Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The real powerball brokers: sports owners

You couldn’t even buy out Stephen Ross.

You couldn’t even buy out Stephen Ross.

Guilty. I admit it. I was among the millions who plunged money into the Powerball as the prize engorged Wednesday night to an obscene $1.5 billion. I'm not a lottery player and normally laugh to myself at the silly dreamers in line to place their hopeless sucker bets. Now I was one of them, with nothing but greed to blame.

A redefinition of optimism for all time: If you liked your numbers. Thought you had a good shot to win.

Your mathematical odds were 1 in 292.2 million, only slightly worse if you didn't buy a ticket. You are more likely to be struck by lightning — twice — while performing a handstand on a three-legged unicorn as it wins the Kentucky Derby.

A friend asked what I would do with the money if I won.

I had no idea what to say, dumbstruck by something so incomprehensible.

My friend said, "I'd buy the Dolphins, fire everybody and start over."

I think he was serious. (Sorry, Adam Gase. We hardly knew ye.)

It got me to wondering what you actually could do in sports, what you could buy, with a windfall like that. First, some quick math is required.

They keep calling it a $1.5 billion jackpot, but it really isn't. That would be the total (before taxes) if you opted for annual payments spread out over 30 years. Most would take the one-time, lump-sum payment, which would be $930 million before taxes.

Of all of your relatives who would have their hands out, Uncle Sam would be first in line. Federal taxes would reduce that jackpot to $561.7 million, then state and local taxes could further reduce your actual take to around $422.2 million. That, assuming you held the only winning numbers, would be only 28 percent of that supposed $1.5 billion.

Although "only" might not be the right word there. I doubt the holder of the winning ticket would require a second job to make ends meet.

But they also might be surprised, as my friend was, that his $422.2 million wouldn't go far or buy much in the realm of major American professional sports.

You would be asked to enter through the servant's quarters with that kind of net worth as a franchise owner, and you couldn't afford to buy any teams in the Big Four sports except in hockey.

You would be way out-priced in the NFL, where the Dolphins are mid-pack with a value of $1.85 billion and the least valuable Buffalo Bills are worth $1.4 billion. (The St. Louis Rams are worth a meager $1.45 billion, which is why they're headed back to Los Angeles.)

In the NBA, the Heat barely makes the top 10 with a value of $1.175 billion, and the least-valuable Milwaukee Bucks have a $600 million price tag.

In baseball, even the Marlins, ranked 29th, are worth $650 million, just ahead of the last-place Tampa Bay Rays.

Hockey is your sport, Powerball Winner. Fifteen NHL teams are valued at less than your $422.2 million, and that includes the bargain-bin Florida Panthers at a league-low $186 million.

Yes, you would be rich with your $422.2 million lottery take.

Relatively speaking, at least.

Heat owner Micky Arison is worth $7.7 billion. Wait, it became $8 billion while I was typing that sentence. In the time it takes you to say "Micky Arison," he just made enough money to buy Denmark.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is worth $6.5 billion. (You, as the Powerball winner, could afford to pick up the tab on Ross' $350 million stadium renovation. But why would you want to?)

Panthers owner Vinnie Viola is worth $2.1 billion. He reportedly recently sold a six-story Upper East Side townhouse in New York for $114 million.

Poor Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. His net worth is a mere $500 million. Shall we stage a fundraiser?

You, as Powerball winner, would not be team-owner-rich but you would be wealthier than any South Florida athlete. That honor now belongs to the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, who is making $325 million over 13 years.

That equates to him making about $50,000 per at-bat.

Big deal.

Your $422.2 million equates to you getting $115,671 per day, every day, for the next 10 years — and all you did was have incredible dumb luck.

With your lottery winnings, you could buy 5,630 Zamboni machines and magnanimously donate them to needy hockey teams.

You could buy 26.4 million official major league baseballs.

You could also afford to purchase approximately 16,885 Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophies.

Poor Stephen Ross. With all those billions and no matter how much he spends, he can't seem to even buy one.

— Miami Herald (TNS)

The real powerball brokers: sports owners 01/14/16 [Last modified: Thursday, January 14, 2016 7:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.
  5. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.