NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As the big lottery jackpots hit the stratosphere, the question is how much higher will they go?
Tuesday’s Mega Millions is $1.6 billion. Wednesday’s Powerball is $620 million.
How would you even start to spend that money?
With the Mega Millions and Powerball frenzy in high gear, and hopes high for the upcoming drawings, CBS2’s Dick Brennan took to the city streets on Monday afternoon to see if residents are ready to live like the big shots, the superstars, the celebrities.
Would a billion dollars make you a celebrity?
“To be honest, in my world? Yes,” Upper West Side resident Katelyn Santana said.
“Go into immediate seclusion, move to an island and don’t tell anyone. Gotta keep that money as my own,” Upper East Side resident Emily Lewicket said.
For example, if you really, really hit it big, winning both drawings, you would have more than $2.2 billion. That would make you richer than Paul McCartney (net worth of $1.2 billion), but not Oprah ($2.8 billion).
You could pay the bill if you took Taylor Swift out to dinner. She’s worth only a mere $320 million.
But you might not be able to afford Bill Gates’ tastes. He’s worth $96 billion.
“No, that’s fine. I don’t mind. I don’t mind,” Syosset resident Nicholas Papile said.
So maybe you want to be a sports mogul. Say, buy the Yankees. Well, hold on. You’ll need $4 billion for that. But with a little work you may be able to snare the Brooklyn Nets, who are worth $2.3 billion.
Then again, you could scoop up the Tampa Bay Rays for a mere $900 million.
“I would love to own a sports team,” said Christian Saglie, who was visiting from Los Angeles, “but I think an island would be better.”
Oh, did we forget that you actually have to pay taxes on all of this? And if you’re in New York state, alone, the withholding tax is 8.8 percent. New Jersey is a little better at 8 percent. Connecticut is is only 6.99 percent.
“Yeah, they take a lot of taxes out,” Los Angeles resident Ashley Tinnon said. “It’s like $1.6 billion and you only get $900 million. Only.”
Of course, those odds are still pretty high. You are sooner more likely to get killed by a shark. Then again, if you stay out of the water, you just improved your odds … of living, and maybe also winning.