Powerball Winner Travel Options

powerball

The nation’s multi-state Powerball lottery is up to $425 million for Wednesday night’s drawing, the largest jackpot ever. Would-be winners have dreams of financial freedom, never working again for the rest of their lives and more. Odds are, travel may be one of the options the big winner will choose. With a cash value of $278 million, that’s a lot of travel. But just what will $278 million buy?

Aircraft-
At a cost of $206 million, the winner could buy one Boeing 787 Dreamliner and have millions leftover for a flight crew and operating expenses. Don’t want to blow so much on a jet? Choose a 737 for as little as $74.8 million.

Looking for more adventure? How about a F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet for $150 million.

Cruise of a lifetime-
At an average cost of $1000 per person, per week, if the winner is an avid cruiser, they could sail with a dozen friends on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas for over 70 years.

Bump that up to destination-immersive Azamara Club Cruises on an itinerary that takes the winner and his happy dozen friends around the world, and sail for over 20 years in ultra luxury.

Road trip of a lifetime, with friends-
Fancy a luxury road trip? At about $9 million each, the winner and about 30 friends could drive solid gold Rolls-Royce Phantom’s.

Or leave the friends behind and drive your gold Rolls-Royce to any one of 19 four to seven-story hotels you could build along the way.

Better yet, buy 14,000 of your closest friends a new Toyota Prius for $19,950 eachBuy an Island-
Tikina-I-Ra is a 10,000-acre, private island for sale in the South Pacific for just a bit over $11 million.

“One of the largest freehold estates in the Fiji Islands, this property is in pristine condition,” says Private Islands Online, adding, “With ocean frontage to the North, West, and South, the island enjoys approximately 25 kilometres of coastline.”

Talk about adventure-
Adventure travelers too would do well as winners.

Experiences of a Lifetime from TCS & Starquest Expeditions would take you by private jet to eight countries. Camping under the stars in India’s Great Thar Desert, gorilla trekking in Rwanda and elephant trekking in Thailand runs about $68,000 per person for a 23-day tour. You could bring 200 of your friends and do it for a year.

Feeling like there could be a better use for your half billion in winnings?

Feeding all the hungry people on the planet, your prize would not go far. Worldwide, 852 million people are hungry, up from 842 million a year ago.


[Photo by Flickr user live w mcs]

Furious Ryanair passenger eats his $13,600 winning lottery ticket

Despite all the weird things Ryanair manages to do to its passengers, they do have their fair share of wacky passengers as well.

During one of their flights this week, a passenger purchased a scratchcard lottery ticket (one of the many ways Ryanair makes money). When he uncovered the numbers, he turned out to be the lucky winner of €10,000 (about $13,600).

And this is where the story takes a twist for the weird – when the passenger was told that he would have to send his ticket in for verification, and that the cabin crew don’t fly around Europe with that kind of cash, he got furious.

Normal people would throw a tantrum, calm down, and accept the situation. Instead, the lucky winner ate his ticket.

Right in front of all his fellow passengers, this guy actually ate a $13,600 winning lottery ticket. The only upside to this story is that the winning prize money will go unclaimed, so it can be donated to charity. I’m not sure whether alcohol or just plain stupidity played a role here, but it sure seems like one of the dumbest ways to throw away money.


Want more travel news? Be sure to check out Episode 2 of Gadling’s Travel Talk TV!

Texans denied entry into Ireland

This story is an example of a traveler’s nightmare as well as what it’s like to win the lottery–an is the glass half empty or half full sort of tale.

Three strapping young men, high school graduates from Plano, Texas landed in Dublin, Ireland ready to embark on a back-packing trip around Europe. They were eager. Excited. If you’ve done a similar trip, you know the feeling. Then they were asked two magic questions by immigration that they didn’t know the answer to.

“Where are you staying?” and “How much money do you have?” They needed a bank statement to prove they were solvent. They came up with goose eggs on both accounts.

They didn’t have a place to stay yet, therefore, no address. Evidently, they didn’t have proof of enough funds either so there they were. Instead of following where their adventurous selves felt like going, they were sent back to New York City.

Hearing of their plight, and that shame had befallen Ireland that prides itself on being friendly, an upscale hotel group d4hotels.ie has offered the trio an all expenses paid trip back to Ireland. They’ve also been offered free cell phone service for a week and probably free pints of Guinness.

The three have accepted the offer, but feel nervous about the black mark on their passports. Hopefully, their best dreams are coming true and that Plano will be left behind for awhile. Let’s see if any other countries want to show how friendly they are.

Plane Answers: A pilot’s seatbelt sign philosophy and aircraft accident odds

Welcome to Gadling’s feature, Plane Answers, where our resident airline pilot, Kent Wien, answers your questions about everything from takeoff to touchdown and beyond. Have a question of your own? Ask away!

