The hoopla surrounding the $425 million Powerball jackpot is well deserved. It's the fourth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. As in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," everybody wants that that Golden Ticket — but there is so much more you could do with $425 million than a lifetime supply of chocolate. Maybe too much.

With no winners this past Saturday, the drawing moved up to today. Dreamers have had a little more time to weigh their options for spending their winnings. According to experts, the odds of winning the Powerball are one in 175.2 million — but why should that discourage anyone?

You can buy a mansion on the Mainline, own a music production studio, pay off your bills several times over. All reasonable options, but not very fun.

Here are some alternatives:

1. Donate it to WHYY/NewsWorks

Kidding. That would be ... insane. (Insanely awesome.)

2. Fix Philadelphia's schools

Set up an annual endowment for emergency funds for Philadelphia schools. And while you're dangling that checkbook in front of the SRC, demand request a few changes around here...

3. Buy artwork for the Philadelphia Art Museum

Detroit may be having a fire sale soon. Imagine the cultural treasures you could rescue — and all the friends you'd make at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Free admission for life! And that museum sleepover you've been dreaming of since childhood is finally within reach.

4. Donate to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Haven't you always wanted a hospital wing named after you? They'll probably let you choose the colors. And maybe you can hang some of that Detroit art work to cheer up those sick kids.

5. Commission a mural

The one thing this City of Murals is missing is an enormous image of your face on the side of the PSFS building in Center City.

6. Buy the Philadelphia Inquirer

Why not? Everyone is buying a newspaper. Isn't that the thing to do now?

7. Reverse the poverty crisis in Camden, N.J.

Now's the chance to try out some of those social engineering experiments you've been dreaming about.

8. Take a vacation to Jamaica — forever

Pack up your house, literally your whole house, and get ready for island life!

9. Pay off your student loans

Better yet: Remember the fun you had in college? You could go back! Be a college student for life. Think of the stuff you'd learn. The awesome keggers you'd throw. (But like, with really good beer.) — Or finance your kids' college educations. And grandkids'.


The largest lottery in U.S. history was $656 million in the 2012 Mega Millions jackpot. Three tickets were claimed from Maryland, Illinois and Kansas. There was a $471 million cash payout, and according to CNN Money, this year's $400 million is equivalent to roughly half that amount, which is $230.3 million in cash.

What would you do with a multimillion dollar bank account? Whoever strikes it rich will have a chance to live their American dream.