What would you do with $5 billion dollars? Honestly, nobody needs that much money. You could help solve a lot of problems with that kind of cash, but what happens when greed kicks in? The following people told us what the outrageous ways they would spend $5 billion dollars, and their takes do not disappoint:
#1 Buying Better Luck
Five billion lotto tickets—all for the same draw, all with the same numbers. Though, I don't know; I'm sure there is some limit that they just can't pay. For Powerball, you need to pick all the numbers right to win the jackpots, but if you get different combinations, you get guaranteed prizes. On the jackpots, there are multiple winners sometimes if more than one person picks the same number, and then that comes up, they just divide it up evenly. For the smaller prizes they have a set amount, so in theory, if you get two million of the same ticket, but it hits two, balls you would win something.
#2 Whirpool Experiment
Do you know how as a kid you sat in the tub and paddled your hands in opposite directions to create a whirlpool with you in the middle? I'd pay a million people $5,000 each to stand in the Hudson, East and Harlem Rivers around Manhattan and begin paddling to see what would happen. But get medical insurance first... That water is nasty.
#3 World Unity
I'd buy a lot of plastic spider rings. I bet you can get one for every human on Earth. I'd tell everyone that when you put it on, you become part of a special club call the Select Sentients. I could unite the world... I might lose a few Germans due to the SS initials of the club. I am just spitballing. But how nice would it be if we all got along for the first time in history?
#4 Bidding Wars
Buy a $5-million-dollar painting, put it in an auction, participate in the auction, and bid against me. Let me put it this way. First of all, I don't want it to be clear that I'm buying my own painting, so I have someone else do the bidding. Perhaps the painting is owned by a trust or Shell Corp. But now my painting is on record for having sold for a whopping amount. Since the value in art is fairly subjective, when it goes for sale next, it is now worth that amount (in theory).
#5 Penny For Your Thoughts
Get it in pennies and then pay off random people’s collection debt by driving a dump truck full of pennies to each collection agency. I was at a meeting at a local government office where parking tickets are paid. Someone thought they would be cute and show those bureaucrats what was up, so they tried to pay their ~$200 fine in change. It didn't phase the clerk at all; they just started counting the money, very slowly, because they had to account for between 800 and 20,000 coins and markdown how many of each since this is an official transaction. A receipt was to be provided.
They lost track when the cheeky person told them to hurry up because the line that the cheeky person created was getting angry. No one in the line thought that the cheeky person was doing anything noble other than being an obtuse jerk. Middle, middle, middle. After an hour of this, the cheeky person left without paying the fine, and they ticked off everyone. Apparently, they came back the next day with a money order for the amount.
#6 Put A Ring On It
I launch thousands of tonnes of glitter into orbit to give The earth a Saturn-like ring. Though, the USA did send up needle-like metal particles to space during the Cold War to hinder Soviet radio communications. The plan worked to some extent, but it was not satisfactory and the particles started to fall back to the Earth after some time. Being as small as they were, most of it did not burn after reentry and they still can be found in Antarctic ice. A cloud of these needle-like particles is still up there though.
#7 Seashell Hunting
Empty a bay to look for seashells, then call in the media, tell them what
I'm doing, and then when people show up and the bay is drained, I'd walk out onto the beach. I'd pick up the first shell I see, before I even get into what used to be the bay, and loudly proclaim: "This one's perfect! Okay go ahead and refill it!" Then walk away.
#8 Fake It 'Til You Make It
Buy truckloads of fake money. I could get way more fake money! Like 50 billion dollars. Then, I could destroy the economy by handing out the fakes and devaluing the currency of your choice! Hate chocolate? Easy, just bankrupt Belgium. Want a greener planet? Bankrupt the oil producing country of your choice! With money comes tremendous power.
#9 Rubber Duckies
Invest it on rubber ducks. While this wouldn't be a great investment, I don't think it would be a terrible one either. Rubber ducks have gotten much more popular in the last ten to twenty years. There's an entire chain of gift shops in Europe that only sell rubber ducks as well as several other independent stores across the world. Just two days ago there was an announcement of an entire line of novelty rubber ducks based on video game characters similar to Funko Pop characters. Rubber ducks are having a renaissance right now and I'm loving it!
