TODAY'S QUESTION: What would you do with a Mega Millions jackpot?

Thursday, January 6, 2011 | 12:37 p.m. CST; updated 2:52 p.m. CST, Friday, January 7, 2011

Six numbers could change your life forever. Two people in the Northwest chose 4, 8, 15, 25, 47 and 42 and can now collect their \$190 million jackpot — before taxes.

A retired man who has come forward from Ephrata, Wash., will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday. The other winner, with a ticket bought in Post Falls, Idaho, has yet to step forward.

Imagine your life if you had picked those six winning numbers. Do you have mortgages, bills or loans to pay off? A child to put through college? You could buy Jackson Pollock's "No. 5, 1948," the most expensive piece of art sold in history, and still have half of the jackpot left over. Or maybe you'll take a more recreational route and buy a nice airplane. You could even go to space if you wanted.

They say money can't buy happiness, but a new airplane and a trip to space would make me smile — at least for a bit.

If you were holding a winning ticket, what would you do with the winning Mega Millions jackpot?

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Russell Perkins January 6, 2011 | 12:54 p.m.

Buy a small house for \$150k or less. Then divide the rest of the money up into 5 groups. Put 1/5th into a 1yr CD. 1/5th into a 2yr CD ect up to a 5yr CD. Then every year take out the interest and put the money back into a 5yr CD.

You avoid the hassle and risk of the stock markets and still get decent amounts paid out each year.

190Mil / 2 (taxes) / 5 would be 19mil per cd. assuming a 2.38 interest rate you would be pulling almost 500k a year forever without doing any real work. And you could pass that on to your kids.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks January 6, 2011 | 8:43 p.m.

Give 5 of my friend and there Family 3 mil each so I have someone to hangout with.

I like the first answer though. Except that you would have had to die last month to pass that on to your kids. From here on out the govt gets 60% of everything you would have owned.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 6, 2011 | 10:24 p.m.

Corey, I believe the top estate tax rate is 35% (should be zero, but...) and the first couple million are probably still exempt. Best case would be to start gifting money to each person every year, you can give up to a certain amount without incurring any taxes. Always consult with a tax expert instead of trusting some slack-jawed yokel on the Internet, though.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks January 7, 2011 | 8:10 a.m.

thanks for the update John. I kept hearing it would go up after Dec 31st. 35% is a lot better then this

"Congress has passed tax laws that have made numerous, temporary changes to both the estate tax rate and the exemption amount. Since 2002, the top rate has decreased incrementally from 50%, and the exemption amount has increased incrementally from \$1 million. In 2009 the rate was 45% and the exemption amount was \$3.5 million. On January 1, 2010 a "one year repeal" of the tax was effectuated by a temporary, one-year-only rate of 0%, but on January 1, 2011 the estate tax is scheduled to return at a top rate of 55% and the exemption amount is scheduled to drop back down to \$1.0 million.[citation needed]"

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Russell Perkins January 7, 2011 | 8:49 a.m.

Well rather than just hand the money over to your kids you can make it an LLC or some such and just pay \$10k a year to a law firm to be the registered agent. You can probably get really creative though to get even more tax breaks.

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