I’m not a fan of the lottery (I find I get a better return on investment buying beer), but the Powerball lottery jackpot has hit an astronomical sum and it’s making headlines. The potential winner of that jackpot could take home more than a half-billion dollars, some $550 million.
Or about $368 million after taxes. Funny how Uncle Sam has to get their slice of the pie, even when it’s winnings from a government-run gambling enterprise. But I digress.
That has a lot of people doing what comes natural when big lottery jackpots have our attention. They think about how they’d spend all that loot. Gizmodo has a fun run-down of all the things you could do with that enormous fortune.
Well what if the winner decided to leverage that fortune into helping America out of the fiscal hole our leaders have dug for us? Setting taxes aside for a moment, if the winner devoted the entire $550,000,000 to the federal government that enormous fortune that represents more than most of us could earn and spend in multiple lifetimes will fund the government for less than two hours.
Total US spending in 2012 was about $3.538 trillion.
$3.58 trillion/8765 hours = $403,650,884.20/hour in spending.
$550,000,000/$403,650,884.20 = 1.36 hours
But remember, we’re supposed to believe we have a deficit and debt problem because we’re not taxed enough, not because the government spends too much.