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What would you do with a quarter of a billion dollars?

Asked at Checkers Food Store, 23rd and Louisiana streets. on August 20, 2009

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Photo of Matt Hunter

“Buy a sports team.”

Photo of Cindy Wingebach

“Buy my girls a house, buy me a house … and go to Cancun.”

Photo of Rachel Cheek

“Set my kids up a college fund.”

Photo of Pat Wakeman

“Much of that would go to philanthropic endeavors … help make the world greener.”


Maddy Griffin 8 years, 10 months ago

Houses for the kids, college funds for the kids and grandkids,and then I'd invest in a wind farm.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd give every living American over the age of 18 a chainsaw to help them get ready for the zombie plague.

canyon_wren 8 years, 10 months ago

I would quit my part-time job and stay home all the time, but I doubt that I would change my lifestyle much--just not having to work would be the nice change. I would undertake some of the house improvements I have had to put off so far. I know I would take some interesting trips to Europe, but not be gone very long, as I like so much just to be home. I would probably take that Silver and Blue all-inclusive train trip across Canada.

I would try to figure out how to put it into some savings plan that wouldn't collapse, and then use it to do good things for people as I saw opportunities. I certainly would settle for far less than $250 million--I could accomplish everything I would like to do with about $250,000!

alm77 8 years, 10 months ago

First things first, I'd take a nap. Probably one of the most peaceful naps ever because there would be no more tossing and turning with worry. THEN, I'd give to charity, do the college funds, buy a bigger house and we'd travel the world.

ksdivakat 8 years, 10 months ago

I would donate at least 10% to various charities and then after that, whatever I wanted!

RoeDapple 8 years, 10 months ago

The lump sum payment would reduce the total to around $74 million. I would be able to go from full time to part time employment. Maybe be a Walmart greeter.... and a new paint job on the Focus....

Clickker 8 years, 10 months ago

Present value is 1/2 of the value, Obama takes the other the question is what would I do with $60 million?

trinity 8 years, 10 months ago

vertigo would you be burgess meredith as the penguin, or mr. peanut? :) just wonderin'...

Amy Heeter 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't have to think about it the people in my life will know exactly where it needs to be spent.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years, 10 months ago

"What would you do with a quarter of a billion dollars?"

Half as much as I would do with a half of a billion.

HW 8 years, 10 months ago

How could this have been asked on August 20, 2009. The first comment was at 3:13 a.m. and there is way too much sunlight in the photos to have been taken between midnight and 3:00 a.m. Just curious.

Jim Williamson 8 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

HW 8 years, 10 months ago


One of the greatest movies ever. Priceless. Now I will be thinking of quotes from that movie all day.

gphawk89 8 years, 10 months ago

Quit my job.

Give enough to my family that they'd be set for life.

Funny, I was just thinking about this part the other day. I'd grant a large amount to my hometown. Fix up the schools, the gym, the football field and track. Lots of houses and some businesses in general disrepair that could be cleaned up. And it would create a few jobs along the way. I guess it would be my own little economic stimulus package.

Invest the rest and enjoy life for a while.

salad 8 years, 10 months ago

Cancun??? Seriously Cindy? You have $250 million and the best you can do is Cancun??? Wiskey Tango anyone?

Joe Hyde 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd make a list of relatives, best friends, plus favorite supervisors and co-workers from all the places I've ever worked in my life, then split my win with all of 'em equally.

mom_of_three 8 years, 10 months ago

I actually was thinking about this last night, except it was only $25 million. I would set up a college fund for my kids, and future grandkids. Also set up college funds for my nieces and nephews, and other members of my family. Give money to my retired folks and buy a new house in the country. Then I would donate my time to charity, and to my favorite pursuits. Buy season tickets for all KU teams. I could definitely go to school full time.
And I would buy a beach house somewhere.

TheJokerObama 8 years, 10 months ago

Fund a few more indian casinos to make more money off of the white man.

igby 8 years, 10 months ago

Leave this tax hungry welfare state of backwards thinking mutated half liberal-republican morons and look for a place where American, has moved too. Texas?

