What would YOU had done if you won the $1.5 BILLION lottery jackpot?


33 Year Old Railfan
First, you'd have to share the winnings with three other winners, so you would actually get $375 million.
Here's what I'd do:
1. Pay off all the expenses of my family and relatives.
2. Get my grandmother on my mom's side of the family a new car. Due to financial issues, my aunt lives with my grandmother, and they share one car.
3. Put $1 million in each family member's bank account (x9 = $9 million)
4. Make some 'upgrades' to my place, i.e. Energy Star rated appliances, new air conditioning, among other things.
5. Take a cruise trip to Alaska. However, I'd take a cruise line that stops off at Skagway, Alaska so that I can ride the White Pass and Yukon Railroad.
6. Revisit Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort.
7. Ride Amtrak across country.
8. And one of the biggest:
Donate millions to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM):
1. $2 million to fully pay off Southern 4501's restoration, which cost $1.3 million. The other $700,000 will be used to maintain her.
2. $2 million to completely fund the restoration of Tennessee Valley 2-8-0 610. Any remainder will, like 4501, be used to maintain her.
3. $1 million given to pay off the remaining expenses of 630's restoration, along with any remaining will also be used to maintain her.
4. $2 million to restore Southern E8 6914. Like with 4501, 610 and 630, any remaining money will be used to maintain it.
5. $500,000 to maintain their operating diesels.
6. $250,000 to get two of the TVRM's Alco diesels. One needs a complete rewiring, the other has a blown turbocharger. If I had to pick between the two to get back up and running, I'd take the one with the blown turbo. I'd go with that one because of the price of copper these days, which is kinda high and the amount of wiring in a locomotive might result in the rewiring being more expensive.
7. $7.5 million goes to the acquiring, restoration, and insuring ten passenger cars. Right now they are leasing eight passenger cars (as far as I know): two from the Watauga Valley Chapter (Johnson City, TN) of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), one from the Southeastern Railway Museum (Duluth, GA), one from the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum (Oak Ridge, TN), four from the Bluewater Michigan Chapter (Royal Oak, MI) of the NRHS. Eight to replace the ones they're leasing, two more for expansion.
8. $3.25 million goes to any planned 'modifications' of the museum's existing infrastructure. Recommended modifications:
1. Adding a passing siding long enough for a ten-car train, three locomotives and three auxiliary tenders halfway between Grand Junction and East Chattanooga, which places it just west of the bridge over the CSX mainline.
2. Reconfiguring the tail of the wye at Grand Junction to handle four-car trains; currently it can only handle one locomotive and three cars.
3. Adding a second, longer station platform at Grand Junction to handle longer trains (i.e. Chickamauga Turn, Summerville Steam Special) that extends west beyond the switches for the yard at Grand Junction and ends just west of the switch for the wye on the other side of the station at Grand Junction. A second ramp will also be added so that handicapped people can still get on the train on the second platform.
9. $10 million will go to paying off most, if not all, possible debts.
10. $10 million will go to future projects and acquiring other objects needed in order for the TVRM to continue to survive
11. $1.5 million goes to the restoration of an old baggage car located on the siding just before crossing the CSX mainline AND the conversion of 630's old tender, which is on the same siding as the baggage car into a second auxiliary water tender.
Total donations:
$40 million
9. Donate somewhere between $2 and $3 million each to Autism Awareness, Northeast Georgia Humane Society, Special Olympics of Georgia, and Dalton Parks and Recreation.
. . . And perhaps the biggest investment (and possibly the stupidest):
10. With a cost of $10-15 million per mainline excursion, 2 seasons of mainline steam excursions, or $180 million. One season in the spring, one season in autumn. The excursions are:
Chattanooga-Attala, AL (once a season)
Chattanooga-Oneida, TN (once a season)
Chattanooga-Cleveland (two half-day trips, occurs during the TVRM's annual Railfest)
Chattanooga (Grand Junction)-Downtown Chattanooga (two half-day trips, also occurs during Railfest)

I've got to go to bed. What would YOU have done?
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Donate all but a few million to the ASPCA and no-kill animal shelters. Live off the interest of what I keep.

Maybe buy a GP-38, if I can get one cheap.
Send a donation to every railroad museum in North America (and the UK). What ever I have left will be saving for rail fan event trips.
Buy a place to live, have it stocked by amazon prime or google checkout or similar, have a massive full scale layout with a GP7 (painted up in SP bloody nose) with a few freight cars, and a caboose. All the diesel and oil needed to keep it going. Relive my childhood in full scale modeling!
Without question, I'd put 50% of that money straight into a separate bank account to save. It's the most sensible thing to do, really.

Probably have to just spend some fair amount of money on whatever crap I want (y'know, just random things. Steam money, model railroad stuff, etc).

Frankly, I think I'd end up spending enough to take the cars required and the stuff to customize 'em into a lovely Patriot Surger. I'd kill to own one.

Wouldn't mind picking up a MILW Hiawatha coach to put in the field right behind my house, which I'd have to actually (easily) buy from my grouchy neighbour.

Naturally, donate some money to some cancer funding stuff and some good RR museums. After that, I'd just live comfortably (of course, with my family as well) off of what I have left, plus the interest from the 50% I saved earlier.

Simple stuff.

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I'd buy all known copies of Tane, burn them to the ground and start a political campaign called "Pray the gay away".
Probably flight lessons and personal plane, restoring Temple Lumber Co. #20 since my last name is Temple ;),


and getting SP 771 running on the GVRR with her sister #2248. I'd call her "Smokey" since 2248 is "Puffy"

If you plan on winning ... you will never win ... Bad Karma will follow your greedy wagers

I would hire a financial adviser ... and sit in 99.9% of it for an entire year, to give me a scope of worthwhile spending

Many professional sports players, and lottery winners, have lost it all, by squandering their rich's, inside of 1 years time
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Definitely sounds like you need to buy a new car or five Cascade. Its scientifically proven that consumerism equals happiness and sustainability for all!