The Mega Millions lottery jackpot has now grown to $333 million for Friday night's drawing. With thousands of tickets selling every second, millions of people across the country are now dreaming of striking it rich.
So we decided to help you out with those dreams. The lump sum cash payout for Mega Millions is estimated to be $210.4 million. Even if there is more than one winner, that's still plenty of money to splurge on all sorts of luxuries.
Yes, we know that the first thing you probably will do is quit your job. Next, you will probably pay off some debt maybe send the kids or grandkids to college.
Vanessa Jorge, of Kearny N.J., said she would pay off student loans and give money to her family. Then she would build libraries in developing countries and promote literacy, start her own non-profit organization, travel to Africa and develop a radio station that plays songs that can actually touch people's souls and "not the nonsense" that others now constantly play on repeat day after day.
"I suppose I would do a lot with $325 million because I dream big and even if I never see that much money in my life I will still dream big and make all these things a reality," she said. (The jackpot was originally $325 million but has since increased due to large ticket sales.)
Joseph Kant of Lafayette, Calif., wasn't planning to buy a lottery ticket but still was dreaming. He would pay off debt, the mortgage and pay for his son's college tuition. Then he would donate money to programs to reduce crime, drugs and invest in environmentally-friendly energy to lower the country's dependence on oil.
"And of course," he said, "I would fulfill a longtime promise to my wife and son: taking them to Paris."
Below are five of our favorite ways to spend the money. These are just suggestions; really starting points for discussion. Please feel free to add your own thoughts and dreams on how to spend the jackpot in the comments section below.
A Lavish Home or Two
Home is where the heart is -- and fortune as well.
"If someone were to win the lottery I would think they'd want to own a truly extraordinary home," said Leonard Steinberg, managing director at real estate firm Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Among Steinberg's available property listings is a historic building on New York City's Spring Street built in the 1880s and once owned by Rupert Murdoch's eldest son Lachlan. Though the building is divided into separate units, for $26 million one can buy the entire "painstakingly restored" 12,000-square-foot property.
Steinberg said if you "wanted to bring the whole family" to live with you, this property is a good choice because it is divided into three residences. The five-floor property has eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and also includes a penthouse with a two-car garage and skyline views spanning from the Chrysler Building to Wall Street.
Other attractive New York City properties up for grabs are three side-by-side townhouses on Greenwich Village's Downing Street. Each 6,000 square-foot townhouse will cost $16 million. Since the townhouses are currently being constructed, a new owner can customize to their exact specifications.
"I'd buy all three and have one for myself, one for the rest of my family and the other for guests," Steinberg said.