Practicality 8 years, 10 months ago

I would buy up the 900 block of Mass. Street and put a Sams Club on one side and a Wal-Mart on the other, then sit back and listen to the whinning while at the same time revitalize the downtown district.

Oh, and I would also hire a security force like Marion, except mine would be the entire production of the Re-enactment of Gettysburg and have 30000 civil war era actors marching throughout Lawrence firing rifiles and cannon filled with blanks.

labmonkey 8 years, 10 months ago

I would buy some pimpin rims for the Lumina, man, then make it rain like Pac-man Jones.

In seriousness...I would hire a good lawyer before I let anyone know I won, then donate all but $10-20 million of it to worthy charities and to the Biology and History departments of my Alma Mater. I would then move to New Zealand.

labmonkey 8 years, 10 months ago

I would also buy billboard space on each side of all Wal-Marts reminding people to look at the label and buy American.

Kat Christian 8 years, 10 months ago

Set up a college fund for my grandson. Buy a house and a new car. Quit my job and put enough money away to support me for the rest of my life so I don't ever have to work again. Then I'd take 1/2 and create a way to get the homeless off the street and rehabilitate them into society to function at whatever level they are capable. That has always been my dream.

coolmom 8 years, 10 months ago

college/living funds for my family and friends, donate to kid charities and the special olympics and start an inclusive housing development for special needs people to live and work at so they have a community of peers. and have more dogs.

Mary Darst 8 years, 10 months ago

Exactly how much is that? I can't even picture it in my mind. !st, I would be sitting on the front row at Allen Fieldhouse. I don't know about the rest. I kind of like the idea of traveling around and leaving money to people who made some kind of impact on me. I would go to France(cause ya know I'm French). College for my grandkids.

CrazyDiamond 8 years, 10 months ago

Phogfan86, Is that about how much it would take to get 2 chicks to double up on a dude like you?

Sagecasey 8 years, 10 months ago

Invest it and try to turn it into $250 million dollars

Kevin Sontag 8 years, 10 months ago

They got a special down at the Taco Mat. 250 million tacos for 250 million bucks. I'm gonna get that.

riverdrifter 8 years, 10 months ago

Villa near Rome; estate replete with grouse, pheasant & a salmon stream in Scotland. Large sailboat in the Greek Isles. Gulfstream 150 to get around to all. Back to work...

beatrice 8 years, 10 months ago

I can tell you something I wouldn't do ever again -- dust and vacuum.

BigPrune 8 years, 10 months ago

Is the lotto this big or something? Do I need to buy a ticket?

MaryKatesPillStash 8 years, 10 months ago

The drawing was last night; someone in South Carolina won it.

Tom McCune 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd probably just keep running my business until it was all gone...

Sigmund 8 years, 10 months ago

Wine, women, and song. The rest I would just squander.

blkgtjax 8 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Bill Lee 8 years, 10 months ago

Buy a new house and some old cars, travel some, and then go back to school and finish my degree.

kateku 8 years, 10 months ago

First I'd call Dave Mattern (not even sure he's still in the investment biz) and make his career... then I'd pay off my student loans, give nice lump sums to my family and friends, buy a building at KU to be named after someone special and then semi-retire to Boston. I'm still pretty young (28) so full retirement just doesn't seem right, but it would be nice to go to work knowing that you were just there for the enjoyment and to accomplish things... maybe with that kind of money I could find a way aound office politics?!?

jonas_opines 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd make myself a bionic spine replacement.

Brady Swenson 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd keep a few million for my family and give the rest to the E.O. Wilson Biological Diversity foundation which needs 50 billion dollars to buy enough land to preserve at least 20% of the planet's species before they die out.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 10 months ago

i'd get the stuff i've always wanted for myself, my family and extended family. i would help alot of people, most of which would be anonymously. i would buy myself a fancy schmancy espresso machine and a new pair of sneakers.

