A penny for your thoughts: what would you do with 2 billion dollars?


Photos by Talia Moskowitz ’24

The Connecticut lotteries sit at $59 million and $207 million, as of Nov. 13.

There are some things that most of us will never see in our lifetimes: like the view from top of Mount Everest, for example, or flying cars. Even less likely, though, is a check with nine zeros on it and the words “two billion dollars.” 

One lucky individual in California recently received the latter.

On Nov. 9, Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California, sold the winning ticket for the $2.04 billion Powerball lottery, the largest ever jackpot in history. Though tax deductions will reduce winnings by a small margin, the winner will end up having around $1.28 billion at their disposal, according to CNBC

The Connecticut lotteries sit at $59 million and $207 million, as of Nov. 13. (Photo by Talia Moskowitz ’24)

Two billion dollars can be hard to visualize for many. Just what could that money buy you? To put it in perspective, one billion dollars could buy you the Miami Marlins, a major league baseball team. Like to travel? One billion dollars could score you a number of private jets, one for each day of the week, if you so pleased. A Boeing commercial plane can be worth anywhere from $89.1.4 million to $442.2 million, taking up only a small portion of your new wealth, according to Reader’s Digest. 

“I would retire,” Spanish teacher Andrea Vielmetti said. “And I would give a lot of money away. I would donate it to people in need.”

Vielmetti also acknowledged the excessiveness of two billion dollars. 

“I would have to be born again and again and again to use that amount,” she said. 

Others have different ideas.

Money doesn’t bring happiness. Butt, sure makes your life a lot easier.

— Kathy Carlson said.

“My dream would be to probably go crazy with about $5 million, buy a house and pay off my childrens’ mortgages,” Staples librarian Kathy Carlson said, “and then invest and live off the interest.”

Carly Greenberger ’24 also had plans, both indulgent and financially conscious, if she was a lucky winner. 

“I would donate some of it. I’d buy a boat. I would have a savings account for college and also have savings for when I want to buy a house when I’m older,” Greenberger said. 

Carlson and Greenberger both foresaw serious lifestyle changes if only their lucky numbers were drawn.

“Money doesn’t bring happiness,” Carlson said,  “but it sure makes your life a lot easier.”