As people line up at lottery purveyors to hand over cash and collect their Powerball tickets, it’s easy for thoughts to turn to the inevitable.
What would you do if you won?
The jackpot for the Wednesday draw, as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, stands at $1.5 billion — as in billion with a “b.”
That’s a lot of money anywhere, but in a county where the median household income is $52,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, you are talking about roughly enough to keep 28,000 families afloat for a year.
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The lump sum payout is around $930 million. Take the annuity payments instead, and you’re looking at $50 million or so a year for life.
Those numbers are pre-tax, of course, but it is more than enough to inspire some daydreaming.
Like buying a new house.
If you win big on Wednesday and want to trade in your two-story three-bedroom for something a little more in keeping with your newfound wealth, there are options already on the market.
According to local listings, the most expensive house on the market is a $3.95 million State College property with six bedrooms, 11 baths, and a four-car garage. If that sounds too ostentatious, there’s a Bellefonte home nipping at its heels with a $3.875 million price tag. That listing has five bedrooms, just seven baths and room for only three cars.
Speaking of cars, new wheels are a frequent lottery dream. While most dealerships would be happy to custom order whatever you might want with your new billion-dollar checkbook, what if you just wanted to walk through the doors and drive out in a car that would make the guys at work cry with envy?
Locally, the highest sticker price to be easily found was on a 2016 Mercedes AMG G63 4MATIC. You can pick up the keys for a mere $152,525. Oh, you wanted something sportier than an SUV? Fine. There’s a brand new Mercedes coupe that will fit the bill for just $134,425.
You shouldn’t drink and drive, though, so make sure you buy your fancy new ride the day after you toast your 1 in 292,201,338 victory. If you really want to taste the high life, the state’s Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores can help you out.
According to the North Atherton Street store’s general manager Jeremy Phillips, the most expensive bottle you can buy to celebrate is a 50-year-old Glenfiddich scotch. The price for 750 ml is an intoxicating $33,542.79. If you prefer your festivities to be bubbly, they can hook you up with 15 liters of Luc Belaire Rare Rose for $2,399.95.
Those are both a little off the beaten path for Centre County celebrations, but Phillips says he gets customers with tastes of all budgets.
At the Carnegie Inn, the budgets are apt to be a bit more Champagne than beer.
The restaurant’s menu shows some of the most expensive plates in the area. The foie gras terrine appetizer comes with culinary black gold in the form of pricey truffles, as well as a smattering of the sparkly kind, 23 karat gold oil, all for $22. Want more of the exotic and extravagant foie gras and they can help you out with a $90 entree that serves two.
Kelly’s Steak and Seafood in Boalsburg is another good option for a post-Powerball meal, with a $45, 20-ounce aged Porterhouse steak they call “The King.”
But everyone knows that the real hot tickets in Centre County are on campus. More specifically, at Beaver Stadium.
If you want a 10-year lease on a luxury box for Nittany Lions football, complete with premium 50-yard-line views for up to 16 people, you’re going to pay a pretty penny, but with lottery money, that $523,040 won’t bother you at all. Neither will the fact that you still have to buy tickets for the games at an additional cost of $69 per person per game, or $7,728 for the whole season.
You could do all of that, every single lavish local top-dollar item, and it would come to $8,678,817.74, meaning you would still have another $921 million or so at your disposal.
Powerball draws at 11 p.m. Wednesday.