Aileen Dingus 8 years, 10 months ago

Pay off debt, donate to charity, buy family houses, finish my degree, put some away for kids' college, go to Fiji. I may come back from Fiji. Maybe. ;)

trinity 8 years, 10 months ago

put new siding on the trailer. maybe new windows too. build a big garage. buy up a case of marlboro lights.

LOL whiskey tango dreams! :)

denak 8 years, 10 months ago

I would spread it out and roll around in it, laughing and crying hysterically.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

  1. Replace older existing homes with Energy Star homes.

  2. Open up store fronts downtown for :

*Medicare Insurance for All - HR 676

*Sierra Club,


*Union of Concerned Scientists

  1. Open an account - " Lawrence Neighborhood Defense Fund"

  2. Set up college fund accounts for children and grandchildren

  3. Keep back a couple million for a never ending second honeymoon...on bicycles and trains.

  4. Set up a Lawrence,Kansas Defense Fund to sponsor
    green thinking fiscally responsible candidates for City and County commissions. Time to stop reckless spending, irresponsible user fee increases and irresponsible tax increases.

kujayhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Quit work.

Set up college funds.

Buy a nicer house and a few more homes.

Buy nicer cars.

Buy a couple of toys.

Take care of some friends and family.

Donate a bunch of it to the humane society.


And try to keep my kids from becoming spoiled brats.

Satirical 8 years, 10 months ago

Buy a piece of bubble gum. Because after Obama's out of control spending on things like ObamaCare occurs and hyperinflation results, that is all 250 million will buy.

RoeDapple 8 years, 10 months ago

You all keep talking about going somewhere.... If I had that kind of money and wanted Fiji, I'd just have it delivered....

Scott Drummond 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd buy lots and lots of land along the proposed SLT, stock it with endangered species and "No Tresspassing" signs, then spend my days driving up and down 23rd Street during rush hours

mrjcg2 8 years, 10 months ago

Give my house and cars away, and travel the world with a very well stocked money card.

George_Braziller 8 years, 10 months ago

It's all rhetorical. It's not going to happen so why waste time wondering about it?

pace 8 years, 10 months ago

I would form a corporation to build and market accessible houses and apartments. It would include remodeling older stock. I also would start a clothing business where the stripes would be vertical and a furniture business where the chairs and sofas would have height and firm seats. I would probably buy a new mixer.

lctchr1 8 years, 10 months ago

We're being invaded by zombies? Holy Crap!

gphawk89 8 years, 10 months ago

One of the 1969 ZL1 Corvettes. Heck, I'd buy both of them in case I wrecked one.

And a AAR Barracuda. And a '71 Hemi Cuda in case I wrecked the AAR.

And a '69 Yenko Camaro in case I wrecked my '68 SS396.

And a few others. And a big garage. And the biggest Snap-on tool set you've ever seen.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 10 months ago

First, I'd have to be a man for this to work.

I'd grow a big white beard and a funky tie-dye hat. Then I'd get front row seats to KU football and dance around the whole game, then get engaged to a young college girl and hang around campus all the time.

wait - that's taken. Never mind.

Kris_H 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd buy all the remaining undeveloped land in NE Kansas and make sure it stays undeveloped, except for the houses I'm going to build and maintain for myself and my friends. Nobody I know now would ever go unhoused and/or hungry again.

BrianR 8 years, 10 months ago

Probably give most of it away. Of course, giving this much money away would be time comsuming so I wouldn't continue to work either.

bondmen 8 years, 10 months ago

Counter the inordinate influence and power of George Soros and Warren Buffett and help elect an American President.

puddleglum 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd buy a few of those front row tickets to allen fieldhouse. what a deal!

puddleglum 8 years, 10 months ago

then i would buy up all of the wal-marts and close them

Frederic Gutknecht IV 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd buy as much contiguous land as I could afford, some classic fire sticks and WMD!~)

coolmom 8 years, 10 months ago

iguanas and margaritas for the island in case anyone wanted to know the fantasy one lol.

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