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#10 Bursting Bubbles
Literally, donate it somewhere to destroy the economy. Pull the ol' Wall Street: buy $5 billion worth of toxic assets, repackage them and create derivatives, convince investors using your status as a multibillionaire that they are now safe and give an incredibly large return, then crash the now trillions of dollars’ worth of financial instruments.
#11 Raiding Area 51
Give it the guys planning the Area 51 raid. I would set up training camps all over the country. Anyone who wants to join gets a free bunk, free food, all their regular monthly bills paid until the raid, and world-class training for stamina, strength, and agility. We're also pushing the date of the raid until next year, and telling no one the date. Those Area 51 guards are gonna have their work cut out for them.
#12 The Long Game
I pay down America’s national debt. No one will care and our government will blow through it again in days. Top that for a total waste. The US is playing the long game. We rack up a ton of debt and then declare bankruptcy and then the whole world's economy goes to heck. Then we take over the world and start again with zero debt.
#13 Chocolate Forest
I would buy lots and lots of chocolate and a giant room that maintains a temperature that chocolate does not melt in. I would then hire the world's finest artisans of chocolate to craft a forest made entirely out of chocolate. I would then lobby to have it be considered a national park and charge people to go camping there.
#14 Rock Island
I'd buy an island and call it Rock Island. I'd pay for all the best bands and artists in the world to do multi giant concerts all over the island and it would be free for everyone with free beer and food... All ferries and planes to the venue would be free. Glamping and tents free also. All the best rock bands... All the best '80s bands... All the best rappers, R&B... All the best pop bands... All the best heavy metal bands... All the best DJs... That's the way to spend 5 freaking billion... Hey, Jeff Bezos... Give us 5 billion will ya.
#15 Ads Galore
I would pay for every ad space in every city I can (for an indefinite amount of time) and print a different phone number on each one. Every phone number will have to be called in an effort to find who paid for the ad space and get them to remove it. Every single phone number will put you on hold for an hour and then Rick Roll you.
#16 That's... Nice
With 5 billion, I could bring up a project with a goal of helping Africa's debt towards the IMF. But instead, I will send a lot of young people there that will put pictures on Instagram about how they're kind and trying to save the world on paid humanitarian trips. It doesn't target the source of the problem, but at least, we will look like good human beings.
#17 Buy And Sell
Buy Tumblr for $1 billion, then sell it for a few million years later. Spend more than $5 billion buying Nokia, then write off the entire "investment" years later. But then I would also buy Nest for a few billion, and do nothing with it and let the founders leave the company. I should also buy Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard, then hire and fire (er, buy out) a series of incompetent senior executives. This could lay the foundation for a few failed presidential bids as one or another convinces themselves that they are a real, ruling class titan of industry with important ideas for getting things done or, even better, some kind of noble character or heavenly mandate.
#18 Martian Dreams
Put myself onto Mars, having sent 4 billion dollars worth of random stuff ahead of me. No science equipment, not even any communications equipment; just whatever it would take to survive on Mars as indefinitely as possible. And my mother would still find a way to get there and open my bedroom door while knocking or before knocking.
#19 The Ostrich Man
I would buy all the ostriches and start an ostrich farm in a secluded area no one knows about. I'd let everyone know I have one ostrich and just show people one ostrich. Then, when I'm known as "The Ostrich Man" in nearby towns, I'd pack up all my ostriches and wait for night. When night comes, I'd release them all into the towns and have my ostriches run rampant to turn the town to shambles. People would wake up to ostriches on their porches. People would try to drive to work but sorry, ostriches control the streets. Try to get food? No way Jose. That's ostrich food now.
#20 Diamonds Are Forever
I'd buy diamonds. Make an Infinity Gauntlet with the Infinity Stones as different gems. I'd make chains out the dumbest metals possible and buy so many watches it covers both arms. I'd pull out all my teeth and replace them with diamonds. I'd sprinkle mini diamonds in my food for twinkly doo doo. I'd buy a Bugatti. Cover it in diamonds. Buy a house, you guessed it. Mo' freaking diamonds.