Caroline asks:

Can someone tell me why the pilot sometimes turns on the seatbelt sign but it’s seemingly for no reason? I recently flew Dubai to London and he (or she) kept putting it on however nothing happened. Especially annoying as I needed the bathroom at the time?

Hi Caroline,

There are a couple of possible explanations for a seatbelt sign that turns on and off frequently.

Occasionally we’ll get reports from airplanes in front of us warning of turbulence ahead. It’s best to get the seatbelt sign on if we get a report like this to prevent any injuries to passengers standing in the aisle.

Deciding when to turn the sign on after experiencing some un-forecasted and unreported bumps can be a challenge. Some pilots don’t mind turning the sign on and off as the conditions permit and some will turn it on, only to forget about the sign when the ride improves, thus making every passenger feel like a criminal for using the lavatory for the rest of the trip.

There are some pilots who are concerned enough about the liability involved when turning the sign off that they’ll insist on keeping it lit for the duration of the flight. This actually creates a riskier situation since passengers will disregard the sign, even during periods of turbulence, completely eliminating the point in having a sign in the first place.

There’s another explanation that might surprise you. Pilots have been known to get calls from flight attendants asking for the sign to be turned on so they don’t have to deal with people becoming stuck in an aisle between their carts or otherwise getting in the way of the service.

And occasionally there can be a rather large group of people congregating around the galleys chatting it up. One of the ways to disperse this crowd had been to use the seatbelt sign. This isn’t exactly what the sign was intended for, of course.

Jen asks:

Hi Kent,

In light of the Air France crash, I am curious to know if it is indeed true that passengers pass out first, due to loss of cabin pressure, even before a plane hits the water (assuming it didn’t explode in the air)?

What are the odds of this happening to me? Are the odds of this happening greater or less than winning the lottery?

P.S. This is my take: when I get on the plane, my odds are 50 / 50 : 50% chance that I live and 50% chance I don’t. (haha, ok, joking…)

Hi Jen,

If the flight were to depressurize, and assuming the passengers couldn’t get to their oxygen masks during the descent, then there is a limited amount of time until they will pass out. This time of useful consciousness varies depending on the altitude.

At FL350 (35,000 feet) that time is only 30 to 60 seconds. However if the airplane is descending rapidly, the lower altitude will likely wake people up.

It’s a morbid thought, for sure, but since you brought up statistics, let’s look at the odds of dying in an airline accident a moment.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the odds of losing your life in any given year is 1 in 502,544 and over an entire lifetime, it drops down to 1 in 6,460.

That’s much better than the 1 in 84 odds over a lifetime that a person could be killed in an automobile accident. It seems to me the most effective way to save lives on a large scale would be to improve auto safety.

The odds of winning the lottery are reported at between 1 in 18 million for a state lottery to as low as 1 in 120 million in a multi-state contest. So, in fact the odds of an airplane accident are greater than the average person’s odds of winning the lottery.

But the automobile odds show that driving is really the risky activity – 77 times riskier than flying, yet it’s unusual to hear of anyone afraid of driving.

Do you have a question about something related to the pointy end of an airplane? Ask Kent and maybe he’ll use it for the next Plane Answers. Check out his other blog, Cockpit Chronicles to travel along with him at work.

How would your travel plans change if you won the lottery?

An Aussie backpacker won US$830,000 in a lottery after he impulsively decided to buy a ticket when he arrived to New Zealand. Before becoming a millionaire in Kiwi-land, the plan was to travel around the country for a few months, fruit picking on the way. “However, we will now be able to travel in a bit more style,” he says.

This story made me wonder: if I won the lottery, how would that change my plans?

Honestly, I’d still backpack. I repel 5-star hotels. Other than a luxurious bath, they really have nothing to offer and they make me feel like I am living in a posh, protected bubble that hides everything real the place I’m visiting has to offer. Paying a fortune for a clean bed makes no sense to me and often makes me feel sick.

This feeling was reemphasized lately when I went to Barcelona for work and I was put up in the Arts Hotel — the most expensive hotel in the city. Everyone spoke English, I was surrounded by every nationality except Spaniards, a measly and tasteless coffee cost me €5(!!), and there was no place in my vicinity (other than a grubby Chinese restaurant) where I could eat for less than €20. I would much rather have stayed in a cheap little hostel in the city center where I would meet cool people (who don’t have a pole up their backside or a $ sign on their forehead) and have access to cheap local food and bars where the Catalans hang.

So if I won the jackpot, I would invest some of the money in assets that would generate consistent revenue so I could spend more time more often on the road; the rest I would give to some cause. What would you do?