Small chances, big dreams for Mega Millions jackpot

Jazmin Moya buys Mega Millions tickets at Price Choice Supermarket in Miami. The jackpot rose to $636 million.
Jazmin Moya buys Mega Millions tickets at Price Choice Supermarket in Miami. The jackpot rose to $636 million.
Alexia Fodere / For El Nuevo Herald

Imagine defying the astronomical odds and being The One. The one who buys that winning lottery ticket with those magic numbers: 8-14-17-20-39 and the Mega Ball of 7.

As of Tuesday evening, the Mega Millions jackpot sat at a staggering $636 million. It would be a historic haul for the winner, but whoever gets it would face the obvious question.

What do you do with all that money?

The Miami Herald posed this question to readers online and on the street.

Jackie Bravo, 31, of Miami Beach had a ready answer: A big house for her extended family.

“I’d get a house so everyone could live on the beach together,” she said as she walked out of a Miami Lakes gas station with a lottery ticket in hand.

Nothing too exravagant for Chris Hines, 28, of Miramar. Some real-estate investments and pay off school debt.

“Not much else would change,” he said.

On the Miami Herald’s Facebook page, users were quite candid about their multimillion-dollar dreams, ranging from hiring bodyguards to founding charitable organizations.

Besty Suero Skipp wrote that she would open a place for foster youths after they turn 18.

“A big house for foster youths who have aged out of the system and have no family and for those youths that are homeless,” she wrote.

Javier Zerpa would purchase a ticket for one of those fancy Virgin Galactic space flights, which would set him back some $250,000, a mere pittance.

Melona Posada would start her own animal-rescue organization. Terrell Williams would get a small island in the Caribbean.

Many talked about paying off debts for themselves and relatives, getting new cars and taking vacations on cruises and flights around the world.

At a Doral gas station, local resident John Huber said he would donate half to charity and use the other half to start a non-profit group that would administer social services in the community. The 60-year-old, semi-retired U.S. Customs and Border Patrol employee said he would want to help families in need that the government cannot reach.

“I don’t think the government can administer our money properly anymore,” he said.

Some commenters online had more offbeat responses, like hiring lawyers, scoring drugs or getting a new phone number.

A few even said they would buy the Miami Herald.

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