#21 Sounds Like A Plan
Well, let's start off with a worldwide ad campaign that's just a series of billboards with me flipping people off. Next, I'm gonna fund a massive taxidermy museum, but only allow really terrible stuff found at thrift stores. Then, I'm gonna pay off whoever I have to to keep Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler from ever making a movie again. If there's any left after that, I'm buying myself a tank.
#22 Party Ambition
Buy all possible 292 million number combinations for Powerball tickets, use it as kindling to start a bonfire for all the Monet, Picasso, Rembrandt, and Dali artwork in the world. Set it up in the middle of a stadium full of paid actors with unlimited free nachos, beer, pizza, martinis, and games available. Buy primetime airtime on a major network to broadcast the really raunchy stuff on TV. Pay the F.C.C. fines for the broadcast of inappropriate content. Then swan dive with two middle fingers raised from a high diving board in the middle right into the fire.
#23 Kristen And Dax
I would pay Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard to let me have lunch with them. I would get to have lunch with my favorite humans, and Kristen is a huge philanthropist who has a hand in pretty much every charity I believe in... so I know my money would find its way to the places that it belonged in the first place. They're honestly my favorite couple.
#24 The Truman Show
I would pay thousands of actors to fabricate situations, scenarios, relationships, etc., with random people (sometimes lasting the duration of the people's lifespan) and film it inconspicuously for people to watch, possibly with an interactive aspect where people can choose their favorite characters' adventure. The Truman Show, basically.
#25 Conversion Rates
I'd trade it for the exact amount in Euros and then convert it back to dollars. So technically, I would have spent it. If I couldn't do that, I'd open a bank account, deposit all the money in, purposely get lured into a scam, and then 'accidentally' give them everything. I'd then fish the money back out and go spend it on a giant house-sized freezer and buy a ton of mango sorbet.
#26 Roll The Dice
I'd buy 100 cargo ships and 100,000 tons of iron powder, use the remaining money to crew them, and send each ship out evenly spaced along the eastern seaboard of the US. I'd have them dump all the iron powder into the ocean and see how the fallout of the resulting algal blooms play out. I figure, best case, is that we have a significant reversal in greenhouse effects; worst case, I just wiped out commercial fishing and food chain on the east coast of the US and get imprisoned or possibly ended for bioterrorism... So let's roll the freaking dice.
#27 Useless Purchases
First I would rent out and drain as many pools as possible, then I would buy millions of gummy worms and the world's largest gummy worms, black cookies, and stage “mud pie parties” all over the country. Then I would print up thousands of T-shirts advertising a fake TV show where Tito from Rocket Power became a detective. And I'd pay people to walk around advertising it to see if people actually tuned in because the T-shirts say “Sundays at 7."
I'd rent or buy every house surrounding Alex Jones and pay people in lizard masks, frog costumes with rainbow T-shirts, stereotypical Russian communists from the 40s, and grey aliens to pretend they live there and are spying on him. I'd purchase Super Bowl ad time that consists of me eating one of those pieces of bread carved to look like body parts while singing “Your Face” from the Bill Plympton short. Have I run out yet?
#28 Make the Rich Richer
Donate it all to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, knowing that the Foundation will spend almost half of it raising the world population (and associated greenhouse gases) from 7b to 7.4b. Most of the rest will be spent on K-6 education in the US with 0% measurable results according to all historical data available including standardized testing scores and graduation rates. Source: Bill Gates interview on the results to date of his Foundation.
#29 I Hate The Patriots
I'd buy the New England Patriots. Fire Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Trade every good player we have for peanuts. With my first-round pick, I'd draft a third-string QB from a D2 school and then use every subsequent pick on a punter. On every third downplay, I would run a Hail Mary no matter what part of the field they're on. They could be at the opponent's two-yard line and I would make the QB chuck it as far as he can nowhere near a receiver. Also once a game, I would make the QB run back into their own endzone and take a knee for safety. If by some miracle, we make the playoffs, I would have the entire team come out and warm up and all that, and then when the referee does the coin flip, I would forfeit the game.
