$1.5 Billion in Context: How Much Exactly Is a Jackpot Worth?
Seeing a large number of zeros at the end of a lottery jackpot always grabs people's attention. However, for the majority of us who have not had the privilege of winning a prize with that many digits, it may be hard to comprehend just how much money a particular jackpot is worth. So, for the fun of it (and also just to show how big lottery jackpots have become), we have compiled a list what you can buy with 1.5 billion dollars to help showcase precisely how much a lottery jackpot is worth.
When we first decided to write this article, we wondered whose win we would use as an example and which jackpot we would look at. As you may imagine, our mind sprung instantly to the $1.586 billion US Powerball jackpot that appeared in 2016. However, that jackpot was shared by three different winners, and we were looking for a jackpot won by a singular person.
Thankfully, Mega Millions has also had eye-watering jackpots in the past, with the largest being $1.537 billion—just shy of the US Powerball record—in October 2018. This jackpot was claimed by a single anonymous winner from South Carolina and is the perfect test subject for our evaluation.
What Is It Worth Internationally?
Before we show what this massive amount of money can purchase, we want to show just what this amount is worth to people in different places in the world. Using the US dollar as a base, we converted the massive jackpot into the local currency of seven other countries to see just how much it would be worth locally.
US$1 = CA$1.31
US$1 = INR 73.48
INR 112.94 billion
US$1 = AU$1.37
US$1 = ZAR 16.74
ZAR 25.73 billion
US$1 = £0.76
US$1 = €0.85
US$1 = B$5.30
*All exchange conversion rates are accurate as of September 7, 2020.
As you can see from the list above, the jackpot offered by Mega Millions is an absolutely insane amount of money no matter what currency you convert it into. To illustrate this to its entirety, we have selected a list of ten different basic items to show how many of each item can be purchased for the jackpot amount of a rounded $1.537 billion.
Amount That Can Be Purchased
LG 50” 4K Ultra Smart LED TV
Core 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
Basic Ballpoint Pen – Black
iPhone 11 Pro Max (64GB)
Dell XPS 13 9300 Laptop
Vouge Tyre (P225/16R16)
1 Gallon DairyPure 2% Milk
Oral-B Vitality Electric Toothbrush
Nike Air 270 red Orbit Sneaker
M&M’s Candy – 3lb Jar
As you can see above, putting a jackpot such as this into real terms can be shocking, to say the least. Think about where you would even store 680 million pens or 310 million gallons of milk! But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to give two pens to every single person living in America two pens? It's the kind of unnecessary, reckless spending that only lottery winners can dream of.
But What About Cars?
We all know that we need to include cars on this list. After all, we all would be dying to get behind the wheel of the latest car as soon as we receive our winnings. Therefore, below are five of the vehicles we would like to get hold of and how many of each vehicle you could buy with winnings of $1.537 billion. Of course, all the below cars are kitted out to the highest spec and include every optional extra we could throw on them.
Amount That Can Be Purchased
Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
Tesla Model X
BMW i8 Roadster
VW Golf GTI Autobahn
Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition
We certainly would not complain about owning over 12,000 Tesla Model X’s. However, we may find it slightly difficult to drive them all at the same time—not to mention building a garage large enough to store them all.
A Place to Live
When looking for a house after winning such a large amount, only the best will do. To that end, we searched for the most expensive home in America today. We were not disappointed to find that the title is held by the Chartwell estate located in Los Angeles. The estate boasts a main house with 11 bedrooms and a staggering 18 bathrooms. Added to this is a 12,000-bottle wine cellar (yes, 12,000 is correct), and a 75-foot swimming pool.
If that is not enough, there is a garden that takes up over 10 acres, place for over 40 cars to park, a pool house, a secondary residence, and secret tunnels that lead you to different areas on the property. Mind you, all this is available for a hefty price: around $245 million (which is what it sold for back in 2018).
Luckily, if you have just won $1.537 billion, this is just pocket change to you, considering that you can purchase the estate 6.27 times!
But Can You Buy a Country?
Well, if you are really looking to show off your wealth, then yes. We decided to look at which countries you would be able to buy should you win $1.537 billion. To do this, we looked at the GDP of countries that were less than the winning jackpot amount. Needless to say, we were shocked to discover that you would be able to purchase 15 different countries with your winnings. Some of these countries include South Sudan, Samoa, and Micronesia.
After doing the above research, we don’t think that we will ever again be in doubt about just how big a lottery jackpot actually is. The above figures and items—even though compiled just for fun—show the vastness of lottery jackpots nowadays and just how much money you are playing for. Hopefully, you will be lucky enough to win a jackpot that can help you cross off some of the items on the list above—even if you don’t really need six estates, 8,813 BMW’s and 600 Micronesian Islands.
All the above pricing, descriptions, and information was correct at the time of writing this review. All items listed under Basic Items were sourced and priced on Amazon.com. All cars were sourced and priced on their official dealer websites and built using the websites’ car build features.