What Would The $2 Billion Powerball Jackpot Buy You In Michigan?
To recap, we hit a world record high $2 billion haul over the weekend, and then Monday, when they were supposed to draw live on air, complications delayed it until Tuesday morning.
(Those numbers, by the way, were 10-33-41-47-56, and a Powerball of 10, and I clearly did not win, because otherwise... you wouldn't be reading this right now.)
Sadly, a winner was announced in California, so the dream is over this time around. But it's excessively stupid how much money that is... and it got me thinking... how much of Michigan could I buy with $2 billion?
Right out the gate, let's address the obvious... YES, I know if you win, you aren't getting the full $2 billion. After taxes, fees, and all the other junk, you're still walking away with around a measly $1 billion. But for the sake of this article, we're talking about how absurd $2 billion is (despite being a drop in the hat for people like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk).
In 1987, Faygo was sold to the national Beverage Corp. for about $105 million. Adjusted for inflation in 2022, that comes out to about $274.3 million. Even with just the cash payout, that leaves nearly $700 million in your pockets to do with, whatever you wanted... after buying an entire soda brand, that has national success thanks to an Insane Clown Posse of Juggalos.
Likewise, $2 billion could buy you around 1.3 million bottles of Faygo (averaging $1.50 a bottle). So in theory, you could BUY the company, then buy EVERY bottle of Faygo everywhere, make a profit, and then do it all over again! (At least, I think that's how profit works. I'm not sure. I'm just a radio DJ.)
Regardless... it's stupid how much Faygo $2 billion could get you.
The Detroit Lions alone are worth $2.1 billion, so you'd have to fundraise a few hundred million left over if you wanted to buy them outright with your jackpot.
If you're looking for a steal, you could snag the Detroit Tigers for a little more than HALF of that at $1.4 billion. And at the bottom of the major spots list, the Detroit Pistons, worth a mild $1.2 billion, and the Red Wings at $1.12 billion.
But... why buy just one team, when you could own ALL of the buildings they play in?
Ford Field, adjusted for inflation, would only cost you around $800 million. Comerica Park, where the Tigers play, could be yours for around $500 million, and Little Caesar's Arena, where the Pistons AND Red Wings play, is an easy $829 million.
You add all of those up, You could buy EVERY MAJOR SPORTING VENUE in the City of Detroit, for the cost of the Lions at around $2.1 billion. (You'd just have to find some peasant hundred-millionaire to foot the last $100 million to acquire everything)
The Mackinac Bridge
This is absurd. In 1957, the State of Michigan paid $99.8 million to build the first physical connection between the two peninsulas. It was a Godsend, and millions of vehicles pay $2 a trip to cross the Strait every month.
Adjusted for inflation, the Mackinac Bridge is worth $717 million. You could buy the Bridge outright with just the cash payout, then collect the tolls, to make up for the loss in a few years.
Let me say this again... you could own the Mackinac Bridge... and have HUNDREDS of MILLIONS OF DOLLARS left over.
The Upper Peninsula
Now, this one's a little trickier, and it might come with some sacrifices on the part of the State of Michigan... but I think it'd be worth it.
According to the 2018 Michigan Land Values and Leasing Rates, land in the U.P. is worth about $2,400 per acre. There are 10.481 million acres of land in the U.P.
This comes out to JUST more than $2.5 billion to buy EVERY acre of the Upper Peninsula, which is a little rich for even this future record jackpot winner's budget. You would have to shed about 900,000 acres of land to get down to $2 billion.
Thankfully, I have a plan.
If you sell Keweenaw County to Canada (including Isle Royale), and Gogebic County to Wisconsin, you could make it happen. You'd be cutting out about 1.05 million acres of land (so more than plenty), AND, you don't have the upkeep of two National Parks (Isle Royal National Park, and Ottawa National Forest).
BOOM! Wisconsin gets bigger, Canada gains two desolate snow-buried pieces of land we barely use, and I now own my own Peninsula in the Great Lakes.
So how absurd is a $2 billion Powerball Jackpot? You could buy nearly ALL of the land in the Upper Peninsula... so long as they sold it at cost.
It may be a long time before the Jackpot climbs that high again, but until then... just some Michigan food for thought.