#30 My Dumb Brothers
You want the dumbest way possible? I'd give it away to my brothers. My stupid brothers will definitely find a way to spend 99% of the money in 48 hours. The younger brother, in particular, will use the rest of the money to pay for any accidents, fines, and bills that the older brother has accumulated after spending the money.
#31 Calculate This
I'd buy 5 billion dollars worth of cheap calculators. I can't resell them to make my money back as they are stupid freaking cheap. I'd have to declare bankruptcy because I can't afford the storage for all these dang calculators and then they become the banks' problem. What the heck are they going to do with something like 4.5 to 6.8 billion calculators? Even if every child needed one each year for a school, that is still only 50 million calculators a year. Ten years to get rid of 500 million calculators and 90 years to get rid of 4.5 billion.
#32 The Evil Tesla
Create "Alset," The evil version of Tesla. I would be a supervillain billionaire who makes companies that do the opposite of Elon Musk. For example, all Alset cars drive backward off of rubber power. We'd also have "Ground C," our land exploration company which digs big holes and drops digital cameras in on strings to see what's in there.
#33 Trumping Trump
Build a building across from Trump Tower that is coated in onyx, that is precisely 69 inches taller and name it the "Obama-Clinton Socialist Tower" and then fill it with Hispanic and Black tenants. I would also subsidize their rent, and pay them a stipend while employing them at a reasonable wage to produce anti-Trump merchandise that is made in America.
#34 Chicken Nugget Fiend
Buy as many chicken nuggets as I can, then throw them at people walking by on top of the highest building I can find. Say you can get 20 nuggets for 5 dollars. So that would be 20 billion chicken nuggets. So say you threw one every 5 seconds for 12 hours a day. You would throw 8640 nuggets a day. So working every day, 365 days a year, you'd take 6341 years to throw them all.
#35 Cleaning Pollution
I clean up pollution in the ocean. This is extremely stupid because 90% of ocean pollution comes from Asia and I can't do jack about the root cause. So essentially I'm wiping the bums of the corrupt, polluter, privileged, rich Asians with my 5 billion wads of cash. But hey, at least I save a few dolphins. I've always liked dolphins.
#36 Trolling With Tom Jones
Install an elaborate complex system of Bluetooth speakers throughout an entire city, each with their own power source of solar backup generators, and hide the music source. I would blare Tom Jones' What's New Pussycat endlessly. For each speaker that was destroyed, I would play one It's Not Unusual, and then return back to What's New Pussycat. As for me? I'm on an Adirondack, high above the city in a hot air balloon with my binoculars and earplugs.
#37 Presidential Dreams
Run for president using 250 million. My only advertising would be to say that the other 4.5 billion will be given out in 15 dollar bundles to each person who votes for me, so long as I win. As I cannot see who has or has not voted for me, so long as I win, any U.S. citizen who could have voted for me would therefore be able to claim it. But only if I win.
#38 A Nacho Way Out
Step 1: Purchase exactly 1,256,281,407 18oz bags of Tostitos. Now you have approximately 1413316582 pounds of Tostitos. Step 2: Realize you no longer have enough money to purchase salsa, guacamole, or even queso. Step 3: Admit that your time on this earth is over. Bathe in the non-condiment tortilla chips until you die from the high sodium levels shriveling your skin as well as, of course, dehydration.
#39 Bless The Rains
I'd hire a flock of priests. We'd then hijack some water carrier planes with illegal arms since they’re cheap and more easily acquired than building a fleet of water carriers. We'd outfit them with the largest speakers possible. Each water carrier would then blessed by the priests and the water is now holy water. We then would realize that we have a lot of money left to spend since carriers could be rented and priests are cheap.
Here’s the catch: it’s heavy water or D2O for the chemists in the audience. That finishes off the budget. The ensemble now flies over the entire continent of Africa, dropping blessed heavy water while “Africa” by Toto is blasting from the plane speakers. We fly back home to a horrified but oddly intrigued public. I never said it was moral.
