six dollars on those two sets of numbers (to include showing my “high roller” side by spending an extra two bucks to purchase the Multiplier).

Perhaps I could consider bankrolling a politician or two in an upcoming election….but on second thought, I don’t guess there’s a lot they can do with $4.

Yep…..I am a lottery winner!!! Four whole dollars was my prize for selecting the Mega Ball, which was 14 on one of my two sets of numbers. However, as far as the other five numbers on either set, I wasn’t even close!! But because I invested the extra cash for the Multiplier, I doubled my winnings from $2 to $4.

But woe is me. I spent $6 and won $4. That’s a net loss of two bucks.

However, someone in the Chicago area faired far better after winning the Mega Millions jackpot on Friday. A single ticket containing the numbers: 13-36-45-57-67 (and with #14 as their Mega Ball selection) is the winner of $1,337,000,000 (that’s a billion-plus dollars).

National news outlets say the ticket was purchased at a Speedway convenience store in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines.

Whoever holds that ticket will claim the third-largest lottery prize in our nation’s history. According to, there was one jackpot-winning ticket in the draw Friday night. The jackpot had grew so large because no one had matched the game’s six selected numbers since April 15. That’s 29 consecutive bi-weekly drawings without someone hitting the jackpot.

The grand prize ($1.337 billion) is for winners who choose the annuity option, which is paid annually in installments over 29 years. The winner can opt for the cash option, which for last Friday’s drawing was an estimated $780.5 million.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.

Even the store that sold the lucky ticket wins a big chunk of cash. Illinois Lottery officials say that store will receive $500,000.

But back to the winner. I’m wondering what they will do now that they are a multimillionaire? How will they spend all that cash, or will they play it safe by investing it for future needs?

If the winner chooses to splurge their newfound fortune, they can purchase 100 acres of paradise off the coast of Thailand. There, Rangyai Island is for sale for $160 million.

If you wish to avoid the passport hassle of traveling to and from Thailand, perhaps you may consider purchasing Bel Air Spec Manor in Los Angeles. It has one dozen bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, a full-scale fitness center with a rock climbing wall, a 6,000 square foot night club, full catering facilities and a helipad. It’s priced at $139 million….and you’ll have plenty of cash left-over to toast yourself and your guests with Goût de Diamants champagne ($2 million per bottle).

How about a new sports car? The McLaren P1 LM is priced at $3.7 million.

If ground travel is out of the question, you may consider a jet. A brand new Dassault Falcon 7X will set you back $52.3 million. Then you need a flight crew (roughly $215,000 annually) and a place to keep it ($3,000 per month) and anywhere between $500,000 to $1 million annually in annual maintenance costs. And then there’s the cost of fuel…which in today’s environment is way too unpredictable to predict.

Here, close to home, someone winning $780.5 million could invest in purchasing farmland. The current price per acre on average in North Carolina is $4,180. That translates into 186,722 acres. Farmland currently makes up 8.4 million acres in North Carolina.

How ‘bout investing money in something safe…like a Certificate of Deposit? Putting just one million dollars in a CD for 20 years will earn you $346,855. The money earned in interest alone will buy you a rare Pokemon card. One featuring a fire-breathing dragon recently sold for $336,000.

But that’s chump change when you’ve got nearly $800 million to spend.

What would I do with that amount of cash? For starters, I would tithe 10 percent ($78.05 million) and then pay off all mine and Deborah’s personal bills as well as those of our immediate family. I would buy myself, my wife, and my daughter a nice vehicle (nothing too gaudy, I’m more of a practical guy).

I would make sure my grandson would be set for life…putting away money he can use once he reaches the age of 21. Hopefully, the life values he currently has at age 8 will allow him to make wise choices with that money.

I would invest in a home at Lake Gaston and perhaps one somewhere along the Outer Banks.

I would create an endowed scholarship at Chowan University in memory of my parents. Ray and Blanche Bryant were people of average means, but they paid for my college education. I can’t pay them back, but I can help other young people get a leg up in life without having to worry about how much it costs to attend college.

I would create a Family Fun Zone somewhere in the local area. It would include a putt-putt course, batting cages, a video arcade, a water slide, a bowling alley, indoor trampoline park, and a snack bar.

Yes….these are all on my wish list, but I understand I’m not very lucky when it comes to picking lottery numbers. But it never hurts to dream.

I wish the best for whoever won last Friday’s Mega Millions Lottery. May all your dreams come true!

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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