Mega Millions Mania: What would you do with $1.6 billion?

Mega Millions Mania: What would you do with $1.6 billion?

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The clock is ticking towards tomorrow night’s Mega Millions drawing.

It’s a mad rush as people try to get their hands on what they hope will be a winning ticket for the record-high $1.6 billion. It’s enough to buy you your own private island, take a vacation to space, or maybe even buy a few planes.

The chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million. A slim chance, but for some, that’s better than nothing.

“I have bought one ticket. I don’t have many chances but that one, but at least I’m in right?" said lottery hopeful Tommy Snell.

In fact, experts say people have a better chance of getting struck by lightning, but that’s not stopping some from at least thinking of what they’d do with the record-high prize. It turns out a lot of people say they would feel pretty generous.

“I would pay off all my family’s debt and contribute to charity,” said Kathleen Suber.

“I would buy each one of my kids a house. And sit back and just watch them just live life to the fullest,” said Tyrone Thomas.

Whether one plans to spend the winnings on a dream house or give it all away, they’ll actually be working with a lot less than $1.6 billion. The first thing they’ll have to do is pay Uncle Sam.

If one takes the lump sum option of $904 million, the federal government will take 24 percent of that leaving the winner with just under $700 million. The rest of the federal tax bill comes in April, and don’t forget about state taxes. Depending on where the winner lives, they’re left with just a modest $500 to $600 million. But that’s still nothing to sneeze at.

“Half of 1.6 billion is better than nothing,” said Larry Schnadelbach.

The drawing for the Mega Millions is Tuesday.

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