#40 All For Altoids
This is an easy one since I already said before it would be the first thing I do if I become super wealthy overnight: I'd buy the recipe and production rights for Altoids Tangerine Sours, and fund a factory to be able to produce those indefinitely, regardless of profitability. I remembered those one day and spent the next few hours online trying to find them. People are selling empty tins for $50 to $150 and $300+ for a sealed tin. If I was super-wealthy, I would have purchased every single eBay listing. A part of my childhood died that day when I found out I would probably never taste one ever again.
#41 Ball Pit Chaos
Build the world's largest ball pit, but put it in Kansas... so when the tornados hit, it's chaos. This could probably really help meteorologists understand more about wind patterns. I would like to say that tornados are known to carry and then toss objects up to 80 miles away from the original location, and a car has even been known to be almost 30 miles away from its owner. So yes, I would love to see balls in my yard from an oversized ball pit.
#42 Hybrid House
If it were millions it would be easy, but billions of dollars are actually so much more than people realize. That being said, I’d make the most ridiculous house in exactly the style I want with like three different architecture layouts combined. I'd have a ranch house that sprawls but with a couple of turrets, and an open area in the center like a villa would have. And I’m going to get a bunch of animals and have like a bunch of the really antisocial ones to look at and then as the crowning achievement. I’m going to have a platform on a turret to launch myself onto a trampoline to see how high I go. I figure that’s at least a billion and the rest can go to upkeep for that absurdity.
#43 Rich Piece Of Garbage
I'd launch a series of luxury hotels for rich people that want to look like rich people. Then, I'd invest heavily in my own brand, becoming a reality television sensation. Some of it would go to hair implants and plastic surgery, for sure. Then, I'd blow a huge chunk of it running for president of the United States, solidifying my legacy as a rich piece of garbage that didn't do anything with my money other than acting like a rich piece of garbage!
#44 Spreading The Wealth
That’s easy. Give $1 to exactly half of the human population. Spend 90% of the rest of the money on global propaganda speculating why only half the people got it and what it means. Then that last bit, 10% of the remainder, I will spend trying to find the world’s best churro. Oh, and if there's a chance I'll also donate to the Kardashian that's trying to become the youngest billionaire.
#45 No More Nickels
Lobby to remove nickles from the US currency system. Remove pennies if I have money left over. Nickles weigh more than two dimes and as much as a quarter. They really are the weakest link in our currency. Anybody with a quarter can make a 5-cent difference as long as their partner has two dimes. I don't know why, but this has always been a dream of mine to fix.
#46 Wishing Wells
Convert it to loose change, then spend the rest of my life throwing coins in various fountains and "wishing wells" around the country wishing for 5 billion dollars. If I converted it to dollar coins (there aren't even that many in circulation) and live to 100 years of age, I would need to visit 214,041 wells a day to exhaust my supply. Or put 214,041 coins in each well every day, or visit 10 wells a day and leave 21,404.1.
#47 Vengeful Mind
Well, I don't think it would be dumb, really... But some would say it would be useless. I would happily spend every penny of it on pursuing, legally harassing, bribing politicians and judges; whatever I could do to take away the Sackler family's money, property, security. Hopefully, each of them would end up cold, in a cardboard box in a cold and rainy city and thinking of all the people they ended... As they close their eyes for the last time. The Sackler Family is the main owner of Purdue Pharma, the pushers who came up with oxycontin and lied saying that it was not addictive. They pushed this so hard on doctors you wouldn't believe!
#48 Distribute The Wealth
Distribute it on a progressive scale to every person around the world living with an annual income of like $25k USD, less or equivalent. It would cause such chaos! But just maybe things could shake out better for everyone socially eventually with a little guerrilla wealth redistribution. It'd be nice to see what the outcome of leveling out the wealth in the world would be.
#49 House Of Chocolate
Step 1: Get Willy Wonka to build me a house made out of chocolate.
Step 2: House melts.
Step 3: Get him to build another house in a cold place while I go eat the melted house.
Step 4: Be poor, but fat.
#50 All About The Skins
In-app purchases. Spending money to get me some of that fake money to change the pixels on my video game character—Woohoo!