What could you buy with $640 million?
Mega Millions Lottery tickets that were given away to the first 540 people are displayed by the Hoosier Lottery's Mega Millions mascot at a store in Zionsville, Ind., Friday, March 30, 2012. (AP / Michael Conroy)
Published Friday, March 30, 2012 5:08PM EDT
When Hawkesbury, Ont. couple JoAnn and Gaetan Champagne won a $50-million Lotto Max draw earlier this year, millions of people wished them and then muttered "Wish that were me."
The overnight millionaires reportedly bought an $80,000 Lincoln Continental and put down a $900,000 down payment on a 13-room mansion with a waterfront view.
But a $50-million pot looks downright paltry next to US$640 million. That is the record sum up for grabs in this weekend's Mega Millions lottery in the United States.
Lottery ticket lines swelled across the U.S. on Friday, as players laid down their money for a chance at becoming an overnight billionaire.
The chances of winning are slim.
"You are about 50 times as likely to get struck by lightning as to win the lottery, based on the 90 people a year getting struck by lightning," said Mike Catalano, chairman of the mathematics department at Dakota Wesleyan University.
Even so, ticket holders can still dream.
For those who dream on a grand scale, this list of prospective purchases encapsulates the true meaning of being a big spender.
Customized DeepFlight Submarine
Forget jumping on a jet. With your own personal submarine, such as the DeepFlight Merlin from Hawkes Ocean Technologies in California, billionaires can explore the mysteries of the ocean. DeepFlight's custom submarines start at US 750,000 (CAN $747,975). In 2011, Sir Richard Branson purchased a custom state-of-the-art underwater sub called the Necker Nymph from the company. The sub was named after Necker Island, Branson's private retreat in the Caribbean. That toy set Branson back £415,000 (CAN$657,033).
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
There are sports cars. Then there is the Aventador, a slick, high-precision machine from Lamborghini that makes a garage full of Porsches look tired. Hitting tops speeds of 217 mph (349 km), this beauty built for a billionaire can go from 0 – 100 km in just 2.9 seconds. Starting price: US 379,700 (CAN$377, 486).
Pricey pet jewellery
For those who feel like the family pooch hasn't been pampered enough lately, the world's most expensive dog collar will amply make up for any bad feelings. Dubbed "the Bugatti of dog collars," the Amour, Amour collar from the American company I Love Dogs Diamonds Inc. features a staggering 1,600 diamonds and a price tag of US3.2 million (CAN $3.8 million). The company's other customized collars range between US$280,000 and US$900,000 (CAN$278,882 to $896,407). That's small change with $640 million to burn.
Buy a private island
How much would you be willing to spend for your own private getaway? With $640 million to spend, the options are endless. For example, a remote island in Nova Scotia could cost US$30,000 (CAN$29,880), where other undeveloped islands across Canada might go for $US100,000 (CAN $99,600) or more. By contrast, an island in the Caribbean could cost up to US$16 million (CAN$15.9 million).