The Mega Millions Jackpot is - as of this writing - at 970 million dollars. For those of you not great at numbers - that's nearly a billion dollars. What would you buy in Central New York?

If you happen to beat the nearly insurmountable odds (1 in about 302 million) and win, what the heck would you do with all that money? Of course, the government is going to take some in the form of taxes - but the cash payout is $548 million. That's...a lot.

Let's start with real estate, because a jackpot winner needs somewhere to live, right?

Credit: Lynn Boucher/Caldwell Banker Faith Properties via Zillow.com

The most expensive home listed on centralnewyorkhomes.com is $1.3 million dollars - it's a gorgeous house on the water in Remsen, but $1.3 million barely makes a dent. In fact, you could buy the 15 most expensive homes listed there - one for you and all your friends, and still have a LOT left over.

You're gonna need something to eat.

$548 million will buy you:

  • 500 million half-moon cookies
  • 36,557,705 Saranac 12 Beers of Christmas (that's 438,692,462 bottles of beer on the wall, FYI)
  • 39,142,857 tomato pies from Roma's
  • 137,343,358 Big Macs

If you want to get your friends together:

  • the entry fee for every single runner in the Boilermaker 15K (that would only be $825,000 - so maybe you can hire all of them personal trainers, too)

What's the first thing you should do if you win? According to USAToday, there are three important things:

  1. Keep your mouth shut.
  2. Hire a lawyer.
  3. Sign your ticket.

That doesn't sound very charitable - but it's with good reason. Once people find out you won all that money, suddenly your long-lost relatives and every charity you've never heard of will start calling. You need to protect yourself.

Good luck - and if you win - let me know where I can pick up my Boilermaker registration!